Maverick Vinales fired to a surprising pole position for Yamaha at the Red Bull Ring by just 0.068 over Pramac Racing’s Jack Miller. The Spaniard narrowly escaped having to contest Q1 after the Austrian circuit dried out in the closing stages of FP3 on Saturday morning, allowing him to improve his combined standings position from outside the top ten to third.
He then was quickest out the as Q2 got underway, banging in the fastest lap of the weekend with a 1:23.694 to head Fabio Quartararo by just under a tenth.
He wasn’t quite finished yet though, and came out swinging on his final qualifying run to first improve his advantage out front by a further 0.051, before improving to a scorching 1:23.450 on his closing gambit.
Quartararo managed to make it two Yamaha’s on the front row as he bagged third for his Petronas SRT outfit, while the two dry form-men across the weekend so far-Andrea Dovizioso and KTM’s Pol Espargaro-could ultimately lead the second row in fourth and fifth respectively.
Joan Mir led Suzuki’s charge in sixth position ahead of Franco Morbidelli, while the still injured Alex Rins will start eighth on the second GSX-RR machine.
Johann Zarco set a blistering time in Q1 to lead the session, the Frenchman posting the first sub minute and 24 lap of the weekend to lead Valentino Rossi into the pole-shootout.
Just missing out on a Q2 passage was an incandescent Danilo Petrucci, who had his penultimate Q1 tour compromised by Aleix Espargaro’s Aprilia.
Espargaro began his first push lap just as Petrucci was coming round to finish his, holding up the Italian through the final couple of corners-leading Petrucci to cut off Espargaro and gesticulate wildly at the Spaniard.
The Aprilia will start 14th just behind the Ducati, while Cal Crutchlow once again failed to escape Q1 and will start 15th for LCR.
Brno race winner Brad Binder continued to struggle at KTM’s home event and could only manage a lowly 17th on the grid, albeit ahead of the continually low-key factory Honda’s of Alex Marquez and Stefan Bradl-the pair lining up together on the grid in 18th and 19th.
|#||Rider||Team||Time||Gap / Interval|
|1||Maverick VIÑALES||Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP||1’23.450|
|2||Jack MILLER||Pramac Racing||1’23.518||0.068 / 0.068|
|3||Fabio QUARTARARO||Petronas Yamaha SRT||1’23.537||0.087 / 0.019|
|4||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||Ducati Team||1’23.606||0.156 / 0.069|
|5||Pol ESPARGARO||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||1’23.612||0.162 / 0.006|
|6||Joan MIR||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||1’23.673||0.223 / 0.061|
|7||Franco MORBIDELLI||Petronas Yamaha SRT||1’23.719||0.269 / 0.046|
|8||Alex RINS||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||1’23.731||0.281 / 0.012|
|9||Johann ZARCO||Esponsorama Racing||1’23.828||0.378 / 0.097|
|10||Takaaki NAKAGAMI||LCR Honda IDEMITSU||1’23.872||0.422 / 0.044|
|11||Miguel OLIVEIRA||Red Bull KTM Tech 3||1’23.939||0.489 / 0.067|
|12||Valentino ROSSI||Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP||1’23.995||0.545 / 0.056|
|13||Aleix ESPARGARO||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||1’24.151||0.286 / 0.236|
|14||Cal CRUTCHLOW||LCR Honda CASTROL||1’24.228||0.363 / 0.077|
|15||Iker LECUONA||Red Bull KTM Tech 3||1’24.405||0.540 / 0.177|
|16||Brad BINDER||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||1’24.485||0.620 / 0.080|
|17||Alex MARQUEZ||Repsol Honda Team||1’24.490||0.625 / 0.005|
|18||Stefan BRADL||Repsol Honda Team||1’24.662||0.797 / 0.172|
|19||Bradley SMITH||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||1’24.831||0.966 / 0.169|
|20||Tito RABAT||Esponsorama Racing||1’25.287||1.422 / 0.456|
|21||Michele PIRRO||Pramac Racing||1’25.431||1.566 / 0.144|