Marquez takes the pole position in Austria

Marquez takes the pole position in Austria

Marc Marquez
photo: Honda

First in this morning’s damp FP3 session, first in this afternoon’s dry FP4 session, Marc Marquez concluded an extremely positive Saturday at the Red Bull Ring by taking his 49th MotoGP pole, the 77th of his career.

It was not an easy affair for Marc. He had to fight tooth and nail to beat runner-up Andrea Dovizioso and third-fastest Jorge Lorenzo for the top spot on the grid, and he ultimately succeeded by the blink of an eye, just 0.002”.

Marquez: “We’re on pole but it was all so very tight today”

“The plan was to make three runs, but I was comfortable during my second exit and decided not to stop. My last lap wasn’t perfect as I made a little mistake in the last corner and had to close the gas a little bit, but we got it anyway. I’ve felt good on the bike for the entire weekend, and today I was able to be fast during every practice, especially FP4, and that’s the most important thing.”

“Anyway, we must keep pushing, keep working, and remain totally concentrated because Dovizioso and Lorenzo have a very good pace, consistent and fast. It looks like tomorrow will be dry and the warm-up will be crucial for choosing the best tyre for the race; I’ve tested the soft and the medium, but it will be important to also understand the level of the hard spec. Of course I would like to win here and tomorrow I’ll start with that objective, but if it’s not possible, I’ll take points for the championship”, Marquez said.

The Ducati Team had an excellent day at the Red Bull Ring, with its two riders Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo qualifying second and third respectively on the grid

During the Q2 Dovizioso, who only went out on medium rear tyres, set a time of 1’23.243 on his second run, the Italian finishing just two-thousandths of a second away from Marquez’s pole time, while Jorge Lorenzo, who did three runs on soft rear tyres, was classified third with a time of 1’23.376.

“I was just a couple of thousandths of a second off the pole, but in any case qualifying went very well: I set a really good time and I didn’t expect that because in FP4 I didn’t have a great feeling with the bike. We chose the medium rear tyre for qualifying and it went well, and also for the race we are in good shape. Marquez here is particularly competitive, more than last year, but we are also stronger and so I believe that tomorrow it will be a three-way battle with Marc and Jorge. Unfortunately, we were not able to do many laps in the dry and so we’ll go into the race with some doubts about the choice of tyres and the strategies, and we’ll just have to be ready to manage the situation”, Dovizioso explained.

Lorenzo added: “We’re on the front row again and very close to the pole, with a very good lap time that I think I could have improved even more”

It was actually a pity not to be able to do more laps in the dry in practice, to set up the bike better. In qualifying, we opted for a three-run strategy with three new rear tyres, but probably in the last exit we should also have changed the front tyre, which was pretty worn, and it didn’t allow me to push the way I wanted to and improve my time.”

“In any case third place on the grid is very good and now we have to think of a good strategy for tomorrow, because it’ll probably be a race between me, Dovi and Marquez, and I think we’re going to have some fun! We are all very close together and the most important thing is that we have confirmed that now we’re competitive at every circuit and that we are working in the right direction.”