2018 Austria MotoGP Qualifying: Marquez Claims Pole (Red Bull Ring)

2018 Austria MotoGP Qualifying Honda Marc Marquez
Honda's Marc Marquez

2018 Austria MotoGP Qualifying Results

For the fourth time this season, the reigning MotoGP Champion Marc Marquez has claimed pole position.

The 25-year-old Spaniard dominated Saturday’s two free-practice sessions at the Red Bull Ring in Austria, but didn’t run away with the top qualifying position.

The Repsol Honda RC213V pilot Marquez took the pole with 1:23.241, a mere 0.002 of a second ahead of last year’s winner. Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovozioso, and 0.135 seconds ahead of Marquez’s future teammate, Jorge Lorenzo.

2018 Austria MotoGP Qualifying Honda Marc Marquez
Honda’s Marc Marquez

This was Marquez’s 49th pole of his premier-class career. Due to the 0.002 of a second, this was the closest margin since Germany 2003.

“We’re on pole but it was all so very tight today,” Marc Marquez says. “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 tire for the race;

“I’ve tested the soft and the medium, but it will be important to also understand the level of the rear 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.”

2018 Austria MotoGP Qualifying Ducati Andrea Dovizioso
Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso

Qualifying on top of row two was Alma Pramac Racing Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci, who finished 0.262 of a second behind. Petrucci, who joins Ducati Team in 2019, will be joined on row two by LCR Honda Castrol’s Cal Crutchlow (-0.135 of a second), and Monster Yamaha Tech3 Yamaha’s Johann Zarco (-0.646).

2018 Austria MotoGP Qualifying Ducati Jorge Lorenzo
Ducati’s Jorge Lorenzo

Reale Avintia Racing Ducati’s Tito Rabat qualified seventh after graduating from Qualifying 2.

Rounding out the top 12 were:

  • Suzuki Ecstar’s Andrea Iannone
  • Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa
  • The other factory Suzuki GSX-RR pilot Alex Rins, who was the final rider to post within a second of Marquez
  • Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi
  • Aprilia Team Gresini’s Aleix Espargaro

2018 Austria MotoGP Qualifying Ducati's Danilo Petrucci
Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci

Round 11 of 19 in 2018 MotoGP begins is set to go green Sunday, August 12. For local TV times, visit 2018 MotoGP USA TV Schedule.

2018 Austria MotoGP Qualifying Yamaha's Valentino Rossi
Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi

Photos by Luciano Bianchetto

2018 Austria MotoGP Qualifying Results from Red Bull Ring

1Marc Marquez01’23.241
2Andrea Dovizioso01’23.243
3Jorge Lorenzo01’23.376
4Danilo Petrucci01’23.503
5Cal Crutchlow01’23.812
6Johann Zarco01’23.887
7Tito Rabat01’23.922
8Andrea Iannone01’24.091
9Daniel Pedrosa01’24.124
10Alex Rins01’24.227
11Maverick Viñales01’24.284
12Alvaro Bautista01’24.342
13Bradley Smith01’24.245
14Valentino Rossi01’24.309
15Aleix Espargaro01’24.762
16Franco Morbidelli01’24.767
17Jack Miller01’24.805
18Hafizh Syahrin01’24.834
19Xavier Simeon01’24.868
20Scott Redding01’25.067
21Takaaki Nakagami01’25.178
22Thomas Luthi01’25.310
23Karel Abraham01’25.339