MotoGP 2019 – Round 11
Red Bull Ring – Austria – Qualifying
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) claimed another stunning pole position at the myWorld Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich, and in doing so he surpasses MotoGP Legend Mick Doohan’s previous record of 58 premier class pole positions. Now the undisputed king of qualifying, the number 93 will have Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) alongside him on the front row.
Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) was the fastest rider after the first flying laps at the Red Bull Ring, with the Spaniard doing his first stint on the medium tyres and going four-tenths quicker than the field on his second fast lap as team-mate Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP), Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol) and Quartararo all fought it out for second position and Viñales’ advantage was chopped.
Then, however, Marquez started really taking the the bull by the horns. The reigning Champion has been the man to beat all weekend in Austria and soon enough, Marquez was back at the summit, 0.269 faster than Viñales’ to sit on provisional pole after the first set of flying laps.
Just seven-tenths covered the top 12 as the riders came out on fresh rubber for their second stints, with Viñales switching to a soft rear tyre this time. And ‘Top Gun’ went quicker to cut Marquez’ advantage to 0.164 as Dovizioso then ramped up his pace to slot himself onto the provisional front row behind the two Spaniards.
The red sectors, though, were then lighting up and that was for one man: Marquez, the Spaniard had a 1m22s on his radar. It was not quite the first ever 22 around the Red Bull Ring but it was oh so close, a stunning lap that was a breathtaking sight to behold earning Marquez pole on 1m23.027s.
Marc Marquez – P1
“It was a really good lap but I was looking for the 1’22! But I did a mistake in the last sector and I went too wide in Turn 10. Apart from that we did a great job and during FP4 we had a great rhythm, which is the most important thing. Today was a great day, everything and everyone in the team was working so well. We just need to understand the best tyre for tomorrow and let’s do it! We will try to fight until the end and see what happens.”
The front row wasn’t quite decided there though. Dovizioso was able to improve his time to shoot 0.008s ahead of Viñales and on his final qualifying lap, but rookie sensation Quartararo beat the pair of them to stick his M1 on the front row for the sixth time in 2019. The Frenchman was overjoyed with another quality Saturday display, set to start between Marquez and Dovizioso on Sunday.
Fabio Quartararo – P2
“I don’t know how I did it; I was on the limit and the last lap was pretty incredible. We did the best job we could have done, and the second position is really like pole for us. We’ll have to wait and see what is possible now tomorrow, but I owe the team a huge thanks for their hard work so far. We didn’t expect to be on the front row because it’s the toughest track for us on the calendar, but my pace isn’t too bad, so we’ll do our best and see what happens.”
Andrea Dovizioso – P3
“It was vitally important to start from the front row of the grid and this we managed to do. We are a bit far off Marquez, who set a really good time, but like him we’ve got good pace so the aim for tomorrow will be to get a good start and try and prevent him from getting away in the early laps. It’ll be a long race and I’m convinced we can play a major part up at the front”.
That puts Viñales at the head of Row 2 ahead of a stunner from Q1 graduate Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing), the reigning Moto2 World Champion, who had a cracking Q2 to claim his best MotoGP grid slot yet.
Maverick Vinales – P4
“Honestly, I‘m really happy because we worked in a good way today, but anyway we have to keep trying because we lose a few tenths on the straights which we have to recover on the brakes and corner speed. We have to keep working hard to see if we can improve. The way the bike is working in the corners is really good, so the chassis is really nice. I don‘t know what the weather will be like tomorrow, we will just try our best and then we‘ll see. After all, the conditions are the same for everyone, so we need to keep working to understand how to be fast when there‘s less grip.”
Pecco Bagnaia – P5
“We made a big step forward in Brno test and we have worked well since yesterday on a circuit very suitable for our bike. This may have been the key that allowed us to find a good feeling, especially on the front. In Q2 we played our cards well by going with the medium tyre in the second run.”
Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) continued his solid weekend to set the sixth-fastest time in Q2, and the Japanese rider was just 0.017 off Bagnaia to claim his best Q2 result as well.
Takaaki Nakagami – P6
“We did a great job this weekend so far, we had a good first day yesterday and today we were also able to improve the set-up and feeling of the bike. The lap time is quite good, Marc (Marquez) did the best time, but from second to tenth was very close. I’m quite pleased with the last lap time we did, it was really close to the front row but we improved and I’m happy to be on the second row. As I said yesterday I didn’t expect this on this track, but session by session we’ve improved the feeling with the bike. I want to thank the team and I know that everyone is really happy with the second row. We need to keep going like this and now focus on tomorrow’s race.”
On the third row, Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins leads Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) and Q1’s fastest man Crutchlow in seventh, eighth and ninth respectively, with P10 going the way of Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP).
Alex Rins – P7
“I’m happy with my result in qualifying, we always suffer a little bit at this track. Yesterday I struggled to do a fast lap time, but also I preferred to focus on settings. During qualifying I set some really good lap times, I improved by almost half a second on my previous best. I’m 7th tomorrow and I think I can do a good race from that spot.”
Jack Miller – P8
“If I’m being honest, I’m a little disappointed about this qualifying. We worked very well in the FP4 and the race pace was very good. Unfortunately I couldn’t use the hard tyre at the front in qualifying. We are still very close to the front and I think we can be very competitive tomorrow.”
Cal Crutchlow – P9
“I was ninth for a reason, I’ve not felt good all weekend and today was probably one of the hardest days I’ve had in my career on a motorbike; with changes, with different bikes and not feeling great. But we still managed to do a good enough lap time to be in the top 10, but that’s not where we want to be – we want to be faster. I am optimistic for our race pace though. The way our bike is set up this weekend, I think I’ll feel more comfortable in the middle of the race, not the start. We’ve had some issues with the brakes this weekend which is not great heading into the race, but we’ll see how we go tomorrow”.
Valentino Rossi – P10
“Especially this morning‘s FP3 was a good practice session, because with a race tyre I have a good pace. In FP4 I suffered more, because we used very old tyres to understand if our level is also not so bad at the end of the race. Because of this, my position was quite bad, but it wasn‘t realistic. A lot of people put in new tyres while we were working with the very old ones. But I‘m not very happy about my tenth position on the grid, I had hoped to do better. In the quali I made some mistakes and didn‘t ride at the maximum. The problem is that from P5 to P12 we are all very closely together. Starting from the fourth row will be hard, but my pace is quite good, I‘m not so bad. But also for the race, a lot of riders are fast, so we need to understand the condition tomorrow and then we‘ll see.”
Behind ‘The Doctor’, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Pol Espargaro will launch from P11 to try and push for the Austrian team on home soil, while a late crash for Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) at Turn 4 ended a disappointing Q2 for the Italian – meaning it’s P12 for ‘Petrux’, rider ok.
Pol Espargaro – P11
“Everyone is super-fast. I wasn’t here last year and two years ago we could not follow the improvements of the others but today we went into Q2 directly and then we made a good lap-time but it was not enough to be a bit further forward. Tomorrow we start from 11th, which is not too bad, and I think we can do a good race. The best thing we have is consistency with our lap-times. We’ll see if there is any rain tonight and if this changes the track conditions.”
Danilo Petrucci – P12
“Obviously I feel really bad about the crash in Q2, especially because today we showed we had good pace. Starting so far behind will surely not help us one bit and I’ll have to try and make up some positions in the early laps. With the squad we’ve been working well, but clearly the crash has complicated things: I was pushing hard, I made an error and crashed out. Pity, but now I’m even more motivated: as I said, we’ve got a good pace, today I was also fast in the hot conditions, and this makes me confident for tomorrow”.
MotoGP Qualifying Results
Moto2 Qualifying Report
Tetsuta Nagashima (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team) picked up a magnificent maiden Moto2 pole position after setting a 1:28.718 in Q2 at the myWorld Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich, the Japanese rider beating Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) on KTM’s home turf by just 0.073. Thai rider Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) claims a stunning first front-row start in third, becoming the first from Thailand to start from the front in the class since Assen 2010.
The forecast storm stayed away as sunny skies greeted the intermediate class riders for Q1 and Q2 at the Red Bull Ring, and we were to witness a few surprises. It was no surprise to see the likes of Iker Lecuona (American Racing KTM) and Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46) come through the first part of qualifying though as 18 riders got set to battle it out for pole position.
Immediately it was Binder who was setting the pace as the South African set about trying to give KTM a home GP pole, but Nagashima had been quick all weekend and the Japanese rider wasn’t messing about in Q2 – taking provisional pole on his third flying lap as Chantra slammed in a lap good enough for provisional P3. But what could Championship leader Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) do? The Spaniard was on the fringes of the top ten and went up into fifth, but his lap time was cancelled for exceeding track limits as the field struggled to go quicker than their early benchmark laps.
So did Nagashima, Binder and Chantra have the front row covered? They did. Tom Lüthi (Dynavolt Intact GP) was just over a tenth off at the third split but would slot into fourth before being demoted to fifth by top rookie Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team), with Lorenzo Baldassarri (FlexBox HP 40) completing Row 2.
Xavi Vierge (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) spearheads the third row on the Austrian GP grid, the Spaniard joined by compatriot Jorge Navarro (Beta Tools Speed Up) and Nagashima’s teammate Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team). Marini claimed P10 after coming through Q1.
Marquez, meanwhile, has plenty to do from P11 on the grid as he ended up just 0.008 behind Marini. The number 73 has a 33-point lead but will be gunning to move through quickly on Sunday, as will the men around him: rookie Jorge Martin starts 12th for Red Bull KTM Ajo at their home race, ahead of Augusto Fernandez (Flexbox HP 40) and Iker Lecuona (American Racing KTM). Mattia Pasini (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2) completed the top 15, just ahead of Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP), who starts P16 and will be looking for more on Sunday, too.
Moto2 Qualifying Results
|8||Jorge Navarro||SPEED UP||Q2||1m28.969|
|18||Fabio Di Giannantoni||SPEED UP||Q2||1’m9.682|
|20||Dominique Aegerter||MV AGUSTA||Q1||1m29.549|
|21||Stefano Manzi||MV AGUSTA||Q1||1m29.560|
Moto3 Qualifying Report
VNE Snipers’ Romano Fenati took pole position for the first time in nearly two years after taking to the top in Q2 at the myWorld Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich, the Italian progressing through from Q1 before pouncing late for P1. Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing) was second quickest, with Jaume Masia (Bester Capital Dubai) third and the fastest KTM on the Austrian factory’s home turf.
Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia) was the man on top as the flag flew to signal the end of the session, but from then on a flurry of riders crossed the line at the end of their final flying laps and the pack shuffled. Petronas Sprinta Racing’s John McPhee went it alone and crossed the line first, taking provisional pole position, but the Scotsman would slip down the order when the pack fired through.
However, a host of penalties will shuffle starting positions, and it’s McPhee who will start from pole.
Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse), Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers), Aron Canet (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team), Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing), Fenati, Raul Fernandez (Sama Qatar Angel Nieto Team), Jakub Kornfeil (Redox PruestelGP), Masia, Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia), Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing), Sasaki, Toba and Makar Yurchenko (BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race) have all had their fastest laps in Q2 cancelled.
Riccardo Rossi (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) and Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) have 12-position grid penalties, in addition to the 12-place penalties given to Sasaki and Ogura after Friday’s action. Darryn Binder (CIP – Green Power) also received a penalty then, that of starting from the back of the grid.
Andrea Migno (Bester Capital Dubai) was awarded two penalties: his fastest lap in Q2 was cancelled and he was given a back of the grid start.
After lap cancellations and penalties, McPhee heads Fenati and Toba, with Arbolino, Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) and Masia on Row 2. Ramirez starts ahead of Dalla Porta as the two Leopard teammates took P7 and P8 respectively, joined on the third row by rookie Raul Fernandez.
Kornfeil is tenth ahead of Yurchenko and Antonelli, with Canet just behind his key rival in P13. Suzuki and Stefano Nepa (Reale Avintia Arizona 77) complete Row 5 alongside the Championship leader.
Moto3 Qualifying Results
|10||Lorenzo DALLA PORTA||HONDA||Q2||1m37.330|
MotoE Qualifying Report
2008 125cc World Champion Mike Di Meglio has taken FIM Enel MotoE World Cup E-Pole honours at the myWorld Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich after sticking in a 1:35.182 to place his EG 0,0 Marc VDS Energica Ego Corsa just 0.011 ahead of second-placed Xavier Simeon (Avintia Esponsorama Racing), with the rain staying away to allow the full spectacle of E-Pole to take place. One Energy Racing’s Bradley Smith completes the front row, a big step forward from a more difficult qualifying for the Brit in Round 1.
In the order dictated by combined practice times, the riders headed out one-by-one, with the fastest three heading for parc ferme before a faster rider knocked them out. Except Randy de Puniet (LCR E-Team) and Nico Terol (Openbank Angel Nieto Team), who exceeded track limits and therefore had their laptimes cancelled, set to start from the back, and Mattia Casadei (Ongetta SIC58 Squadra Corse), who crashed – rider ok.
Simeon was seventh on the combined timesheets ahead of E-Pole, leaving six riders to follow the former MotoGP rider. It was the Belgian’s best lap of the weekend too, a 1:35.193, and it became the benchmark.
Casadei was the first rider to try and go quicker but the Italian crashed at Turn 4 to end his chances of a good grid slot, with Championship leader Niki Tuuli (Ajo MotoE) then attempting to go P1…and the Finnish rider could only manage third behind Simeon and Jesko Raffin (Dynavolt Intact GP) at the time. Smith then stuck in a lap time good enough for P2, before Eric Granado (Avintia Esponsorama Racing) then set about trying to top teammate Simeon’s time. The Brazilian couldn’t and ended the lap seven tenths down, leaving it down to two: Di Meglio and Free Practice pacesetter Hector Garzo (Tech 3 E-Racing).
Di Meglio went out and was under at the first split, but it was tight around the whole lap. The Frenchman lost time in the third sector, however, he would then snatch P1 away from Simeon by just 0.011 over the line. It was all down to Garzo but it wasn’t to be for the Spaniard as he slotted into sixth and Di Meglio took his first pole in the paddock for ten years.
By the flag the top seven were separated by 0.221 in the close-fought encounter, with the grid led by Di Meglio and Simeon and Smith joining him on the front row. Raffin improved to go from P10 in Free Practice to P4 in E-Pole, and he heads up Row 2 for a much-improved Saturday in Austria.
Bradley Smith – P3
“I am very happy with our first front row. After the hard E-Pole session at Sachsenring, I had been studying this circuit very thoroughly to try to be at the front at this Grand Prix. My lap wasn’t perfect, and I lost some time on the first two braking points, but in the end it was enough to be among the first three places on the grid. We were also able to improve a lot, I’m very happy with the work we are doing this weekend. Even so, the points are awarded tomorrow; I will try to make a good start and push from the beginning. I think there is an opportunity to open a gap, so that’s what I will try to do from the first lap onwards.”
Sachsenring winner and points leader Tuuli completed the top five ahead of Garzo, with Matteo Ferrari (Trentino Gresini MotoE) locking out Row 2. Alex De Angelis (Octo Pramac MotoE), Granado and Maria Herrera (Openbank Angel Nieto Team) complete the top ten.
Josh Hook – P14
“It’s not easy for me to find the feeling on a single lap. I’m sure I’ll be able to do better in the race with the pack. I think the Top 10 goal is within our reach. It will be important to get a good start and recover soon some positions.”
MotoE Qualifying Results
|1||Mike Di Meglio||Energica||1m35.182|
|8||Alex De Angelis||Energica||1m35.774|