2020 MotoGP Round Four – Red Bull Ring
Maverick Viñales has qualified on pole position for the first time since Australia last year. This is Viñales’s 10th pole in the premier class, equalling Kenny Roberts Jr. On his nine previous premier class pole positions, Viñales went on to win the race on two occasions (Qatar and France in 2017).
This is the first pole position for a Yamaha rider at the Red Bull Ring since the track was introduced to the MotoGP calendar in 2016, and the first for a Yamaha rider in the premier class in Austria since Christian Sarron back in 1988 (at the Salzburgring). In addition, this is the first pole position for a factory rider in the premier class since Maverick Viñales was on pole position in Australia last year.
Maverick Vinales – P1
“I’m really happy because my objective today was to be on the front row, but suddenly I felt an incredible feeling with the bike, also in FP4. From this morning we made a really big improvement. The team has done a really good job last night, so we need to try to understand which tyre will be the best option for tomorrow’s race. Anyway, the bike is working fantastic, very different from Brno. So, I’m very happy and enthusiastic. We know that on one lap we can be very fast.“
Highest-placed Independent Team rider, Jack Miller, who failed to score any points over his four previous visits to the Red Bull Ring, has qualified in second place which is his best qualifying since he was also the second-fastest qualifier at Brno last year on his way to finishing the race in third.
Jack Miller – P2
“I’m very happy with today’s result, strange weather conditions, but I am very happy to start from the front row, this was really important for us especially in this circuit. The bike was fantastic, the feeling was great and we worked really well on the race pace. We will try to give our best tomorrow!”
Ducati riders have won all MotoGP races at the Red Bull Ring since the Austrian track was introduced to the calendar in 2016, with three riders: Andrea Dovizioso (2 wins), Andrea Iannone (1) and Jorge Lorenzo (1).
Fabio Quartararo has qualified in third place as the second Yamaha rider. This is Quartararo’s 11th successive front row start, a sequence that started last year in Misano, and the 17th front row start since he stepped up to MotoGP last year. Over his 16 previous front rows, he went on to finish on the podium nine times, including two wins.
Fabio Quartararo – P3
“It was really important to get on the front row so I am very happy that we have done this. Our pace is fairly good so let’s see what happens in tomorrow’s race. It won’t be easy, we’ll have to manage what happens in the best way possible and try to fight with the top guys. I think we have made a big step forward though with the old tyres, which we had on in FP4, and it feels good to know this. I think we can still improve a little bit more but I’m ready for tomorrow. It looks like there are many contenders for the top-three so it could be a very interesting race. I’m hoping that I can step on the Austrian podium again, as I finished third here last year.”
Andrea Dovizioso, who is the most successful rider at the Red Bull Ring with two wins, has qualified in fourth place, which is his worst qualifying result at the track so far, but his best qualifying result since he was third… in Austria last year. On Saturday the 34-year-old Italian revealed that he will not ride for Ducati next year after negotiations broke down with Ducati. Dovizioso also stated that at the moment, while he would like to continue in MotoGP, there is no Plan B, so to speak, and that we will have to wait and see what happens. From the outside looking in it seems as though Dovi just got the shits with Ducati dragging it out and he cried enough…
Andrea Dovizioso – P4
“I am pleased with today’s result. We managed to set some good lap times and find a good feeling with the bike, especially in braking. Unfortunately, I couldn’t be fast in all sectors in one lap. Otherwise, I would have got on the front row. Tomorrow there will be many riders fighting for the victory, but we also have a good pace for the race. We still have some aspects that need to be improved, but, in general, I am satisfied with our work.”
Pol Espargaro has qualified in fifth place which is his best qualifying result since he was second in Misano last year, as well as the best qualifying result for a KTM rider at the Red Bull Ring.
Pol Espargaro – P5
“Overall, it was amazing. In FP4 we had by far the best race rhythm on the grid and that’s super-important for tomorrow. I was then getting more and more pumped and I was going faster and faster and maybe just a bit too fast for the front wheel and I crashed. For sure that didn’t help for qualifying; I had to use my second bike also and we were milliseconds from the Pole Position. Imagine how tight that was!I think we can do a good race. We have a good rhythm. We are quite confident, and the set-up of the bike is awesome.”
First Suzuki rider, Joan Mir has qualified in sixth, which is his best qualifying result since he was fifth last year in Assen. This will be Mir’s first race in MotoGP at the Red Bull Ring as he missed the race last year due to injuries.
Joan Mir – P6
“I’m happy because I usually struggle with qualifying, but today I’ve been really strong and I’m only two-tenths-of-a-second behind the pole. I still feel that my race pace is better than my one-lap pace so it will be interesting to see how the race goes. I feel I have potential. It can be difficult here against the other manufacturers but the Suzuki is strong and fast in the corners, so we’ll play our cards! I’m aiming for Top 5.”
On the podium for the first time in MotoGP last week at Brno, Franco Morbidelli has qualified in seventh, which is his worst qualifying result since he was 10th in Spain this year (although he started from eighth) but his best at the Red Bull Ring. Morbidelli’s best result at the track in MotoGP is a 10th place last year.
Franco Morbidelli – P7
“It was a difficult qualifying session because the margin between each of the riders was so small. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to put in a good lap, but seventh position is okay because we were still so close to the top. It will be important to get a good start tomorrow and then see what will happen. I now have the holeshot device on my bike, so I think that will help me tomorrow at the start. It’s great to have that, so my thanks go to Yamaha for all the support they are giving us. I believe there will be a large group together in the race because the times are so close; it will definitely make it interesting! I feel like we have improved our pace round here with the soft tyre and it’s similar to those at the top of the timings. I want to be in the mix for a top-five finish and I’m really excited for the race tomorrow.”
Alex Rins has qualified in eighth, which is his best qualifying result of the season so far. He will be aiming to finish on the podium for the first time since he won at Silverstone last year and to become the first Suzuki rider to stand on the podium in MotoGP at the Red Bull Ring.
Alex Rins – P8
“I’m on the 3rd row but the times are so tight, so it’s not bad at all! I feel that my rhythm is good enough to fight at the front so I’m feeling positive about what I can do. I did feel pain with my shoulder today, but I’m used to suffering with the pain now and I have to push through it. I’m confident about tomorrow’s race.”
After passing through Q1, Johann Zarco, who was on pole position at Brno, has qualified in ninth place. He will be aiming to stand on the podium in back-to-back MotoGP races for the second time along with Malaysia/Valencia in 2017.
Johann Zarco – P9
“Happy about today. Overall, this afternoon the job has been good. When I missed the good lap this morning in FP3 it was a shame to have to do de Q1, but finally it has been a good opportunity to do more laps. FP4 has been quite good and then in Q1 I did a good lap, so I could be qualified and go to Q2. Then I expected to improve my lap time but it was not easy and at the end I finished 9th, only three tenths of the top and this is positive. I have a lot of chances to do tomorrow a good race, I just need to see how are going to be the conditions because it seems we can have some rain. So, I am working with the team to improve and to see what I can do better. We’ll see if tomorrow I can do all these things.”
Takaaki Nakagami has qualified 10th as the highest-placed Honda rider. This is the first time there are no Honda riders within the front two rows of the grid in MotoGP at the Red Bull Ring.
Takaaki Nakagami – P10
“P10 is not the best qualifying position, we were expecting to get on the front two rows and dropped to P10 so I was a little bit disappointed with my performance. But the race is a completely different story and we did a lot of work on our race pace in FP4 which was very important as we got a lot of information for the race. We have already decided which tyres we’ll use for the race and also this track is difficult for fuel consumption and we’ve managed it quite well. So we’re not that happy with qualifying, but we’re ready to fight for a good position in the race. It will be difficult from P10, but we’ll do our best and fight for the top.”
Miguel Oliveira – P11
“It was a tough qualifying and everyone was very close. It was not easy to do a good lap time in FP4, my feeling was not perfect. We managed to do some changes to the bike but finally not enough to make me go a little bit faster. Tire choice is still a question mark for us but anyway I’m positive for the race. Our pace is quite good and it will be interesting.”
After passing through Q1, Valentino Rossi has qualified in 12th, 0.545s off his team-mate Maverick Viñales, making the closest top 12 in a MotoGP qualifying session since the Spanish GP back in 2007 (0.481s between Dani Pedrosa and Randy De Puniet).
Valentino Rossi – P12
“We worked well during FP4. Unfortunately, this morning the conditions were difficult, but in the afternoon we made a good improvement with the bike. I was strong in FP4, but the Q1 is always very tricky, because you need to make a lap time close to pole position to go into Q2. So, as always, we were all very close. In Q2 I did a very good lap time with the medium tyre, because I was running out of softs. Unfortunately, with the last soft I was not able to improve a lot, I didn‘t feel very comfortable with the soft and I could improve just one tenth. And now it‘s like this, you have to improve with the second tyre, if you don‘t, you have to start from behind. But we will see. We need to decide on the rear tyre, soft or medium. And after that we‘ll keep an eye on the weather, because also for tomorrow the weather forecast is not fantastic.”
Danilo Petrucci – P13
“Both this morning and this afternoon we missed the access to Q2 by only a few thousandths of a second but in general I am still satisfied. In FP4, we were able to find a solution that allowed us to improve our race pace. I’m adapting to riding the bike differently, and I think there’s still room for improvements. Our starting position for the race is not the best, but I am still positive. My goal for tomorrow is to stay as close as possible to the front.”
Aleix Espargaro – P14
“I’m quite satisfied, to be honest. The 2020 RS-GP has confirmed that it is a step ahead here too compared to last year. Let’s not forget that this track is less than ideal for us, so having a good feeling in Austria is very important for me. What race result can we aim for? I don’t see the top 10 as far off – to the contrary. Any worse result would leave a bitter taste in my mouth. The weather conditions will be fundamental, but above all, we will need to stay focused and avoid any mistakes on the important braking sections of this track.”
Cal Crutchlow – P15
“Today I didn’t find the feeling in the qualifying session to be able to go any faster, evidently I was pushing, I’ve been pushing every session here to try and do a lap time, but at the moment it doesn’t seem that everything has clicked and we haven’t found a good way to ride with the bike. On a brighter note, my arm has started to feel a little bit better this race weekend. My left wrist has been difficult to manage for the last couple of race weekends and I feel better here, so that’s good and a positive thing for the race. We’ll try and work with the team overnight to make some changes and improve for the race tomorrow, it will be a long 27 laps. I’ve had a great result here in the past, in 2018, and we’ll try to do it again.”
Iker Lecuona – P16
“About today, I’m really happy! In FP3 it was difficult to manage the weather, we started in wet conditions and later it dried up, so it was hard to improve. I had a great feeling with the bike and was full of confidence but eventually I made some mistakes on my fastest lap. But I continued to work in FP4, which was really strong for me. Later in Qualifying, I pushed incredibly hard, I didn’t have any more to give. But, still, I’m super delighted about my job done today. I missed Q2 by only 0.5 seconds, so it was very close. A huge thank you to my team for their help!”
Winner at Brno, Brad Binder has qualified in 17th place as the fourth KTM rider, which is his worst qualifying result in his rookie season so far. He will be aiming to become the first rookie to take back-to-back premier class wins since Marc Marquez in 2013 (four in a row from Sachsenring to Brno).
Brad Binder – P17
“Today I really felt the effects of not much track time. I was making a lot of mistakes on track and not finding my markers. It it hasn’t been easy so far. I made a little step forward in FP4 which I was happy about.I tried to improve and managed to do that slightly but there was much more potential there today. So, I will go through my data, reset and go again tomorrow.”
Alex Marquez – P18
“I’m in a better situation here than in Brno, from the first moment I felt good with the bike and I felt like I could be faster. Our race pace is again looking good, there’s one or two small details we need to confirm for tomorrow. We improved our speed over one lap, but I wasn’t able to do anything more with the second new tyre for some reason. We’ll try to make a good start tomorrow and stay in the group. I am close to the other rookies and they are a good target.”
Stefan Bradl – P19
“The weekend has not been easy with the weather; we have had to make the most of the track time because FP2 and FP3 weren’t ideal. I’m still trying to improve my feeling with the bike, but we found something interesting in Qualifying and this gives me some optimism about tomorrow. I think it will help us with the performance in the race and we can fight more in the race. I am actually looking forward to tomorrow, we have learned a lot today and I just hope the weather stays dry.”
Bradley Smith – P20
“It may seem strange, but we’re making progress. We are still in a phase where it is important to work on the balance of the bike, changing the setup often in order to figure out how this new bike will react. It’s a job divided up between Aleix and me. When you do this, doing the best times may become more complicated, but we are building a base for this season and for next year. I am pleased that I have not had any of the chattering problems we were worried about in Brno and here. For tomorrow, the goal is to stay in the group and not push past the limit. Riding in the race alongside the other riders is a fundamental opportunity to grow the 2020 RS-GP.“
Tito Rabat – P21
“Difficult weekend and there’s been a lot of rain. In the first FP3 the track was very dirty and it was difficult to be consistent in the times. In FP4 we tried to be as consistent as possible and have a good base of information for tomorrow’s race. In qualifying, on the first attempt I went long in turn 3 and on the second I ended up in the gravel, luckily I didn’t crash. Tomorrow in the warm-up we will go as far as we can and I am optimistic for the race.”
Michele Pirro – P22
“I’m happy because one Ducati will start from the front row tomorrow, but I’m also very disappointed because we could be close to the top ten, unfortunately we made a mistake during the qualifying. Tomorrow I’ll try to do my best anyway and we see!”
MotoGP Qualifying Report
For most people, a tenth of a second isn’t even the blink of an eye, but in MotoGP it can decide a lot. And in the myWorld Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich, even less that that covers the three riders on the front row of the grid, with Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Viñales set to start from pole. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) kept him honest in second, with Championship leader Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) completing the front row – just 0.087 off Viñales. The entire top 12 were covered by half a second, which is the closest we’ve witnessed since 2007.
In Q1 it was Brno podium finisher Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Racing) who came out on top and moved through, ahead of and alongside a jubilant Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) after the Italian had missed the cut in the morning. Somehow though, there was a maybe even bigger talking point in the session – with Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) getting into some serious beef. They both just missed the cut too and will start P13 and P14 respectively, next to each other on the grid…
Once Q2 kicked off though, it was all eyes on Viñales as he came flying out the blocks first, before Quartararo then took over at the summit by a tenth. Soon enough, however, there were red sectors flashing up all over the timing screens, with the field all bang on the money from the off. Miller went P3 before Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech3), Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) and Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) then all exchanged the provisional third, but the Australian took it back as Viñales also truck back against Quartararo at the top.
That lap for the factory Yamaha rider got cancelled, however, and it was suddenly Quartararo back in the driving seat. Viñales wasn’t done there though, and the Spaniard went even quicker to set a 1:23.694 to take over at the top again, this time hanging onto it. Pol Espargaro then shot up to P5, just two tenths adrift, with Mir going third again. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) slotted into P6 at the end of the first runs, and Quartararo managed to closed the gap to Viñales as the dust settled – briefly – and some fresh rubber went in.
The lull in activity didn’t last long, and the hills were soon alive with the sound of MotoGP machines once again. The times were about to get even quicker, too. ‘Top Gun’ Viñales improved his time to move the goalposts, with Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) then going P3 to make it a provisional Yamaha 1-2-3 in Austria. Dovizioso was about to remind everyone of his stellar pace at the Red Bull Ring though, the Italian taking P1 away from Viñales for provisional pole… but it still wasn’t done.
2017 and 2019 race winner Dovizioso didn’t stay at the top for long. Viñales, following Mir, went back to the top of the timesheets to go over a tenth clear of the field as he bounces back in style from a tough race in Brno, and despite some red sectors for the likes of Dovizioso and Pol Espargaro, no one could quite manage to overhaul that lap. That makes Viñales the first premier class polesitter for Yamaha in Austria since Christian Sarron at the Salzburgring in 1988… not bad going at a traditionally tougher track for the Iwata marque!
Pol Espargaro’s initial threat to Viñales became a provisional third, but Dovi – after getting shuffled down by the KTM rider and Quartararo – hit back to push ‘Polyccio’ back off the front row himself. Was anyone going to be able to get amongst it in the final few seconds? You bet.
It was a Pol Espargaro and Jack Miller last chance dash at the end, and the Spaniard couldn’t improve but the Australian certainly did. It wasn’t quite enough for pole but the number 43’s final push split the Yamahas and sees Miller start second behind Viñales, with the ‘holeshot device’ primed, just ahead of Quartararo…
Dovizioso will head up Row 2 just after he announced he will be leaving Ducati at the end of the season, with the Italian veteran and two-time Austrian GP winner not losing a grain of focus as he prepares to push for a third victory. Pol Espargaro lines up fifth and is another, like Dovizioso, who seems to have some serious race pace… they will certainly be hoping they can bypass the likes of Viñales, Miller and Quartararo in the early stages. Joan Mir starts sixth after an impressive Q2 for the Spaniard, edging out Brno podium finisher Morbidelli.
The number 21 Yamaha heads up the third row ahead of Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar), with Czech GP poleman Zarco with more work to do on Sunday in Austria if he’s to grab a repeat podium finish. It’s ninth for the Frenchman, who finishes 0.044 ahead of Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu). Oliveira briefly owned a provisional front row place but will start 11th, just 0.489 from pole, with Q1 graduate Valentino Rossi ending Q2 in 12th… despite finishing only 0.545 off his teammate’s time. It is, after all, the closest top 12 in over a decade.
That’s it from Saturday, with only half a second covering the Q2 field and even more stories down the order. Czech GP winner Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) will start 17th as the last KTM rider, with fellow rookie Iker Lecuona (Red Bull KTM Tech3) starting just ahead of him. Ahead of that, meanwhile, Row 5 is jam-packed with experience, speed and that small slice of beef with Petrucci and Aleix Espargaro joined by Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol).
MotoGP Qualifying Results
|13||Danilo PETRUCCI||DUCATI||Q1||(*) 0.050|
|14||Aleix ESPARGARO||APRILIA||Q1||(*) 0.286|
|15||Cal CRUTCHLOW||HONDA||Q1||(*) 0.363|
|16||Iker LECUONA||KTM||Q1||(*) 0.540|
|17||Brad BINDER||KTM||Q1||(*) 0.620|
|18||Alex MARQUEZ||HONDA||Q1||(*) 0.625|
|19||Stefan BRADL||HONDA||Q1||(*) 0.797|
|20||Bradley SMITH||APRILIA||Q1||(*) 0.966|
|21||Tito RABAT||DUCATI||Q1||(*) 1.422|
|22||Michele PIRRO||DUCATI||Q1||(*) 1.566|
Remy Gardner (Onexox TKKR SAG Team) secured his second Grand Prix pole position thanks to a 1:28.681 in Moto2 Q2 at the myWorld Austrian Grand Prix, setting a new lap record in the process. It’s the Australian’s first front row start since his 2019 Assen pole position, and he edged out Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) by just 0.036. Liqui Moly Intact GP’s Marcel Schrötter picks up his first front row since the 2019 German GP in P3, just 0.064 off the top despite coming through Q1.
The number 23 was the fastest in that Q1 session and moved through along with Joe Roberts (Tennor American Racing), Nicolo Bulega (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) and Lorenzo Baldassarri (Flexbox HP 40) to fight it out for pole, with the rain staying away too and promising a fight to the finish.
The Q2 session was slightly delayed due to technical issues, but once we got the 15-minute pole position scrap underway, it was Championship leader Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) on top as the riders came round to complete their first flying laps. Sky Racing Team VR46’s Marco Bezzecchi and Luca Marini soon changed that, before rookie sensation Aron Canet (Inde Aspar Team) took over on provisional pole.
With eight minutes to go Bastianini was back at the top, but Martin then beat Nagashima’s previous lap record by just 0.001 to claim provisional pole position at the team’s home race. Gardner then turned up the wick to snatch it back though, keeping it together to cross the line and take his second ever front row start – both of which have been poles. Ultimately, no one was able to challenge him despite a few red sectors, with 0.036 remaining the gap back to Martin and Schrötter looking back on form with P3, just 0.064 adrift.
Bastianini starts fourth and will be eyeing a hat-trick of wins when the Moto2 riders attack the Red Bull Ring on Sunday, but the points leader has Canet for close company in P5. Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) had to settle for P6 after topping almost every session until qualifying, but amazingly, just 0.037 splits Lowes in P6 to Bezzecchi in 10th, with P1 to P10 covered by just 0.250. Jorge Navarro (Beta Tools Speed Up) recovered from a heavy FP3 crash to head up Row 3 in P7, with Marini and Tom Lüthi (Liqui Moly Intact GP) slotting in ahead of 10th place Bezzecchi.
Roberts starts 11th after a solid Saturday, ahead of Augusto Fernandez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) in P12. Baldassarri took 13th ahead of Bulega, with Jake Dixon (Petronas Sprinta Racing) completing the fastest fifteen.
Former points leader Tetsuta Nagashima (Red Bull KTM Ajo) crashed out in the session, and he’ll therefore face a fight back from P18 on the grid.
Remy Gardner has qualified on pole position for the second time in his Grand Prix career along with Assen last year in Moto2. He will be aiming to win for the first time in Moto2 and to become the second Australian rider to do so in the class along with Anthony West in Assen back in 2014.
Remy Gardner – P1
“It’s good to be back for the first time since Assen last year, it was a really good lap and I tried to do it on my own, until the fifth or sixth lap i was banging out laps trying to perfect everything. There was one decent one but coming out the last corner I had a big old slide and lost the drive to the line, I think I lost about a tenth, and then I was like alright… time to look for a draft. So I cut off a lap, saw Navarro coming, slotted in behind him and luckily he didn’t shut the gas for the whole lap. I got a pretty good slipstream into Turn 1, 1-2 and 3-4, ultimately that really helped, and out of Turn 7 to Turn 9, I found a bit of speed there with the draft which I think helped the lap. It was a good lap and it feels good to be back!”
Moto2 Qualifying Results
|5||Aron CANET||SPEED UP||Q2||+0.133|
|7||Jorge NAVARRO||SPEED UP||Q2||+0.224|
|19||Stefano MANZI||MV AGUSTA||Q1||(*) 0.426|
|20||Hafizh SYAHRIN||SPEED UP||Q1||(*) 0.443|
|21||Hector GARZO||KALEX||Q1||(*) 0.611|
|22||Edgar PONS||KALEX||Q1||(*) 0.633|
|23||Fabio DI GIANNANTONI||SPEED UP||Q1||(*) 0.635|
|24||Dominique AEGERTER||NTS||Q1||(*) 0.645|
|25||Andi Farid IZDIHAR||KALEX||Q1||(*) 0.727|
|26||Marcos RAMIREZ||KALEX||Q1||(*) 0.757|
|27||Lorenzo DALLA PORTA||KALEX||Q1||(*) 0.832|
|28||Simone CORSI||MV AGUSTA||Q1||(*) 0.929|
|29||Bo BENDSNEYDER||NTS||Q1||(*) 1.196|
|30||Kasma DANIEL||KALEX||Q1||(*) 1.547|
Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Raul Fernandez has followed up his maiden pole taken in Brno with a perfect rinse and repeat at the Red Bull Ring at the myWorld Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich. It was close at the front though as the Spaniard heads up the grid by 0.011, with Championship leader Albert Arenas (Valresa Aspar Team) making it a 1-2 for KTM machinery as he took second. Arenas’ key rival, John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing), starts third but was only 0.029 off the top.
In Q1 in Austria, it was Riccardo Rossi (BOE Skull Rider Facile Energy) on top as the Italian deftly negotiated a gaggle of four all pushing to slipstream, including both Red Bull KTM Tech 3 riders, Ayumu Sasaki and Deniz Öncü, who also made it through. Jeremy Alcoba (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) split the two Tech 3s to advance to Q2 as well and with that, the stage was set in the fight for the top 18 places on the grid.
Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) was the man in charge first, before he was deposed by Arenas – the Spaniard using the Italian’s own slipstream – but at the end of a classic mad Moto3 dash it was Fernandez who came out on top, seemingly out of nowehere. Arenas and McPhee are close, however, and Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing) in fourth is still within a tenth of pole as Moto3 stays on brand as some of the closest racing on Earth.
Joining Masia on Row 2 are Vietti and Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse), who was in the group with both the number 13 and Arenas in Q2 in a fight that seemed more like a race at times. The third row is headed up by Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3), with Friday’s fastest, Tony Arbolino (Rivacold Snipers Team), just behind him in P8. Rossi, after his impressive Q1 form, takes a best ever qualifying position in ninth – beating his previous best by a whopping eight places. Öncü completes the top ten in his second best qualifying ever on the world stage.
Brno winner Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) joins Öncü on the fourth row in P11, with Andrea Migno (Sky Racing Team VR46) in 12th. Championship contender Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia) had a tougher Saturday as he lines up in 13th, and he’ll be pushing from the off to get back on terms with Arenas and McPhee, and make sure he keeps his near faultless season intact. Filip Salač (Rivacold Snipers Team) and Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse) took P14 and P15, respectively.
Kaito Toba (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was the sole crasher of the session as he highsided at Turn 10, heading for the Medical Centre but judged fit thereafter.
“Qualifying was incredible. Yesterday the feeling with the bike wasn’t good, and this morning in the wet we didn’t try the new settings, I tried it in qualifying. On the first exit I couldn’t stop the bike, I don’t know why, I couldn’t brake. On the second it was a bit better, but then I don’t know how I did this super good lap! Tomorrow we need to improve this aspect, but I’m really happy for me, my team, my family and tomorrow I hope we’ll be fighting for the podium.”
Moto3 Qualifying Results
|19||Stefano NEPA||KTM||Q1||(*) 0.268|
|20||Sergio GARCIA||HONDA||Q1||(*) 0.392|
|21||Ryusei YAMANAKA||HONDA||Q1||(*) 0.470|
|22||Darryn BINDER||KTM||Q1||(*) 0.472|
|23||Barry BALTUS||KTM||Q1||(*) 0.520|
|24||Yuki KUNII||HONDA||Q1||(*) 0.630|
|25||Carlos TATAY||KTM||Q1||(*) 0.726|
|26||Maximilian KOFLER||KTM||Q1||(*) 0.867|
|27||Davide PIZZOLI||KTM||Q1||(*) 0.891|
|28||Khairul Idham PAWI||HONDA||Q1||(*) 1.062|
|29||Jason DUPASQUIER||KTM||Q1||(*) 1.370|
|30||Romano FENATI||HUSQVARNA||Q1||(*) 1.505|
|31||Alonso LOPEZ||HUSQVARNA||Q1||(*) 1.795|
Updated 2020 MotoGP Calendar
|5||16 August||Red Bull Ring-Spielberg|
|6||23 August||Red Bull Ring-Spielberg|
|7||13 September||Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli|
|8||20 September||Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli|
|9||27 September||Barcelona – Catalunya|
|10||11 October||Le Mans|
|11||18 October||MotorLand Aragón|
|12||25 October||MotorLand Aragón|
|13||08 November||Comunitat Valenciana-Ricardo Tormo|
|14||15 November||Comunitat Valenciana-Ricardo Tormo|
|15||22 November||Autodromo Internacional do Algarve|