2020 MotoGP Round Six
Styria Red Bull Ring
Pol Espargaro has qualified on pole position, which is his first pole position since he stepped up to MotoGP back in 2014 and his first since he was on pole at Valencia in Moto2 in 2013. He becomes the 10th different Spanish rider to qualify on pole in the premier class, and this is Spain’s 175th pole position (since 1974 when pole position begun to be officially recorded).
This is KTM’s first pole in the premier class, which is the first time a factory have taken their maiden pole since the 2003 Spanish GP (Ducati with Loris Capirossi), and the first time for a manufacturer since Forward Yamaha at the 2014 Dutch GP. In addition, this is the first pole for a non-Italian nor Japanese manufacturer in the premier class since Proton KR at Phillip Island in 2002 with Jeremy McWilliams.
Pol Espargaro – P1
“Unbelievable. I’m really pleased. I could not imagine we would go Pole and I was fighting for the first or the second row. We were struggling for a very fast lap: I was missing the last tenth [of a second] and making small mistakes. I knew I could do an ‘OK’ lap if I could stay away from the green track limits! Anyway, I’m super-pleased and super-happy. All my guys and all of Red Bull KTM have worked for this and I’m happy for them.”
Takaaki Nakagami has qualified second as the top Honda and Independent Team rider, which is his best qualifying result and his first front row start since he stepped up to MotoGP in 2018. He’s the first Japanese rider to start from the front row since Shinya Nakano was also second in Australia back in 2006.
This is the eighth successive race without a Honda rider on pole, a sequence that started in Australia last year. This is the longest streak without a pole for Honda since 2008 when the Japanese manufacturer missed out 11 successive times (from Mugello to Phillip Island).
Takaaki Nakagami – P2
“Of course, I’m very happy today and, as you can see, this is my first-ever front row in MotoGP. It was really close to pole position, but anyway, I didn’t expect to fight for pole position. I have felt really good on the bike all weekend so far and it’s really good to be on the front row for tomorrow’s race. But it will be another story in the race and we are prepared for it. I’m really confident to fight for the podium and if we have the opportunity to fight for the victory, why not? But the first priority is to try and get on the podium tomorrow. So we’ll keep going like this and fingers crossed.”
Johann Zarco has qualified in third place as the highest-placed Ducati rider. This is the second time this year he has qualified within the top three, but he will start from pitlane due to a penalty.
Johann Zarco – P3
“Today I had the maximum concentration to make a good time, I am very happy with this third position. Since this morning when I have left pit lane, I have felt that the pain is not unbearable, so I have been able to make few laps, but of quality. All day long I’ve been focused on doing a good riding style. From my point of view, today I have learned a lot about the bike, and I think I can take a step in the next race.”
Joan Mir has qualified fourth, which is his best qualifying result since he stepped up to MotoGP last year. With Zarco’s penalty, he starts from third, which is his first front row start in the class. He finished second last week in Austria, his first podium finish in MotoGP.
Joan Mir – P4
“Over this weekend so far we’ve managed to improve everything a little bit compared with last weekend. It’s really important at this track to start on the front two rows, so I’m pleased that I managed that, especially as my time was so close to the top. I feel great and I know I have the pace to fight at the front, so let’s see how tomorrow goes.”
Jack Miller, who crashed in FP3, has qualified in fifth but starts from fourth as the highest-placed Ducati rider. He will be aiming to finish on the podium in back-to-back MotoGP races for the first time.
Jack Miller – P5
“We started really good this morning, Unfortunately during the FP3 I crashed and after that my right shoulder was in pain, and because of that I could not make the time that I wanted this afternoon in the Q2. I will try to do my best tomorrow hoping that the shoulder does not hurt me”
Polesitter last week, Maverick Viñales has qualified sixth place as the highest-placed Yamaha rider. This is the 14th successive time he has qualified in the top six. On his 13 previous starts from the front two rows, he went on to finish on the podium six times, including a win in Malaysia last year.
Maverick Viñales – P6
“The second row on the grid is good. Considering the track condition and the level of our rivals, it’s not bad, I’m quite happy. But, anyway, tomorrow will be a tough race because most of the riders have the same rhythm. We need to overtake at the beginning and try to understand where we’re faster. I feel really good on the bike. This weekend we’re using a very different set-up, trying to understand if this is better for the race, but we won’t know for sure until tomorrow. We will try it and see. It’s good to try something different at this second GP in Austria, because we can easily compare the data and see if we’re heading in the right direction or not.”
Alex Rins has qualified seventh, which is his best qualifying result since he was also seventh in Malaysia last year. But he starts from sixth, which is his best starting position since he was fifth in Silverstone last year on his way to winning the race.
Alex Rins – P7
“It’s strange because when the margins are so small you can easily end up further down the grid than you hoped! I was only two tenths of a second off but I finished seventh. I will actually go up one row on the grid and start sixth because of Zarco’s penalty. My shoulder is still painful but I have good rhythm and consistency for tomorrow, there are some other quick riders so it will be a fight. Tomorrow morning I will decide on the tyre choice and I’m ready to give my all.”
Miguel Oliveira has qualified in eighth, but starts from seventh, which is his best position on the grid since he was fifth in Andalusia earlier this season. Last week, he crashed out in Austria. Winner of the last two races at the Red Bull Ring, Andrea Dovizioso has qualified in ninth (but starts from eighth). This is the first time he fails to start from the front two rows at the Austrian track.
Miguel Oliveira – P8
“Overall it was a positive day. We did a very good FP3 session and also a super-good FP4 with a very strong race pace. I went into qualifying feeling ready and I did my best. It was not enough to arrive in the first two rows, which was our goal. But anyway, it is good to start from the third row, better than last weekend and I think we are ready for the race tomorrow.”
Andrea Dovizioso – P9
“Today our goal was to get on the front row, but unfortunately I couldn’t get a good lap in qualifying. It had never happened to me, but after working so much with the used tyres these days, I struggled to find the feeling needed to push with the new tyres. We’ve been working hard these days, and we’re ready for tomorrow. We hope to be able to recover positions immediately from the early stages of the race.”
Championship leader Fabio Quartararo has qualified in 10th place equalling his worst qualifying result in MotoGP from Le Mans and Brno last year. With Dovizioso, Viñales, Nakagami and Alex Marquez, Quartararo is the only other rider who scored points in each of the MotoGP™ races this season so far.
Fabio Quartararo – P10
“Our pace in FP4 was better, but qualifying was not so good. Actually, I prefer it this way round but this isn’t the best track to do it at! With the top speed needed here, it makes qualifying difficult. I wasn’t able to push like I wanted. However, I’m happy because we’ve improved the feeling with the bike and the pace is really good when compared to those riders using the same manufacturer as us. The new settings we have used have worked really well in that aspect. Tomorrow I think finishing in the top-six would be a really good result for us, although of course we want more but this is realistic. Starting from P9 is not the best, so we will try to make a lot of clean overtakes and finish with the best result we can.”
Franco Morbidelli – P11
“Today was a funny one: this morning I felt quite okay and I was able to get straight into Q2, but we didn’t reach our potential in qualifying. We decided to try something different for qualifying with different tyre compounds, to see if we could gain something, but it didn’t pay off in the end. We finished 11th, tenth on the starting grid, which isn’t too bad of a starting position as, apart from the top four guys, the pace is quite similar. We will try to make a good start tomorrow, have a good race and pick up as many points as we can. Of course if it rains then it makes it more difficult. This track is tricky in the wet so I’m hoping for a dry race tomorrow.”
Danilo Petrucci – P12
“Today, in Q1, I managed to get a good lap time, but I wasn’t able to repeat it in Q2. For the moment, I still can’t find the right balance when it comes to braking, and in the second session of qualifying, I made a small mistake that affected my result. I honestly didn’t expect to close so far behind and hoped I could do better. I expect a difficult race, as on this track it is not easy to recover positions, but the important thing will be to be able to make a good start to avoid getting stuck in the confusion of the first laps.”
Iker Lecuona – P13
“I’m really happy about today. This morning I tried to go to Q2 directly but I missed it by less than one tenth of a second, as everybody is incredibly close on this track. Later in FP4, I was working towards the race. I know I have a decent pace for tomorrow. In qualifying I pushed very hard on my last lap and finished in P1, but later Zarco and Petrucci went a bit faster than me, so I couldn’t make it to Q2. But honestly, I’m really delighted. It’s my best position on the grid so far and I want to say thanks to the team. We are working very well, I’m very comfortable on the bike and I can ride smooth. So, we will see what we can do tomorrow in the race.”
Brad Binder – P14
“This morning I was 0.003 from getting straight into Q2 and then in Q1 I gave it a good try but unfortunately was not quick enough. It is what it is. The times are super-tight around this track and I’m looking forward to tomorrow. Starting where I am I need to make up time when everybody is tight and compressed. I’m going to have to try and put together a good first lap and then the first two-three is where I will make-or-break my race. Let’s see how we get on.”
Valentino Rossi – P15
“Unfortunately I made a mistake in Turn 9. I think I touched the white line, and it wasn’t clean because of Masia’s incident with the oil in the Moto3 class, so I lost the front. I also made a mistake this morning whilst on a good lap, and had to go to Q1. In that session it’s very difficult, because everybody pushes a lot and the lap times are similar to Q2, so it’s not easy. Starting from 14th on the grid will be hard, but my race pace is not so bad, I’m quite fast and consistent. I think there are four or five riders that are faster, but we are up there with the others. This is not our best track, it’s difficult here with the Yamaha, but the pace is not so bad, I’m quite strong. The race is long. We have to do everything well, trying the maximum from the beginning of the race.”
Michele Pirro – P16
“A good day, I have improved both the race pace and speed . Tomorrow I will start from the fifth row and I hope to do a good start because I have the pace to be right after the very first ones.”
Alex Marquez – P17
“In the morning I had a small crash, it was high speed but not really big. The plan was to try a slightly different setting on the second bike but the feeling wasn’t really what I was expecting and because the other bike was damaged I couldn’t improve my lap time in FP3. It’s a shame because on Friday we were feeling better about our one lap speed. Then in Free Practice 4 I spent most of it trying to regain my feeling on the bike. For Q1 I improved a bit, but still couldn’t find that same speed. We have Warm Up still to work on it and recover this feeling to push in the strong areas of the bike, like corner entry.”
Cal Crutchlow – P18
“Today was a difficult day again. I hope to be able to improve the situation tonight, essentially I feel a little bit better than I did yesterday, but not in the fast lap unfortunately. I wasn’t really able to make a good lap in the qualifying and it seems we are still going round in circles with the bike a little bit. But hopefully we can make a good start tomorrow and try and battle with some guys that are ahead of us in the qualification. We will work hard tonight as a team and go for it tomorrow.”
Bradley Smith – P19
“I am rather pleased today as well. We are continuing to improve. We are working in the right direction. My feeling with the RS-GP is increasing, especially in terms of race pace. It’s a pity about the qualifiers. In the last sector, I saw the marshals busy with Valentino’s crash and I slowed down. I could have improved by a few positions. In any case, I have a good pace for tomorrow. A good result in the race would be the right conclusion for this weekend.”
Aleix Espargaro – P20
“We made some rather significant changes to the bike and I must say that in FP4, we demonstrated outstanding pace, with a full tank and race tyres. The first run in qualifiers was also fast, but due to a technical fault, I was unable to use the same bike on the last run. Unfortunately, the second RS-GP is set up differently and I didn’t have the same feeling with it, so I was unable to improve my time. It’s a pity, because we’ll have to start from rather far back. Given our pace, I’ll have to take some risks in the early stages of the race.”
Stefan Bradl – P21
“We have changed the bike a lot compared to last weekend and we also wanted to know what direction we had to follow. Fortunately, our pace is looking better than our grid position so I’m hoping to gain some positions tomorrow. But for sure we have a lot of work to do, it’s important to keep working and give our maximum in the race.”
Tito Rabat – P22
“What happened over the weekend is not very normal. In FP1 with used tires I rode in 1’24.8 and although I fell it was without consequences. Then during the weekend, we could not return to do this, we got a 24.9 in the classification. I am convinced that my entire team is working well, I am focused and working well, but I am not able to find that it fails. The good part of all this is that at least I’m having fun, that we’re doing our best, but to see how the situation evolves. Tomorrow in the race we will forget everything external and we will continue learning.”
MotoGP Qualifying Report
Pol Espargaro and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing have both earned their first MotoGP pole positions in the BMW M Grand Prix of Styria. Taking the spoils in a fierce Q2 at the Red Bull Ring, the Spaniard on the Austrian machine just pipped Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) to the top, with Q1 graduate Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Racing) defying the odds to qualify third just a couple of days after surgery on his scaphoid. However, the Frenchman will start from pitlane on Sunday.
Q1 saw Zarco pull a fast one and move through, the Frenchman impressing to pip Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) and deny a few others too. With his pit-lane start already decided, it was a lost opportunity for those denied a place, but won fair and square with some superhuman effort – and there was more to come.
The opening laps in Q2 were tentative but once the riders got one lap under their belt, qualifying kicked off in stunning style at the Styrian GP. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) was the first man to delve into the 1:23s with a 1:23.866, with Zarco slotting into second despite his recently operated scaphoid. Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) then went onto the provisional front row, before Nakagami took P3.
A raging Red Bull then came flying over the line to snatch provisional pole position from Quartararo, Pol Espargaro taking over at the top by two tenths and moving the goalposts to a 1:23.645. He wouldn’t be at the top of the tree for long though – Nakagami was on a charge and the Japanese star took P1 by 0.043 as a breathless opening stint ended and the Austrian hills fell silent for a brief period, fresh Michelin rubber going in ready for five minutes of MotoGP mayhem at the Red Bull Ring.
Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) – who didn’t set a lap time in Q2 after encountering shoulder issues following his FP3 crash – jumped from P11 to P3 with a great lap, before Pol Espargaro then shot to the top of the times by 0.022. Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) climbed to P4 and after two sectors, his teammate Mir was on for pole position – and so was Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso. Mir couldn’t hold his advantage in Sectors 3 and 4 though as the Suzuki rider went P3, with Dovizioso slotting into P6.
Meanwhile, Quartararo had slipped from P1 to P7 with just over a minute to go, as his compatriot Zarco went flying onto the front row. Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) found himself down in P10 as well, but he was up after two sectors. However, with Pol Espargaro absolutely lightning through Sector 3, Viñales lost time and had to settle for P6. Was there a further late twist in the tale? Pol Espargaro and KTM were all set for celebrating their maiden premier class pole positions, but breath was held as Nakagami was on a flyer. The Honda man was just 0.006 down after Sector 3 but he couldn’t hold on – and his lap was then cancelled for exceeding track limits anyway.
That was it. The cameras panned to the KTM box and it was celebrations galore. It’s a first pole position for the Austrian factory and being able to do it on home soil will make the feeling even sweeter. It’s also Pol Espargaro’s first MotoGP pole position, and his attentions will now turn to making it a victory for himself and KTM on Sunday afternoon. Nakagami will line-up in the middle of the front row knowing he has a genuine shout of victory at the Red Bull Ring, and is confident of fighting for the podium.
And what a performance from Zarco, who was third fastest. Surgery on Wednesday, fitness test on Friday, no laps completed in FP4 – third place in Q2. A pitlane start faces the double Moto2 World Champion on Sunday, but there are definitely some important points up for grabs for the number 5. Fourth place for Mir is his best MotoGP qualifying and after finishing second from P6 last weekend, he will start Sunday’s battle brimming with confidence. You know things are looking good when the premier class sophomore looks disappointed with P4 despite a best Q2 performance! He’ll start from third too as Zarco’s penalty causes a shuffle.
Things didn’t look good for Austrian GP podium finisher Miller in FP4. A crash in FP3 looked to be putting his weekend in serious doubt with Team Manager Francesco Guidotti telling pitlane reporter Simon Crafar that he’s experiencing shoulder pain, but the Australian gritted his teeth to pocket a P5, just 0.120 shy of pole position in fourth.
Austrian GP polesitter Viñales’ late lap sees the Spaniard start as the leading Yamaha rider – sixth in the session and fifth on the grid. And just 0.198 split those leading six riders in Q2.
Rins starts sixth for the inaugural Grand Prix of Styria, the Spaniard getting the better of Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) and Dovizioso, who were P8 and P9 in the session, respectively, and also shuffle up a place. All three have shown – at least – podium pace this weekend, so it’s going to be a scintillating watch as they try to carve their way through the field. Championship leader Quartararo – despite finishing just 0.286 away from pole – suffered an equal-worst Q2 result in 10th, becoming a third row start. The 2019 Czech GP was the last time he finished this low down the grid and Quartararo starts off the front row for the first time since the 2019 British GP – almost exactly a year ago. Fellow Petronas Yamaha SRT rider Franco Morbidelli and Q1 graduate Danilo Petrucci finished P11 and P12 in Q2, with the top 12 split by just 0.594.
But there are some names missing, right?
After a crash on Saturday Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) was only 15th quickest for the Styrian GP as he had front end lose on his final flying lap in Q1. ‘The Doctor’ was on course to potentially grab P2 in the Q1 session but he and his YZR-M1 slid out of contention at Turn 9, giving the Italian plenty of work to do on Sunday afternoon. Iker Lecuona (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) and rookie Brno winner Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) also narrowly missed out on a Q2 place, but the two KTMs will start P12 and P13 as they gain a place back as Zarco moves to pitlane…
MotoGP Qualifying Results
|13||Iker LECUONA||KTM||Q1||(*) 0.319|
|14||Brad BINDER||KTM||Q1||(*) 0.323|
|15||Valentino ROSSI||YAMAHA||Q1||(*) 0.518|
|16||Michele PIRRO||DUCATI||Q1||(*) 0.664|
|17||Alex MARQUEZ||HONDA||Q1||(*) 0.761|
|18||Cal CRUTCHLOW||HONDA||Q1||(*) 0.792|
|19||Bradley SMITH||APRILIA||Q1||(*) 0.807|
|20||Aleix ESPARGARO||APRILIA||Q1||(*) 0.820|
|21||Stefan BRADL||HONDA||Q1||(*) 1.058|
|22||Tito RABAT||DUCATI||Q1||(*) 1.307|
Rookie sensation Aron Canet (Openbank Aspar Team) has claimed his maiden Moto2 pole position thanks to a 1:28.787 in Q2 at the BMW M Grand Prix of Styria, with the Spaniard heading Austrian GP winner and compatriot Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo) by 0.118. Previous Red Bull Ring polesitter Tetsuta Nagashima makes it two Red Bull KTM Ajo machines on the front row as he bounced back from some tougher weekends.
In Q1 it was Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) heading through ahead of Nagashima, with the two joined by Hector Garzo (Flexbox HP 40) and Stefano Manzi (MV Agusta Forward Racing) moving through to Q2. Once the lights went out for that session, it was Free Practice pacesetter Martin fastest out the traps.
The KTM star was leading Garzo and Sam Lowes (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) in the opening exchanges, before Q1 graduate Nagashima then went P1. However, Canet was on a charge. The number 44 slammed in a 1:28.787 to lay down the gauntlet to his rivals, with Martin trying to respond shortly after but two tenths adrift as Remy Gardner (Onexox TKKR SAG Team) then went P4.
The Australian then crashed unhurt at Turn 1, and Jake Dixon (Petronas Sprinta Racing) took a small tumble at Turn 3 as the duo were both inside the top 10. In tandem, Sky Racing Team VR46’s Marco Bezzecchi took over in P4 as he followed teammate Luca Marini, and the Italians then swapped track position as Marini got himself up to P9, the Championship leader struggling to make real inroads into the top six….
Tom Lüthi (Liqui Moly Intact GP) looked back to his best as the experienced Swiss rider climbed to P7 in Q2, but no one was able to really look like they were going to challenge Canet’s benchmark. That was until Augusto Fernandez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) and Nagashima were just a tenth down halfway round the lap with little time remaining… but at the line, neither improved and it was left to a hard-charging Martin to try and topple Canet. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider was 0.034 under Canet’s time as he roared past the Sector 3 marker and into Turn 9, but the former Moto3™ World Champion was unable to keep his soaring lap going, crossing the line a tenth down on Canet’s. Result? A rookie pole.
Martin won’t be too disheartened with second on the grid, he’s been there before and it turned out ok last week… for his first Moto2 victory. Nagashima salvaged a front row start after finishing second in Q1, and that’s by far his best qualifying of the season – his previous best being P8 at the Spanish GP. Can the Japanese rider get his Championship charge back on track at the Red Bull Ring?
Fernandez’ P4 in qualifying is his best Saturday result of the season too as a pre-season favourite finds form. Bezzecchi launches from the middle of the second row aiming for his second podium of the season, with Gardner’s crash – luckily – not affecting him too badly. It’s P6 for the Australian, who keeps Lüthi off the second row by 0.051. Both the latter and Garzo set the exact same lap time in Q2 to line-up P7 and P8, with Jorge Navarro (+Ego Speed Up) and Federal Oil Gresini Moto2’s Nicolo Bulega completing the top 10.
Down in 11th, meanwhile, it’s Lowes’ worst qualifying result of 2020. The Briton crashed heavily in FP3 and will be feeling the effects of his shoulder injury earlier in the year, while Championship leader Marini had to settle for 12th in Styrian GP qualifying. Dixon and Joe Roberts (Tennor American Racing) sit between the Italian and title rival Enea Bastianini (Italtrans Racing Team) as 2020’s leading contenders aim to claw their way through the field on Sunday afternoon…
Aron Canet – P1
“I’m very happy to be here on pole in Moto2, it’s a really difficult category for me, all the riders and the rookies. After MotoGP the grip changes a lot, for me it didn’t change so much but for others they can’t do the time… for that, I was able to take pole. We’ll see what happens tomorrow because for sure we’ll see different conditions, but with dry conditions I’m very happy with my pace!”
Moto2 Qualifying Results
|1||Aron CANET||SPEED UP||Q2||1m28.787|
|9||Jorge NAVARRO||SPEED UP||Q2||+0.466|
|18||Stefano MANZI||MV AGUSTA||Q2||+1.057|
|19||Xavi VIERGE||KALEX||Q1||(*) 0.205|
|20||Edgar PONS||KALEX||Q1||(*) 0.232|
|21||Marcel SCHROTTER||KALEX||Q1||(*) 0.327|
|22||Andi Farid IZDIHAR||KALEX||Q1||(*) 0.505|
|23||Lorenzo BALDASSARRI||KALEX||Q1||(*) 0.654|
|24||Lorenzo DALLA PORTA||KALEX||Q1||(*) 0.665|
|25||Fabio DI GIANNANTONI||SPEED UP||Q1||(*) 0.759|
|26||Bo BENDSNEYDER||NTS||Q1||(*) 0.767|
|27||Simone CORSI||MV AGUSTA||Q1||(*) 1.151|
|29||Dominique AEGERTER||NTS||Q1||(*) 1.225|
|30||Alejandro MEDINA||SPEED UP||Q1||(*) 1.668|
Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) will start the BMW M Grand Prix of Styria from pole, the Argentinean rider coming out on top by just 0.012 to deny Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) three in a row. Fernandez will start second though, with Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) completing a front row split by just 0.064.
Under sunny Styrian skies, it was Jaume Masia (Leopard Racing) who headed the timesheets in Q1, securing his place in Q2… or not. Drama hit for the Spaniard in the session as he crashed and damaged his machine, then remounting and heading back to the pits. Except the bike was leaking, leaving two more riders behind to crash and a long clean up operation and delay to the next session. For the lapse of judgement, Masia was suspended from Q2, meaning it was only Niccolo Antonelli (SIC58 Squadra Corse), Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) and Darryn Binder (CIP – Green Power) who would move through and take part.
Once Q2 was underway, we were treated to some late drama as Rodrigo stole pole position away with his final flying lap of the session, chequered flag waving. Before that final attack it was Tony Arbolino (Rivacold Snipers Team) who held provisional pole, but 2020’s qualifying sensations Tatsuki Suzuki and Raul Fernandez jumped ahead of him, demoting the Italian to third… and Rodrigo making sure it became fourth.
Behind that top three split by just 0.064, Arbolino will therefore front the second row of the grid, joined there by Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46), who will start from fifth at the Red Bull Ring for the second time in a week, and John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) in sixth as the Scot proved the fastest of the top three in the Championship.
Half a second behind Rodrigo’s 1:36.470 and seventh on the grid will be Leopard Racing’s Dennis Foggia, the Italian a fraction clear of Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia), who is the man third overall and the second quickest of the top three in the title battle at the moment. it’s not by much though, as World Championship leader Albert Arenas (Valresa Aspar Team) did suffer his worst qualifying of 2020, but only to the extent of starting alongside Ogura in ninth as he defends his 28 point lead.
Darryn Binder will no doubt be a strong challenger on Sunday from 10th on the grid, not needing to make up his often customary and impressive 15 or 20 places on race day, and he will line-up on row four alongside another man likely to have his elbows out: Deniz Öncü. Filip Salač (Rivacold Snipers Team), Sergio Garcia (Estrella Galicia 0,0), Jeremy Alcoba (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) and Antonelli complete the top 15.
Gabriel Rodrigo – P1
“It was a bit difficult because the second to last corner was very slippy, I had a plan to use two tyres, but as the conditions were a bit strange I decided to stay on track and go faster lap by lap. At the end it worked because I already put a nice lap in at the start but on the last lap I improved even more. I’m very happy, after the last two Sundays we needed a bit of energy for the race! We’re focused for tomorrow, I think the pace is good so I’m really looking forward to the race.”
Moto3 Qualifying Results
|19||Ayumu SASAKI||KTM||Q1||(*) 0.393|
|20||Riccardo ROSSI||KTM||Q1||(*) 0.499|
|21||Romano FENATI||HUSQVARNA||Q1||(*) 0.510|
|22||Andrea MIGNO||KTM||Q1||(*) 0.598|
|23||Carlos TATAY||KTM||Q1||(*) 0.664|
|24||Alonso LOPEZ||HUSQVARNA||Q1||(*) 0.688|
|25||Jason DUPASQUIER||KTM||Q1||(*) 0.749|
|26||Davide PIZZOLI||KTM||Q1||(*) 0.766|
|27||Ryusei YAMANAKA||HONDA||Q1||(*) 0.905|
|28||Yuki KUNII||HONDA||Q1||(*) 0.909|
|29||Maximilian KOFLER||KTM||Q1||(*) 1.278|
Updated 2020 MotoGP Calendar
|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|