Marquez beats Ducatis for third straight pole

Honda’s Marc Marquez claimed his third consecutive MotoGP pole position and his fifth of the season at the Red Bull Ring, leading the two factory Ducati riders.

Marquez only had done one flying lap before the mid-session pitstops, but his time of 1m23.473s gave him first place with a dominant seven-tenth lead.

While subsequent improvements from the Yamahas of Valentino Rossi, Maverick Vinales as well as Andrea Dovizioso saw the difference lowered to just 0.340s, the Honda rider went a further two tenths quicker with a minute left on the clock.

The factory Ducatis of Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo came closest to Marquez’s 1m23.235s, ending up 0.144s and 0.386s off the pace respectively.

Vinales held on to fourth by 0.026s as Danilo Petrucci brought the third 2017-spec Pramac Ducati into the top five.

Johann Zarco, who ran off sequence compared to the others, joining the track later and not pitting in the middle of the session, was sixth on the Tech 3 Yamaha.

Rossi had to settle for seventh, followed by the Hondas of Dani Pedrosa and Cal Crutchlow.

Suzuki’s Andrea Iannone was 10th, the Italian surviving an apparent mechanical problem in FP4.

The 2015-spec Ducatis of Karel Abraham (Aspar) and Loris Baz (Avintia) took 11th and 12th respectively having both advanced directly into Q2.

In Q1, Petrucci and Pedrosa had a 0.166s advantage over the chasing pack, led by Jonas Folger’s Tech 3 Yamaha.

The German reverted to his old chassis after using a new one in the Monday Brno test and on Friday, but his final flyer was only good enough to edge Hector Barbera out of 13th on the grid.

Avintia Ducati’s Barbera was second behind Pedrosa after the first set of flyers, but couldn’t improve enough to secure a spot in Q2.

The second Pramac bike of Scott Redding was 0.001s slower in 15th, as Pol Espargaro claimed 16th for KTM.

Aprilia suffered a disappointing session as Aleix Espargaro qualified down in 20th, three places ahead of teammate Sam Lowes, after running wide at Turns 10 and 3 during qualifying.

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