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Aug 12, 2017

MotoGP: Marc Marquez Claims Pole Position At Red Bull Ring (Updated)

Marc Marquez (93).

FIM MotoGP World Championship

Red Bull Ring, Austria

August 12, 2017

Qualifying Results (all on Michelin tires):

From Qualifying Session Two:

1. Marc MARQUEZ, Spain (HONDA), 1:23.235

2. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Italy (DUCATI), 1:23.379

3. Jorge LORENZO, Spain (DUCATI), 1:23.621

4. Maverick VIÑALES, Spain (YAMAHA), 1:23.754

5. Danilo PETRUCCI, Italy (DUCATI), 1:23.780

6. Johann ZARCO, France (YAMAHA), 1:23.879

7. Valentino ROSSI, Italy (YAMAHA), 1:23.982

8. Dani PEDROSA, Spain (HONDA), 1:23.985

9. Cal CRUTCHLOW, UK (HONDA), 1:24.024

10. Andrea IANNONE, Italy (SUZUKI), 1:24.185

11. Karel ABRAHAM, Czech Republic (DUCATI), 1:24.220

12. Loris BAZ, France (DUCATI), 1:24.483

From Qualifying Session One:

13. Jonas FOLGER, Germany (YAMAHA), 1:24.015

14. Hector BARBERA, Spain (DUCATI), 1:24.036

15. Scott REDDING, UK (DUCATI), 1:24.037

16. Pol ESPARGARO, Spain (KTM), 1:24.101

17. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Spain (DUCATI), 1:24.202

18. Mika KALLIO, Finland (KTM), 1:24.261

19. Jack MILLER, Australia (HONDA), 1:24.321

20. Aleix ESPARGARO, Spain (APRILIA), 1:24.447

21. Alex RINS, Spain (SUZUKI), 1:24.448

22. Bradley SMITH, UK (KTM), 1:24.530

23. Sam LOWES, UK (APRILIA), 1:24.852

24. Tito RABAT, Spain (HONDA), 1:24.900



More, from a press release issued by Monster Yamaha Tech 3:

Zarco thunders to 6th in Austrian GP qualifying – Folger ready for the fight

Johann Zarco produced a superbly calculated ride to qualify on the second row of the grid for the Austrian Grand Prix. The French star began the day with instant speed after powering to 2nd in FP3 and he then continued the flow by completing free practice 4 in 4th. When the Q2 shootout began, Zarco tactfully delayed his start and opted to undertake one run and not pit. He built up his pace before firing over the finish line to end up only 0.258 back from the front row.

Meanwhile, Jonas Folger will begin his quest to seal a strong result in the Austrian hills from the head of the fifth row of the grid. The rapid German rider completed the practice sessions in 13th overall which confirmed his participation in Qualifying 1. Here, he determinedly pushed until the chequered flag appeared and his best lap saw him finish 3rd in the session and only 0.166 adrift of the Q2 zone. Both riders will seek to impress in the 11th round of the championship which will commence tomorrow at 14:00.

Johann Zarco

Position: 6th - Time: 1'23.879 - Laps: 8

“We have undertaken some good work and the feeling is positive at this track, plus I am happy about qualifying on the second row. However, I have to admit that I was not quite relaxed enough and I feel that it would have been possible to produce a better time. Perhaps I couldn’t have equalled Marquez’s lap but I think that I would have been able to fight with Lorenzo for 3rd, yet, I needed to be calmer to do this. That is the only shame about the qualifying, but my race pace this morning was fast and I was consistent. In FP4 we tried a different compound of tyres and it became a bit trickier, so it looks like we know where we are with this. Tomorrow, I aim to have good start and fight as soon as the lights go out because when you get into a solid position at the beginning, then you can run a better pace and have a more positive time. So the top five is my target in order to score a lot of points for the championship, but if everything goes well and I feel comfortable, I will take the chance to fight for another podium.”

Jonas Folger

Position: 13th - Time: 1'24.015 - Laps: 9

"I know that our potential was much higher than the result that we achieved today so I’m a bit disappointed. So far, we have struggled throughout the weekend and we are still slightly unsure about which direction to head towards. However, in Q1, we did an ok job and with the lap time that I set, I would have qualified in 9th in Qualifying 2 and that would have been quite positive. Anyway, the timing was not perfect and we had to analyse a lot of things which caused us to lose time. In the end, P13 is a tricky place to start from, but if I have a strong performance, which I fully intend to, then I can collect some valuable points for the championship.”



More, from a press release issued by Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS:

Miller set for Spielberg showdown

Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Jack Miller will target a points scoring finish in the Austrian Grand Prix starting from 19th on the grid for Sunday’s MotoGP race.

Miller’s flying lap of 1’24.321 was his fastest of the weekend so far, a 0.4s improvement on his best time in the morning FP3 session.

Despite working to improve corner exit acceleration on the 10-turn 4.31km circuit Miller is still not happy with his race package on track featuring heavy uphill braking zones and brutal, low gear acceleration.

The Spielberg layout makes for a tricky set-up balance and team technicians have tried many options in a bid to boost the points scoring chances for Miller and Rabat in tomorrow’s 28-lap race.

The circuit has proved to be a big challenge for the Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders, who both anticipated it would not be easy to adapt the Honda RC213V to this circuit.

While the weather for the QP1 session was overcast but dry the conditions did not help Tito Rabat overcome the special demands of the Austrian venue.

Rabat will start 24th on the last row of the grid after being uncertain of optimal tyre choice for the qualifying session with the Spaniard electing to concentrate on race set-up rather than a time attack.

Jack Miller: 19th - 1’24.321

“My lap was pretty good and could have been even better if I had put it all together on my final run and I’m reasonably happy. Of course I always want to be closer to the front so now I just need to focus on the race and go for the best result possible. This always this was going be a difficult track for us, especially the struggle with wheelie and acceleration, but we've improved step-by-step, even if it has been a case of too little too late.”

Tito Rabat: 24th - 1’24.900

“It was difficult qualifying session. In FP4 I did a very good job at the end of the session on a soft tyre and maybe this created some confusion because in FP3 I preferred the medium rear tyre. The soft tyre takes time to warm-up so for Q1 I just stayed out and did ten laps with a best time of 1’24.9. I know this is not normal for qualifying but it was better for me to work on my rhythm for the race.”

Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal

“This has been a really difficult weekend for our team. At this track last year before Jack crashed here and injured his back he had a really good pace at this track so it is not easy to understand the difference at this moment. The answers are not clear and it is the first time this season that I don’t really understand what is behind our performance. Both riders are struggling to adapt the bike to this circuit and it's not clear why. This we need to figure out tonight so that we can put a plan in place for tomorrow's race."



More, from a press release issued by Aprilia Gresini Racing:

APRILIA RIDERS UNABLE TO FIND CONFIDENCE IN THE SOFT TYRE USED IN QUALIFYING

ESPARGARÓ AND LOWES CALLED ON TO COME FROM BEHIND IN THE RACE

The race on the Red Bull Ring will be an uphill battle, coming back from behind for the Aprilia machines. After the good feedback yesterday, especially in the second session, Aleix Espargaró struggled to improve on his performance with the soft tyre. There was a lack of feeling in braking highlighted by the numerous times the rider ran wide at the most demanding braking sections on the Austrian track. However, the Spanish rider has not lost confidence for the race. His pace is good and, above all, his confidence in the medium rear that he will use tomorrow make him optimistic for a solid placement. It will be a comeback ride from the seventh row that will need to begin as soon as the lights go out.

His teammate, Sam Lowes, is in a similar situation, twenty-third in qualifying, but rather confident in his chances to manage race distance. His goal is to finish in the points and gain confidence in view of his home GP at Silverstone.

ALEIX ESPARGARO'

"It's hard to remember a qualifying session this difficult for us. Throughout the day I was never able to find the right feeling with the soft rear tyre. It is not a problem with acceleration, but with braking. The tyre pushes a lot and I can't get the bike stopped. I pushed to the limit, I ran long and I risked but without any result. Fortunately, we will use the medium tyre in the race tomorrow and we have shown that we can maintain a good pace with it. It will not be easy starting from so far back, but I am convinced that a top ten finish is within our potential for this race too."

SAM LOWES

"These qualifiers were rather hard for us. Even Aleix struggled and we were very close on our fast laps. In terms of pace, on the other hand, we have good potential, to be honest. I worked a lot on braking and the results are tangible. I always compare notes with my teammate who is one of the strongest late brakers on the track and our reference points have gotten quite close. It would seem that we do not have any big problems with fuel consumption, so we'll be able to use maximum power for race distance and that could give us an extra weapon in the race finale."



More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki ECSTAR:

TOP TEN QUALIFYING FOR IANNONE IN AUSTRIA

Team Suzuki Press Office – Aug 12.

Andrea Iannone: 10th - 1'24.185 +0.950

Alex Rins: 21st - 1'24.448 (Q1)

Team SUZUKI ECSTAR and Andrea Iannone managed to get a top ten qualifying spot today, with the Italian scoring a best lap of 1’24.185 at the end of the Q2 session that earned him the 10th place. It was 21st place for Alex Rins, who made some improvements but couldn’t do better than 1’24.488.

The morning session has been a very hard fought one, with 17 riders all within less than one second of each other. The improvements made yesterday paid off, with Iannone being able to make use of the positive feel with the GSX-RR to get into third place which gives him the direct access to Q2. It was a bit more of a struggle for Rins who couldn’t get his ticket for the top 12, but had a positive performance overall.

Despite his attempts, Rins struggled in the Q1 to get the perfect lap that would allow him to go and fight with the top 12 riders. His 21st place in the grid will force him into a recovery race even though his pace in FP4 proved to be consistently fast.

A fierce battle put Iannone on the main stage in Q2 where he was able to reach the top three positions briefly; he is consistently improving his performance. By the end of the session he was sitting in tenth place in the grid, with hopes of recovering a few places and of a having a positive race.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager

“With Andrea we managed to stay in the top ten and tomorrow he will start from a better position than the last races. This is a track where it is possible to stay close to the group; therefore, we have high hopes of recovering a few places. Today we tested his pace and it’s not bad. He looks to have a good feeling with the bike so we hope for a good race. Alex took some steps forward as well, but the competition in Q1 has been very tough and he wasn’t able to be fast enough yet to place higher in the classification. Anyway, the improvements he’s made are positive and so is the pace. Let’s wait and see tomorrow what happens.”

Andrea Iannone

“This has been a positive day. The weekend had already started well yesterday and we did a good job. We improved the bike and gained some confidence. Maybe in qualifying we weren’t able to reach 100% of our potential; we had a problem with bike 1 in FP4 and only had bike 2 available in qualifying. It had a slightly different setup but there was no time to change it. It’s a pity because with the little improvements we had made to bike 1, I was able to make some improvements and this might have helped. Anyway, the pace is very good. We still have some areas that we know we can improve on, hopefully in time for the race.”

Alex Rins

“Little by little we are making progress, although I’m still struggling. This is a track where braking is very important and for us this is not one of the strengths of our machine. We made some improvements though. In qualifying I reduced my FP3 lap time by 0.7, which was good, but not enough. I hope for a good race tomorrow.”



More, from a press release issued by Pull&Bear Aspar Team:

 Abraham among the best in Austria

Pull & Bear Aspar rider qualified directly for Q2, where he finished eleventh. Bautista will start from the sixth row

Marc Márquez was the only rider able to qualify ahead of the factory Ducati team today. The Spaniard, with a lap time of 1'23.235, took pole by a little more than a tenth in front of Andrea Dovizioso and in almost four tenths from Jorge Lorenzo, in a qualifying session that also involved Pull & Bear Aspar rider Karel Abraham, who qualified directly for Q2 in the combined free practice. Abraham featured on the provisional front row and only a mistake on his last timed lap prevented him from moving up from the fourth row of the grid.

Álvaro Bautista suffered contrasting fortunes to his team-mate. The Spaniard missed out on Q2 by two tenths in free practice, and again by two tenths in Q1. As such, Bautista will start from the sixth row of the grid and will look during tomorrow's warm-up session for the solution to his rear grip problems.

11th Karel Abraham 1:24.220: "In general it has been a great day. The bike is going very well, although sometimes I was locking the front, and in the morning I managed to enter directly into Q2. It was very important for us. In qualifying on my fast lap I made two mistakes that may have cost me one or two positions. Anyway, the fourth row is a good way to start tomorrow's race. "

17th Álvaro Bautista 1:24.202: "Everything is very tight in Austria. Yesterday I was not very comfortable in the braking and today we could not find a solution. The temperature was a bit lower than yesterday and that did not help us. I had difficulties in stopping the bike, because I lack grip on the rear and I am not able to brake hard, but we have a couple ideas for tomorrow in the warm-up. Then we will try to race with the best possible set-up. I am not very happy with my feelings, I feel very far from what we could do. I would be satisfied tomorrow if we improve them. If we do, we can also improve our position in the race."



More, from a press release issued by Octo Pramac Racing:

Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich - Red Bull Ring - Qualifying

Masterpiece by Petrux: 1st independent team and 2nd row start beyond every difficulty. Scott gave it all in Q1

It was a Saturday full of emotions for Octo Pramac Racing. On one side, we have seen a fantastic reaction from Danilo Petrucci that exceed morning difficulties and makes a masterpiece in qualifying. On the other hand, the solid performances from Scott Redding that looked to be capable of obtaining the Q2 until the last T3 of his final time attack.

Petrux struggled a bit in the morning but in the FP3 time attack finished only 14 thousands of a second from the direct qualification in the Q2. In FP4 he didn’t manage to find the right feeling (20°). The Italian rider remained focused and was able to win the Q1 in front of Pedrosa. He gave the maximum also in Q2 by conquering a great 5th place that means the second row start, and a great satisfaction for the team in the Parc Fermè as First Independent Team.

Scott lapped very constant in FP3 but missed to qualify in the Q2 for only 8 thousands of a second. The race pace in FP4 was excellent (8th time lap). Also in Q1 the English rider was very fast and in T3 he lighted the red helmet. Unfortunately, in the T4 Scott was not able to make the decisive step forward ending in fifth row.

5th – Danilo Petrucci - 1'23.780

"We have obtained a great result in qualifying and if I have to be honest this 5th place gives us more satisfaction than the first row in Holland and Germany. However, we struggled a lot. We cannot find speed, especially in the straight. In fact, we have the lowest speed on track, and this worries me as losing precious hundreds of a second in the straight is a great problem in the race distance. Probably the new fearing is a bit small for me. Tomorrow is not going to be an easy race".

15th – Scott Redding - 1'24.037

"I am disappointed for how things went, but at the same time I am happy for the performance. In Brno I made some mistakes in qualifying, while here I was only at a heartbreak from Q2. Unfortunately, in the last corner I felt the front locking and I have lost precious tenths. However, we worked well and I think we have shown our potential for the race. Starting from the 15th position is not going to be easy, but I am very confident because the feeling is optimal".

.



More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda:

CRUTCHLOW ON THE THIRD ROW IN SPIELBERG

LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow has qualified on the third row of the grid for Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix at Spielberg. The Briton suffered a fall in Saturday morning’s session, but then demonstrated his fighting qualities to battle his way through to Q2 and eventually claimed ninth position on the final timesheets.

Crutchlow went down at turn three in FP3 but would recover to post a fast lap right at the very end of the session that would secure his place in Q2 at the expense of compatriot Scott Redding. In qualifying the 31-year-old finished just behind factory Honda rider Dani Pedrosa who came through Q1 to take eighth spot on the grid for Sunday’s race. Meanwhile, Pedrosa’s HRC team-mate Marc Marquez took pole.

While not totally satisfied with the weekend thus far, Crutchlow believes Sunday’s race could prove unpredictable with the chance to secure a positive result.

Cal Crutchlow –9th

(1’24.024 – lap 8 of 10)

"It’s not been a fantastic weekend so far. Obviously you saw that I crashed in FP3 this morning, we were struggling a little bit and I needed a harder front tyre, but the harder tyre doesn’t work as there are only two left-hand corners. We were struggling yesterday in the first sector with the speed of the bike and were again today, but it seems we have improved a little bit and we’ve improved in some other areas as well.

“We need to just keep working tonight. I think you’re going to see a strange race tomorrow as there will be a lot of different rear tyres choices and probably the track temperature will be slightly different from the last two days practices”.



More, from a press release issued by Reale Avintia Racing:

 Fourth and fifth row for Reale Avintia Racing riders in Austria

Reale Avintia Racing riders Loris Baz and Hector Barbera will start tomorrow’s Austrian Grand Prix from twelfth and 14th place of the grid. Both riders were determined to get in Q2, but then it was just Baz who made it through with an excellent lap of 1’24.097 in FP3.

Hector Barbera was really close, but not quite fast enough. Later in Q1 he finished fourth just two tenths behind the fastest rider. It was a pity, because with his pace he would have been in tenth position in Q2. Nevertheless, the Spaniard is confident for tomorrow 28-laps encounter.

Loris Baz tried his best in Q2, but he didn’t have the same feeling from FP3 and he finished 12th. Like his teammate, Loris is still confident for the race as his rhythm is good enough to be fighting for a top ten result tomorrow.

Loris Baz | 1'24.483 | P12

“Until Q2 the day was almost perfect, but then everything went the wrong way. I was not able to put all together on my flying lap, I went long several times and I couldn’t find the feeling I had with the front tyre in the morning. But I’m quite satisfied because we tested a lot of ideas to be faster, and that’s the good thing about going straight into Q2. Finally the lap didn’t come, but it is not a big difference to start from the third or fourth row. The most important thing is that we did a great job so far this weekend. We did more than 20 laps in FP4 to learn about tyre performance and we will see what happens tomorrow. My goal is to finish the race in the top ten.”

Hector Barbera | 1'24.036 | P14

“I was really close but finally it didn’t happen. I missed Q2 by just one tenth. Everything is really tight and we have been pushing during the whole weekend. Today we went faster compared to yesterday and I was fourth in Q1, only two tenths from the fastest rider. I lose too much in the lefthand corners, but we have some ideas to test during warm-up. I’m confident to recover in the race because my rhythm is quite good. I believe that we can have a strong race tomorrow.”



More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Marc Marquez clinches breath-taking pole at the Red Bull Ring circuit, extending his record to 70 in career

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez scored his fifth pole position of the year (and third successive), extending his record of most pole positions in Grand Prix history across all classes to an amazing tally of 70, at only 24 years of age.

Marc has been happy with his RC213V’s behaviour since Friday morning and improved his feeling with the bike over the weekend by continuing the good work with his crew and engineers. Today he set the fastest times in FP3, FP4, and QP2, showing a good race pace and dazzling speed.

Dani Pedrosa’s day was partly spoiled by a disappointing 15th place in FP3, which did not reflect the competitive pace he had been able to show over the session and also in FP4 (where he was third). He was obliged to participate in QP1, advancing to QP2 and qualifying eighth despite having to run that session on used tyres.

Tomorrow’s race will start at 2:00 p.m. local time.

Marc Marquez 93

POLE POSITION 1'23.235

“I’m very, very happy with his pole because here it’s very important for the first corner, and because so far we’ve done much better than last year. We’ve really taken a good step forward with the bike; we already had a good engine, but we were struggling with some wheelying. We worked a lot on this aspect and now I feel much more comfortable with my bike. We also prepared very well for this race. During the Monday post-race test in Brno, we tried many different configurations focused on this track, and that allowed us to start with a good base even on Friday morning. So at the moment it looks like our pace is very good, but as always, it’s the race that counts. We’ll try to give everything again, but it will be very important to choose the right rear tyre. Today we worked with the soft and hard rears, so we’ll probably try the medium in tomorrow’s warm-up and then make our choice.”

Dani Pedrosa 26

8TH 1'23.985

“The key today for us was FP3 and the fact that for some reasons we weren’t able to set a good lap time when we fit a soft rear tyre in the final minutes of the session. I suffered a lot of spinning and wasn't able to be fast enough. FP4 went better; we had a good pace, and also in Q1 I was able to do a fast lap time, but on a medium rear. I made it to Q2, but at that point I didn't have enough new tyres left to make both runs on a new set of tyres. I ran on a bit of a mix and although we were able to recover some places, it wasn’t enough to get a good grid position. Getting off well at the start will be important in order to make it through the first three corners in a good position. We don’t know yet which rear tyre we’ll use in the race. We have to wait to see what weather and temperatures we’ll have. For now, the tyre choice is still open.” 



More, from a press release issued by Movistar Yamaha:

SECOND AND THIRD ROW START FOR MOVISTAR YAMAHA IN SPIELBERG

The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team showed a confident race pace on a dry but gloomy second day at the Red Bull Ring - Spielberg track, as they prepared for the NeroGiardini Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich. Though the qualifying session was not without obstacles, Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi put in various hot laps and secured fourth and seventh place respectively on tomorrow‘s starting grid.

Spielberg (Austria), 12th August 2017

The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team barrelled their way into the Q2 session in this morning's FP3 and followed it up with a hard fight in the afternoon for front row at the NeroGiardini Motorrad Grand Prix von Ostrich. Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi were serious contenders for a top-3 finish until the times dropped at the end of the session, and they secured fourth and seventh place respectively.

The afternoon in Austria presented good weather conditions today for a high octane shoot-out at the Red Bull Ring - Spielberg circuit. Viñales was the third to last rider to exit pit lane in a dry qualifying, waiting for the majority of the pack to go out. Despite a small mistake on his first hot lap, he set a 1'25.067s to take second in the provisional standings. With his next attempt he temporarily took over the top spot, but was pushed back to fourth place when the pace quickened. His fourth lap shot him back up to third before he entered the pits with more than six minutes remaining.

The youngster was quickly back on track to have another crack at challenging the competition. Now in fourth place again, he put his head down and jumped to third in the charts, with a 1'23.754s. He was unable to improve on his last lap, but his best time was fast enough to secure fourth place on the grid, on the second row, 0.519s from first.

Rossi took his time to leave the pits for the qualifying session. He got straight down to business, scoring a temporary pole position on his first flying lap with a 1'24.558s, before being pushed back one place. The next minutes saw various riders claim the top spot in the rankings. The Doctor responded by improving his time on his second and third attempt, but was in fourth position when he entered the pits with seven minutes on the clock.

The Italian rushed back out a little more than a minute later, and found himself in seventh place. He broke into the 1'23's with a 1'23.982s to move up to fifth. There was time for one more attack, but he didn‘t improve on his best lap. He was pushed back by a late charge from a rival after the chequered flag went out, leaving him seventh in the results, 0.747s from the front.

MASSIMO MEREGALLI

TEAM DIRECTOR

We made good progress with the settings in the practice sessions and both riders are comfortable on the bike. Unfortunately, this didn‘t fully translate in this afternoon‘s Q2 results, though both our riders were fighting for the front row. Maverick gave a really good performance and only just missed out on a third place in the final stages of Q2. Vale was also a strong contender for most of the session, but couldn‘t quite set the fast lap he had in mind on his second run, because the rear tyre didn‘t perform perfectly. The free practice results show that the race pace of our riders is good, but it should be higher. We will prepare some solutions this evening for the riders to try in tomorrow‘s warm-up, when we will also decide on the tyre spec for the race.

MAVERICK VIÑALES

I feel OK and positive about today's result, because I‘ve been struggling in prior qualifying sessions. Tomorrow we have the opportunity to start from the front, on the second row. There's still a lot of work to do. We need to improve on acceleration in the first and second sector, because that‘s where we lose some time. We're going to use the new fairing tomorrow in the race, because we think it‘s a little bit better and I look forward to trying something different that the team will prepare for tomorrow‘s warm up.

VALENTINO ROSSI

It was a good Saturday, because we improved the bike a lot and I have a good pace, especially with the race tyres, but also with the soft tyres it was not so bad. I think that my potential was better, that I can try for the front row, or anyway for the top-5, but unfortunately the second tyre was worse. I didn't have grip, I tried to push a lot, but I had too much spin. Unfortunately, sometimes this happens. I have to start from the third row, which is always difficult, very complicated, but my pace is not so bad, so we can try to fight.



More, from a press release issued by Ducati Corse:

Superb front row starts for Ducati Team riders in Austrian GP: Andrea Dovizioso second and Jorge Lorenzo third in qualifying at Red Bull Ring

The two Ducati Team riders will start tomorrow’s Austrian Grand Prix, round 11 of the 2017 MotoGP World Championship, from the front row of the grid after today’s qualifying session. The 28-lap race at the Red Bull Ring circuit near Zeltweg, will get underway at 14.00 CET.

At the end of this afternoon’s Q2 session, Andrea Dovizioso was second quickest with a time of 1’23.379 while Jorge Lorenzo was classified in third place with a best lap of 1’23.621.

This morning the factory Ducati men were both inside the top ten of the combined standings after FP3 and as a result went directly through into Q2. Lorenzo finished the session in fourth place with a time of 1’23.968 while Dovizioso was unable to improve on his time of 1’24.046 from FP2 yesterday, but in any case he finished sixth in the aggregate standings for the three free practice sessions.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 1’23.379 (2nd)

“Today was quite a strange day because the temperature was different from yesterday and things didn’t exactly go the way we had expected, but in the end we were able to interpret the situation and do a good qualifying session. We used a different strategy to the other riders, fitting a medium rear tyre which worked well and I’m very happy about the job me and the team did together. We still don’t have a clear idea about the choice of tyres for the race because today they behaved differently from yesterday and tomorrow the temperature should be a bit warmer so it won’t be easy to make the right decision, but qualifying today confirmed that we are competitive enough to be able to fight at the front tomorrow.”

Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team #99) – 1’23.621 (3rd)

“Q2 was pretty hard work today. With the first tyre I didn’t ride very well, maybe I was too aggressive, but on my second run I stayed calm and, even though I didn’t do a perfect lap, I managed to get onto the front row, which is very important for tomorrow. So far it hasn’t been an easy weekend for us but we have gradually managed to improve the bike and my sensations on the track. In Ducati Corse they’ve done a great job to improve my feeling: we could already see this at Brno, also during the test, and we can see it here as well, even though we still have to improve the braking to get in amongst the leading positions at every circuit. I’m very pleased because it’s the first time this year that both Ducati Team riders are on the front row, which demonstrates our excellent potential on this track. As for the race Marquez is looking really strong, but tomorrow many things can happen and the choice of the rear tyre will be fundamental.”

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