MotoGP: Martin Breaks Lap Record, Takes Pole At Red Bull Ring II

MotoGP: Martin Breaks Lap Record, Takes Pole At Red Bull Ring II

© 2021, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. By David Swarts.

MotoGP Combined Qual



More, from a press release issued by Dorna:

Martin goes back-to-back with another lap record in Austria

The rookie pips Quartararo to pole by hundredths, bouncing back in style from a trip through Q1

Saturday, 14 August 2021

Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) has done it again! The rookie sensation has taken his third pole of the season and second in two Sundays as he heads the grid for the Bitci Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich, setting another new all-time lap record around the Red Bull Ring to do it. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) misses out by just 0.034 and held said record for about a minute before getting pipped to the post, with Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) completing the front row.


Q1 saw plenty of fast faces looking for a way through, including Martin, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Miguel Oliveira and Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar). Martin was fastest from the off in the session, with a few tenths in hand after the first runs and Rins in P2.

The final push for a place in the top 12 and the chance to fight further up saw everyone come out swinging, but Martin moved the benchmark by another few hundredths first. Then red sectors started to appear across the board, but no one could keep it going throughout the lap except the rookie number 89. He improved his laptime to move through on top, joined by Oliveira as the Portuguese rider just pipped Rins to P2.


Martin got down to a 1:23.037 as the first real benchmark, but not long after that there was a new lap record. Quartararo was four tenths up and heading round the final corner, the Frenchman kept it nice and tidy to set a scorching 1:22.677 – the new fastest lap ever of the Red Bull Ring, knocking a couple of tenths off Zarco’s Friday fastest.

Bagnaia then started lighting up the timing screens, the Italian not yet having registered a valid lap either, but losing out in the final sectors saw him slot into third, just behind Martin. But the Italian wasn’t done and went for another shot at it, again up in the early stages but then losing out. He improved, but stayed third.

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) was up early and then lost over a second, Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) set a red first sector, and Bagnaia was on a roll too. But it came down to two…

Together on track, Zarco was ahead of Martin and the duo was pushing. But the Frenchman was losing bit by bit as Martin’s timing showed he was a tenth and a half up on the new lap record from Quartararo. Could be keep it going?

Zarco crossed the line with another good lap, enough for fourth, but behind him his teammate smashed it on Saturday once again. Another new lap record, and just 0.034 up on Quartararo’s, sees Martin regain his crown as fastest ever MotoGP™ rider around the Red Bull Ring with a 1:22.643. With that, the Spaniard takes his third pole of his rookie season.

Quartararo is forced to settle for second, although that’s one better than last weekend as he pips Bagnaia this time around. The number 63 completes the front row, however, and only missed out on a 1:22 by an apt 0.063.

The Grid

The same front row in a slightly different order heads the grid. Martin remains the poleman, with Quartararo second and Bagnaia third. Zarco heads up Row 2, with Marc Marquez putting in a solid Q2 to take fifth. Jack Miller completes the second row as he looks for some redemption after a crash last weekend.

Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) is a little further back than the Styrian GP but takes a solid P7, with Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) and Miguel Oliveira alongside on the third row.

Brad Binder completes the top ten after the South African had a run off on his final attempt, but that is six places further forward than where he started in Styria… and then, he charged up to fourth place. Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team) had a muted qualifying and lines up 11th, similarly Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) in 12th.

Jorge Martin: “I always work well under pressure and today was one of those days, after crashing in FP3 I wasn’t confident, I don’t know why but this morning, the setup… I was missing confidence in braking and acceleration, but we tried things in FP4 and I was really happy. Then in Q1 I was a bit nervous because it’s always difficult to go to Q2, even if I was confident, in Q1 everyone’s fast! (…)

“Then the first stint in Q2 was good but I had a problem with the front brake, it was too hot because of Q1 and I had a lot of vibrations on the second stint too. But I could get this pole position and it’s unbelievable, when I was up three tenths in the first sector, I was impressed! I was thinking ‘oh I can get pole’! but then I made a mistake at the final corner, and I had some doubts… but yeah, when I crossed the finish line I was impressed. I’m living a dream, I love the bike and love the team, we’re in a great moment even with two crashes and some pain in my knee from the last crash, but happy for the work done and hope we can battle for the podium tomorrow.”


Bagnaia impressed again to lock out the front row

Lowes lays down the marker for pole in Austria

The Brit hits back to head the grid, ahead Raul Fernandez and another front row stunner from Ogura

Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) reigned the Red Bull Ring on Saturday, the Brit taking pole for the Bitci Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich by just 0.068 from Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo). On the front row last weekend and setting the fastest lap in the race, Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) takes third to start from the front once again.


The fight to head through was headed by an incredibly close duel, with Stefano Manzi (Flexbox HP 40) coming out on top by just 0.018 ahead of Petronas Sprinta Racing’s Jake Dixon. It wasn’t much more breathing space back to third either as Fabio Di Giannantonio (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) took the third spot 0.055 further back, with teammate Nicolo Bulega the last man to move through… with just 0.010 in hand, such were the margins.


World Championship leader Remy Gardner (Red Bull KTM Ajo) was fastest out of the blocks in Q2 and set consecutive fastest times, before Aron Canet (Aspar Team Moto2) went P1 with a 1:29.015. The Spaniard’s time at the top didn’t last long though as Ogura and then Lowes, and then Ogura again, took over on provisional pole.

Suddenly, Styrian GP winner Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46) then crashed at Turn 9, bringing out the yellow flags while on a personal best. Meanwhile Gardner was 12th with teammate Raul Fernandez 14th, needing to find six tenths to bridge the gap to Ogura in the hotter afternoon conditions. And Gardner did respond, the Australian climbing to provisional P3 before Augusto Fernandez pipped him to it.

On his next lap, Augusto Fernandez then went one better into second, before his teammate Lowes snatched P1. And opposite drama then came for each Red Bull KTM Ajo rider: Gardner crashed for the first time this season – including testing – as Raul Fernandez shot up into second. Just ahead, Lowes held onto a 15th Moto2™ pole position, less than a tenth clear of Raul Fernandez, with Ogura securing third.

The Grid

Behind Lowes, Raul Fernandez and Ogura, Styrian GP podium finisher Augusto Fernandez heads up the second row. He’s joined there by Gardner in fifth and Canet in sixth, the latter another on the rostrum last weekend.

Somkiat Chantra (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) picked up a fantastic P7 with more good speed at the Red Bull Ring, and that was also true of Celestino Vietti (Sky Racing Team VR46) as the Italian makes it three rookies inside the top eight. 2019 Moto3™ World Champion Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Italtrans Racing Team) is ninth, with Tom Lüthi (Pertamina Mandalika SAG Team) locking out the top ten.

So where’s Bezzecchi? It was a tough day for the Italian as his crash sees the man third in the Championship – and last week’s race winner – having to start from P16. Marcel Schrötter (Liqui Moly Intact GP), Marcos Ramirez (American Racing), Dixon, Jorge Navarro (Lightech Speed Up) and Di Giannantonio stand between the number 72 and the top ten.

Sam Lowes: “I like the track, I just don’t seem to go so good here! I’m really happy this weekend, we’ve made some decent changes to the bike. Thanks to the team for making the big effort, and we managed to improve the pace a lot. In qualifying I expected the times to maybe not be that fast because of the hot temperature, but with the soft tyre on the first run I didn’t make a bad laptime but I felt like I was pushing the front a bit, so we came in and changed to the hard, and for me it was a bit easier to ride and we did the laptime. I’m looking forward to tomorrow, we’ll try and have a good race!”


Fenati flies to first pole since 2017

The Italian just pips Suzuki to it by less than a tenth, with Alcoba completing a very different Red Bull Ring front row on take two

Romano Fenati (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) backed up his podium in the Styrian GP with pole position for the Bitci Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich, the Italian fastest in qualifying for the first time since Silverstone 2017 and setting his lap alone, too. He just beat Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) to it by 0.071, with Jeremy Alcoba (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3) completing the front row after a late lunge up the order.


Riccardo Rossi (BOE Owlride) topped the first qualifying session, but it was incredibly close at the top with three riders covered by just 0.025. Carlos Tatay (Avintia Esponsorama Moto3) and Stefano Nepa completed that fast trio, with Kaito Toba (CIP Green Power) the final graduate to Q2.

One name that left out the fight for the top 18 on the grid was Andrea Migno (Rivacold Snipers Team), the Italian seventh in the session and looking to move forward on Sunday.


Q2 started with double drama for Gabriel Rodrigo (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3). First, for irresponsible riding during FP3 in an incident with Ryusei Yamanaka (CarXpert PrüstelGP), the Argentinean was given a pitlane start for Sunday’s race. And Yamanaka was declared unfit for a small fracture to his humerus. Then, in Q2, Rodrigo crashed with Tatsuki Suzuki and both tumbled out… just as Suzuki was on provisional pole. Rodrigo was later given a Long Lap penalty for the incident.

Provisional pole wouldn’t last for Suzuki either, with Fenati taking over with two minutes to go and the Japanese rider left waiting to see who else could leapfrog his time. On the final push though, only Fenati was up in the first sector, and he lost a little as the lap went on. Any red sectors disappeared from the rest, too… leaving pole position decided.

Suzuki takes second despite being on the sidelines, just 0.71 off Fenati, and he was also declared fit after a trip to the Medical Centre for a check up. Jeremy Alcoba made his lunge up the timesheets late on to snatch third and lock out the front row, two tenths off the top.

The Grid

Fenati, Suzuki and Alcoba head the grid, with an orange armada just behind them. First up it’s Jaume Masia (Red Bull KTM Ajo) in fourth, with Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Deniz Öncü and Ayumu Sasaki alongside on Row 2.

Championship leader Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) heads up Row 3 in seventh place, and he would have Rodrigo alongside if not for the Argentinean’s penalty. So instead, Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) and Stefano Nepa (BOE Owlride) complete a third row covered by mere hundredths.

Rookie Izan Guevara (Santander Consumer Bank GASGAS Aspar Team) is next up, the rookie’s solid weekend continuing as he takes 10th on the grid, with Rossi and Toba making their graduation from Q1 count in 11th and 12th. Second in the standings, Sergio Garcia (Santander Consumer Bank GASGAS Aspar Team), took 13th after a tougher qualifying, but he’ll be confident of moving forward on Sunday. John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) and Tatay are alongside the Spaniard on Row 5.

Romano Fenati: “For sure I’m happy, today the bike was really, really fast, I had a lot of confidence, and also with the different conditions to last week. Today was hotter. I’m happy, in my big moment of the season! I have to push harder tomorrow to stay in front because it’s important for the Championship, so today I’m happy but it’s not so important, the important thing is the race!”

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