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MotoGP Austrian GP: Bagnaia beats Vinales to pole

World championship leader Francesco Bagnaia snatched pole from Maverick Vinales in a thrilling qualifying for the MotoGP Austrian Grand Prix.

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

In a frantic final 15 minutes, pole position changed hands frequently as Ducati, Aprilia and KTM battled for top honours.

A late 1m28.539s from reigning world champion Bagnaia moved him to top spot and allowed him to take his fifth pole of the season.

Vinales was second from KTM’s Brad Binder to complete the front row, as Fabio Quartararo was the sole Japanese manufacturer representative in the top 10, qualifying ninth on his factory Yamaha.

With a new circuit lap record set on Friday in practice, the battle for pole was expected to be a frantic affair, and proved so in the opening salvo.

Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro set the initial pace at 1m29.916s, before Binder – who has signed a new contract with KTM through to the end of 2026 – edged ahead with a 1m29.610s.

But Binder’s lap was scrubbed for exceeding track limits, reinstating Espargaro to the top of the order before RNF Aprilia’s Miguel Oliveira took over with a 1m29.807s.

Vinales then set the pace with a 1m29.249s with just under 11 minutes to go, before Binder edged ahead with a 1m29.206s.

With nine minutes remaining, Vinales set a new reference with a 1m28.907s as nine minutes remained, after team-mate Espargaro crashed at Turn 3 seconds earlier.

Vinales’ time stood as the benchmark until the final three minutes, when he found a 1m28.576s.

But a first pole for Aprilia was denied by Bagnaia, who edged ahead by 0.037 seconds with his final flying effort of 1m28.539s – albeit missing out on a new lap record by just 0.006s.

Vinales held onto second, while Binder completed the front row for the first time since last year’s Japanese GP.

Maverick Vinales, Aprilia Racing Team

Maverick Vinales, Aprilia Racing Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

KTM team-mate Jack Miller came through Q1 to qualify fourth ahead of Gresini Ducati’s Alex Marquez, while Luca Marini was sixth on his VR46 Ducati.

Team-mate Marco Bezzecchi was seventh ahead of Oliveira and Quartararo, with Johann Zarco rounding out the top 10 on his Pramac Ducati.

Espargaro was 11th after his tumble, with Jorge Martin (Pramac) 12th having had most of his laps cancelled for exceeding track limits.

Narrowly denied a place in Q2, Tech3’s Pol Espargaro will go from 13th in this afternoon’s sprint – but will drop three places for the grand prix after blocking Marc Marquez in FP2 on Friday.

Enea Bastianini’s difficult campaign continued on the factory Ducati in 14th ahead of Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli and Honda’s Joan Mir.

Raul Fernandez split the factory Honda pair on his RNF Aprilia, with Marc Marquez shuffled down to 18th as a result ahead of LCR’s Takaaki Nakagami.

Fabio Di Giannantonio was 20th on his Gresini Ducati from LCR stand-in Iker Lecuona, Tech3’s Augusto Fernandez and Aprilia wildcard Lorenzo Savadori.

MotoGP Austrian GP qualifying - results

 
 
         
Driver Info
 
 
 
   
Cla Rider # Bike Laps Time Interval km/h Speed Trap
1 Italy F. Bagnaia Francesco Bagnaia Ducati Team 1 Ducati 8 1'28.539   175.895 311
2 Spain M. Viñales Maverick Viñales Aprilia Racing Team 12 Aprilia 8 +0.037 0.037 175.821 314
3 South Africa B. Binder Brad Binder Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 33 KTM 8 +0.114 0.077 175.669 313
4 Australia J. Miller Jack Miller Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 43 KTM 8 +0.230 0.116 175.439 311
5 Spain A. Marquez Alex Marquez Gresini Racing 73 Ducati 8 +0.289 0.059 175.323 313
6 Italy L. Marini Luca Marini Team VR46 10 Ducati 8 +0.300 0.011 175.301 313
7 Italy M. Bezzecchi Marco Bezzecchi Team VR46 72 Ducati 9 +0.369 0.069 175.165 314
8 Portugal M. Oliveira Miguel Oliveira RNF Racing 88 Aprilia 8 +0.427 0.058 175.051 313
9 France F. Quartararo Fabio Quartararo Yamaha Factory Racing 20 Yamaha 8 +0.495 0.068 174.917 313
10 France J. Zarco Johann Zarco Pramac Racing 5 Ducati 8 +0.574 0.079 174.762 311
11 Spain A. Espargaro Aleix Espargaro Aprilia Racing Team 41 Aprilia 8 +0.706 0.132 174.503 310
12 Spain J. Martin Jorge Martin Pramac Racing 89 Ducati 8 +1.828 1.122 172.337 314

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