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MotoGP

Bagnaia snatches Austrian GP MotoGP pole from Vinales

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
3 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

MotoGP championship leader Pecco Bagnaia narrowly outpaced Aprilia’s Maverick Vinales to secure pole position for the Saturday sprint and Sunday’s main race at the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring.

Vinales had led after the opening round of laps, but Ducati rider Bagnaia’s penultimate attempt prevented Vinales from celebrating a first pole position with Aprilia, with the gap between the pair just 0.037s.

Brad Binder put the local KTM team on the front row in third place, on the day he was announced as staying at the team through 2026. He was followed by team-mate Jack Miller, getting through to fourth place after having dominated the first qualifying segment.

Alex Marquez (Gresini Ducati), Luca Marini (VR46 Ducati) and Marco Bezzecchi (VR46 Ducati) completed the top seven.

Bezzecchi had set the new lap record of this Red Bull Ring configuration in practice on Friday, and Bagnaia was 0.006s off that with his pole time, but Bezzecchi himself was almost four tenths adrift.

Miguel Oliveira put the 2022 Aprilia eighth on the grid for RNF, followed by the lead Yamaha of Fabio Quartararo.

Johann Zarco (Pramac Ducati), Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia) and Jorge Martin (Pramac Ducati) completed the Q2 order, Martin having had his two best laptimes deleted for track limits offences. The better of the two would’ve put him sixth on the grid.

Espargaro had had a crash at Turn 3, known in the past as Remus, but wheeled the RS-GP back into the pits and was ultimately seven tenths off team-mate Vinales.

His brother Pol Espargaro (Tech3 Gas Gas) challenged for a Q2 spot in just his second race back after his injury absence, but ultimately had to settle for 13th, 0.175s away from advancing.

That 13th, however, will turn to 16th on the grid for having baulked Marc Marquez in practice – a penalty Espargaro acknowledged he fully deserved.

Instead, the fourth row will be made up of Bagnaia’s team-mate Enea Bastianini, who improved in the final moments on Q1, Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli and Honda’s Joan Mir.

The four Hondas were all split by just two tenths after their first runs in Q1, and never meaningfully challenged for a Q2 spot, but Mir outpacing the elder Marquez – who will start only 18th – by 0.025s will be a welcome pick-me up for the 2020 champion in what has been such a difficult first season on an RC213V so far.

Having ran close to the top 10 in Friday practice, Gresini’s Fabio Di Giannantonio crashed in the pre-qualifying practice session on Saturday morning, his Ducati slamming hard against the barrier in the Turn 9 run-off.

It likely compromised the Italian for qualifying, as he ended up in a distant 20th place.

Qualifying Results

Pos Name Team Bike Group 1 Group 2
1 Francesco Bagnaia Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1m28.539s
2 Maverick Viñales Aprilia Racing Aprilia 1m28.576s
3 Brad Binder Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1m28.653s
4 Jack Miller Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 1m28.831s 1m28.769s
5 Alex Marquez Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 1m28.828s
6 Luca Marini Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 1m29.12s 1m28.839s
7 Marco Bezzecchi Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 1m28.908s
8 Miguel Oliveira CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team Aprilia 1m28.966s
9 Fabio Quartararo Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1m29.034s
10 Johann Zarco Prima Pramac Racing Ducati 1m29.113s
11 Aleix Espargaró Aprilia Racing Aprilia 1m29.245s
12 Jorge Martin Prima Pramac Racing Ducati 1m30.367s
13 Pol Espargaró GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 KTM 1m29.295s
14 Enea Bastianini Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 1m29.365s
15 Franco Morbidelli Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1m29.446s
16 Joan Mir Repsol Honda Team Honda 1m29.454s
17 Raul Fernandez CryptoDATA RNF MotoGP Team Aprilia 1m29.476s
18 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda Team Honda 1m29.479s
19 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda 1m29.508s
20 Fabio Di Giannantonio Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 1m29.681s
21 Iker Lecuona LCR Honda CASTROL Honda 1m29.751s
22 Augusto Fernandez GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 KTM 1m29.769s
23 Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia Racing Aprilia 1m29.962s
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