Moto GP – Styrian GP – Qualifying
Back again with a second GP at the Red Bull Ring. As teams and riders had another shot on the same track they raced last week. Some of the teams, like LCR Honda, Suzuki and KTM, had improved the pace and were getting stronger in order to challenge Ducati on this weekend.
Q1 started quite a bit late, after an incidente on Moto3 force to delay all sessions from the 3 categories in order to clean the track. eventually at 14:30 the first qualify session had almost the same riders as last week´s Q1 session. With Brad Binder, Valentino Rossi, Danilo Petrucci and Cal Crutchlow as main candidates to get a spot at Q1. With Johann Zarco pretty much not taking part of Qualify, as he was penalized with a pit lane start after that huge crash on last week.
The first stint saw a diverse group of riders as the Ducatis of Petrucci and Zarco were ahead of the group on first and second place. with Binder, Rossi and Aleix Espargaro very close on the lap times. As last 5 minutes were left, riders started their last attempt. As Binder and Rossi went ahead of the group on 1st and 2nd respectively, then Lecuona made a strong lap ahead of both riders, then Zarco overtook everyone as the he went the fastest. As Rossi pushed to the limit, went too fast at turn 9 and went to the groun with no injury to report. At the end, it was Danilo Petrucci who took the last spot on the next session as he demoted Iker Lecuona and pretty much was the only rider to advance, as Zarco´s qualify would´nt matter due to the penalty.
13. Iker Lecuona /// 14. Brad Binder /// 15. Valentino Rossi
16. Michele Pirro /// 17. Álex Márquez /// 18. Cal Crutchlow
19. Bradley Smith /// 20. Aleix Espargaró /// 21. Stefan Bradl
22. Tito Rabat
Next qualify session was underway, with riders having a shot for a best place on the first four rows of the grid. First minutes had a quite a lot of movement, Quartararo, Pol Espargaro, Viñales and Zarco constantly chaging places at front. even with a pleasant surprise as Nakagami at the end of the first stint. last minutes were by and pole position battle was getting intense, as Nakagami was still on front, many riders were pushing too hard, that even got their lap times cancelled like Viñales and Mir. As on its penultimate attempt, Pol Espargaro got a flying lap and crossed the line first ahead of Takaaki Nakagami 2nd and as Johann Zarco ended 3rd, his place would be given to Joan Mir due to the penalty.
1. Pol Espargaró /// 2. Takaaki Nakagami /// 3. Johann Zarco (P)
4. Joan Mir /// 5. Jack Miller /// 6. Maverick Viñales
7. Álex Rins /// 8. Miguel Oliveira /// 9. Andrea Dovizioso
10. Fabio Quartararo /// 11. Franco Morbidelli /// 12. Danilo Petrucci
Another historic result for KTM as the team grabs a maiden Pole position, with Pol also getting his first career pole at the Moto GP category. Now is up to them if they can capitalize this opportunity on tomorrow´s race, against a large variety of riders looking to ascend some places at the championship standings.