First in this morning’s damp FP3 session, first in this afternoon’s dry FP4 session, Marc Marquez concluded an extremely positive Saturday at the Red Bull Ring by taking his 49th MotoGP pole, the 77th of his career.
It was not an easy affair for Marc. He had to fight tooth and nail to beat runner-up Andrea Dovizioso and third-fastest Jorge Lorenzo for the top spot on the grid, and he ultimately succeeded by the blink of an eye, just 0.002”. It was amazing display of riding and determination from the Championship leader as he prepared for tomorrow’s Austrian Grand Prix.
It will be a third-row start for teammate Dani Pedrosa, who suffered with the post-rain lack of grip, but the Spaniard looks forward to an improvement in track conditions with the fairer weather expected tomorrow and will endeavour to recover a good pace in the race.
“We’re on pole but it was all so very tight today. The plan was to make three runs, but I was comfortable during my second exit and decided not to stop. My last lap wasn’t perfect as I made a little mistake in the last corner and had to close the gas a little bit, but we got it anyway. I’ve felt good on the bike for the entire weekend, and today I was able to be fast during every practice, especially FP4, and that’s the most important thing. Anyway, we must keep pushing, keep working, and remain totally concentrated because Dovizioso and Lorenzo have a very good pace, consistent and fast. It looks like tomorrow will be dry and the warm-up will be crucial for choosing the best tyre for the race; I’ve tested the soft and the medium, but it will be important to also understand the level of the hard spec. Of course I would like to win here and tomorrow I’ll start with that objective, but if it’s not possible, I’ll take points for the championship.”
“After yesterday and today’s rain, the track didn’t have much grip, and I didn’t have a good feeling with the rear. Basically, that was the issue today, and it’s why our performance wasn’t what we were looking for. I hope the track conditions will improve tomorrow and that I’ll be able to start well and be fast from the beginning.”