Pol Espargaro and Red Bull KTM Factory Racing have both bagged their first MotoGP pole positions today at the BMW M Grand Prix of Styria. The fierce qualifying session saw LCR Honda Idemitsu’s Takaaki Nakagami claim his first MotoGP front row finish as he stormed in P2, followed by Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Raving) in P3. The Frenchman, however, will start from the pit lane on Sunday.
After the first lap, the Styrian GP grew exciting with Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) was the first with a 1.23.866, Zarco in second. Espargaro came flying over to take provisional pole position from Quartararo as he took over by two-tenths and moved the top time to 1.23.645. But that wasn’t to last very long as Nakagami took P1 by 0.043.
Espargaro shot to the top time again by 0.022 as Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) climbed to P4 and teammate Mir was on pole but so was Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso. After a couple of sectors, Mir slotted in P3 and Dovizioso in P6.
Quartararo had slipped from P1 to P7 with just over a minute to go, as his compatriot Zarco went flying onto the front row. Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) found himself down in P10 and he was up after two sectors.
Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) will start P15 for the Styrian GP after crashing on his final flying lap in Q1. The Doctor was on course to potentially grab P2 in Q1 but he and his YZR-M1 slid out of contention at Turn 9, giving the Italian plenty of work to do on Sunday afternoon.
1. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) – 1:23.580
2. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) + 0.022
3. Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Racing) + 0.052
4. Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) + 0.098
5. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) + 0.120
6. Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) + 0.198
7. Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) + 0.202
8. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) + 0.217
9. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) + 0.269
10. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) + 0.286
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