The Spanish rider Maverick Viñales (Yamaha) took over the pole position of the Austrian Grand Prix this Saturday, the fourth round of the season, which takes place this weekend at the Spielberg circuit.
Viñales, who is second in the Drivers’ World Championship, was ahead in qualifying for Australian Jack Miller (Ducati-Pramac) and Frenchman Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha-SRT), current World Championship leader.
Italian Andrea Dovizioso, who announced just before qualifying that he will leave the Ducati team at the end of the season, will start from 4th place.
“My goal was to be on the front row but I had a good feeling on the bike and we have improved the settings a lot this morning” (in free trials), explained Viñales.
Quartararo said that his pace in preparation for Sunday’s race “is not bad” and said that his team added many modifications to the settings of his bike during testing and qualifying.
Winner of the first two races of the season, in the previous Grand Prix of the Czech Republic he experienced a slight disappointment when he finished 7th. However, the Frenchman still enjoys a 17-point lead in the World Cup over the poleman this Saturday.
The relative disappointment of the day was starred by KTM. The Austrian motorcycles, which are racing this weekend at home, could only be 5th with the Spanish Pol Espargaró and 17th with Brad Binder. The South African, debutant this year in MotoGP, won his first race in Brno last Sunday.
It was also the first for the team, which debuted in the premier class in 2016.
On his side, Italian ‘Doctor’ Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) will start 12th on Sunday.
Qualifying took place on a dry track despite the threat of rain at the Austrian circuit of Spielberg, which could be repeated on Sunday, when the race will take place at 2:00 p.m. local time (12:00 GMT).
The MotoGP championship is very open this year due to the injury of the six-time world champion and current winner Marc Márquez (Honda), who broke his right arm in the first Grand Prix of a season reduced by the coronavirus pandemic.
The departure of Andrea Dovizioso, 34, from Ducati, a team in which he has spent eight seasons and with which he has won 13 Grands Prix, frees one of the most coveted seats on the grid. That of ‘Dovi’ is one of the last seats of the big teams that remains to be attributed for the next season.
The two current Ducati riders are therefore to be replaced next season. Italian Danilo Petrucci will give up his position to Australian Jack Miller
– Qualification for the MotoGP Austrian Grand Prix, held this Saturday at the Spielberg circuit (4,318 km):
1. Maverick Viñales (ESP / Yamaha): 1.23.450
2. Jack Miller (AUS / Ducati-Pramac) 0.068
Fabio Quartararo (FRA / Yamaha-SRT) 0.087
4. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA / Ducati) 0.156
5. Pol Espargaró (ESP / KTM) 0.162
6. Joan Mir (ESP / Suzuki) 0.223
7. Franco Morbidelli (ITA / Yamaha-SRT) 0.269
8. Alex Rins (ESP / Suzuki) 0.281
9. Johann Zarco (FRA / Ducati / Avintia) 0.378
10. Takaaki Nakagami (JAP / Honda-LCR) 0.422
11. Miguel Oliveira (POR / KTM-Tech3) 0.489
12. Valentino Rossi (ITA / Yamaha) 0.545
– Starting grids in MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3 of the Austrian Grand Prix, fourth round of the Motorcycle World Championship:
1. Maverick Viñales (ESP / Yamaha)
2. Jack Miller (AUS / Ducati-Pramac)
Fabio Quartararo (FRA / Yamaha-SRT)
4. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA / Ducati)
5. Pol Espargaró (ESP / KTM)
6. Joan Mir (ESP / Suzuki)
7. Franco Morbidelli (ITA / Yamaha-SRT)
8. Alex Rins (ESP / Suzuki)
Johann Zarco (FRA / Ducati-Avintia)
10. Takaaki Nakagami (JAP / Honda-LCR)
11. Miguel Oliveira (POR / KTM-Tech3)
12. Valentino Rossi (ITA / Yamaha)
1. Remy Gardner (AUS / Kalex)
2. Jorge Martín (ESP / Kalex)
3. Marcel Schrötter (GER / Kalex)
4. Enea Bastianini (ITA / Kalex)
5. Arón Canet (ESP / Speed Up)
6. Sam Lowes (GBR / Kalex)
7. Jorge Navarro (ESP / Speed Up)
8. Luca Marini (ITA / Kalex)
9. Thomas Lüthi (SUI / Kalex)
1. Raúl Fernández (ESP / KTM)
2. Albert Arenas (ESP / KTM)
3. John McPhee (GBR / Honda)
4. Jaume Masiá (ESP / Honda)
5. Celestino Vietti (ITA / KTM)
6. Tatsuki Suzuki (JPN / Honda)
Gabriel Rodrigo (ARG / Honda)
8. Tony Arbolino (ITA / Honda)
9. Riccardo Rossi (ITA / KTM)
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