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9 days ago
By motogp.com

Bagnaia bolts to pole, Oliveira starts second

The Championship protagonists will start P1 and P2 at the Austrian GP

Francesco Bagnaia (SKY Racing Team VR46) sealed pole position at the eyetime Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich after setting a scorching 1:29.409 on his fifth flying lap, ensuring he starts Sunday’s race ahead of second place and main Championship rival Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo), who starts on the front row for the first time since Sepang last season, 0.310 behind the Italian. Fabio Quartararo (+ Ego – Speed Up Racing) completed the front row in a dramatic Moto2™ session.

As has become accustomed in Moto2™ qualifying due to the premier class laying down the rubber beforehand, some of the fastest times were set at the start of the session, with Bagnaia coming straight out the blocks to set what proved to be an unbeatable benchmark. Oliveira had to wait until his 22nd flying lap to set his quickest time, but the Championship leader couldn’t get within three tenths of the man who sits just four points adrift of him in the overall standings.

Quartararo was another to set his best lap late in the session before a battery issue signaled a premature end to the session, with Bagnaia also having to end his session short - running out of fuel on the run towards Turn 3. Fourth in qualifying was Jorge Navarro (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) who grabbed his equal best Saturday afternoon result of the season, with Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) recovering from a small crash at Turn 3 to qualify fifth – Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) rounds out the second row in sixth.

Marcel Schrötter (Dynavolt Intact GP) starts seventh, 0.026 off the second row, with Sachsenring winner Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) eighth at the team’s home race. Lorenzo Baldassarri (Pons HP40) had to pull off the circuit late in the session with what looked like a mechanical failure on his Kalex machine, the Italian will launch from P9. Brno’s pole man Luca Marini (SKY Racing Team VR46) settled for tenth after a crash with just over 20 minutes to go briefly saw the Red Flag’s shown – rider ok.

The session started in dramatic fashion for Steven Odendaal (NTS RW Racing GP) and Xavi Vierge (Dynavolt Intact GP) after they collided at Turn 1, resulting in Vierge being declared unfit for the race after suffering a right wrist fracture. Joan Mir (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) and Iker Lecuona (Swiss Innovative Investors) also crashed in the session – riders ok.

So, it’s the top two in the Championship who will start P1 and P2 on the grid for Sunday’s intermediate class race at the Red Bull Ring, but who will come out on top? Get ready for another pivotal round in the Moto2™ World Championship, and you can watch it live from 12:20 local time (GMT +2).

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Austrian GP: Moto2™ Qualifying

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