Marquez pole, Ducati win: will history repeat?

For the last two seasons, the Repsol Honda Team rider has failed to convert pole into victory in Austria. Is a repeat on the cards?

For the 59th and record-breaking time, Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) claimed a premier class pole position as he showed superior form on Saturday at the myWorld Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich. It’s a result that sees him start from P1 for the third successive year at the Red Bull Ring, but it’s a circuit he’s yet to win at.

It remains the only track on the current calendar that Marquez is yet to stand on the top step at. So, will the seven-time Champion be able to break the Ducati stranglehold on Austrian soil, or will the Bologna factory’s 100% win record continue? It goes without saying that Marquez will be hoping history won’t repeat itself this time around, having lost out to both Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo in the last two seasons come Sunday afternoon, despite claiming pole position just 24 hours earlier.

A four-tenth margin in Q2 certainly sent a message to his competitors that the number 93 means business this weekend. But Ducati and Dovizioso – who starts from P3 – have been in a similar position before. In terms of race pace, the Italian is Marquez’ closest competitor and Dovi is confident he has “a big chance” of taking it to Marquez.

“It’s very important because the start is very short and it’s very important to start with Marc at the beginning because he will surely try to go alone because it’s easier to win, especially at this track,” commented Dovi, chatting about securing a vital front row start.

“So, it was very important and I’m happy because the feeling in the qualifying wasn’t perfect and it was very difficult to ride the 23 low but we did it in the end. We’ve worked hard for the race and the pace is quite good, so I think we have a big chance to fight with Marc… I’m confident because I feel good about the race pace. This gives us a big chance to fight, but last year Marc arrived in front of me, the pace is a bit faster in practice from Marc, so he’s surely a favourite but we’re there.”

The start will be crucial for Dovizioso on Sunday. Get ahead of Marquez in the opening exchanges and we could be in for a repeat of the 2017 epic the duo treated us to. No one knows what will happen, but will history repeat itself for Ducati and Marquez? The Bologna factory and Dovizioso will be hoping for a hattrick, while Marquez is aiming for third time lucky.

An intense battle awaits in Austria. Marquez is in bullish form, but Ducati and Dovi aren't going to let Honda claim bragging rights on their territory without a fight. Don’t miss the MotoGP™ race at 14:00 local time (GMT+2) to see who claims victory in 2019 at the Red Bull Ring.

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