Kömmerling Gresini Moto3's Gabriel Rodrigo will start a Moto3™ race from pole position for the first time since the 2019 Catalan Grand Prix after stealing top spot away with his final lap of Q2 at the BMW M Grand Prix of Styria. The session eventually got underway after a delay of over 20 minutes following Leopard Racing's Jaume Masia spilling oil throughout sectors three and four.
The Spaniard crashed on his final lap of Q1, a session he eventually topped, and proceeded to ride his bike back to pitlane without his gloves and front faring with a leakage spraying fluid all over the track. Both Davide Pizzoli (BOE Skull Rider Facile Energy) and Andrea Migno (SKY Racing Team VR46) both crashed on the fluid, fortunately without injury, and a major clean-up operation got underway. Last weekend's podium finisher was consequently banned from riding in Q2 and had to settle for 18th on the grid.
No gloves, no front fairing, a trail of smoke, but @jaume_masia advances to Q2 despite a crash! ????@_Nicco23, @Denizoncu53 and @DarrynBinder40 also move through! ⏩#AustrianGP ???? pic.twitter.com/CHGrXQE11O— MotoGP™???? (@MotoGP) August 22, 2020
Once Q2 got underway we were treated to some late drama as Rodrigo stole pole position away with his final flying lap of the session and with the chequered flag waving. Tony Arbolino (Rivacold Snipers Team) held provisional pole but then suddenly 2020's qualifying sensations Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) and Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) jumped ahead of him. It looked like Fernandez had done enough for a hat-trick of pole positions but Rodrigo stole it away for his first in over 12 months.
Arbolino will front the second row of the grid on Sunday and will be joined there by Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46), who will start from fifth at the Red Bull Ring for the second time in a week, and John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing).
Half a second behind Rodrigo's 1:36.470 and seventh on the grid will be Leopard Racing's Dennis Foggia, the Italian a fraction clear of Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia) who will start eighth. World Championship leader Albert Arenas (Valresa Aspar Team) suffered his worst qualifying of 2020 in ninth as he defends his 28 point title lead.
CIP Green Power's Darryn Binder will no doubt be a strong challenger on Sunday from 10th on the grid, and he will line-up on row four alongside another man likely to have his elbows out: Red Bull KTM Tech 3's Deniz Oncu.
1. Gabriel Rodrigo (Kömmerling Gresini Moto3) – 1:36.470
2. Raul Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.012
3. Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) + 0.064
4. Tony Arbolino (Rivacold Snipers Team) + 0.105
5. Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46) + 0.175
6. John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 0.342
7. Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing) + 0.495
8. Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia) + 0.559
9. Albert Arenas (Valresa Aspar Team) + 0.602
10. Darryn Binder (CIP Green Power) + 0.669