Pecco Bagnaia ramped up the pressure on his 2023 MotoGP World Championship title rivals by taking pole position of the Austrian MotoGP at Spielberg.
The reigning champion left it until his final time attack to pop up into the top spot, the Italian nudging ahead of Maverick Vinales to take pole by just under four hundredths of a second.
An important boost for the Ducati Lenovo Team rider, Bagnaia's run to pole gives him a significant advantage over his two closest rivals in the overall standings after Marco Bezzecchi and Jorge Martin could only manage seventh and 12th respectively.
Prior to Bagnaia's rapid final effort, pole position had looked to be going the way of Vinales for what would have been his first MotoGP pole position since joining Aprilia.
The Spaniard's 1m 28.576secs lap kept him fastest until the final stages, though second still represents his best qualifying performance on the Aprilia RS-GP.
The same went for Brad Binder too, who toasted news of his new KTM deal by landing his first-ever front row start in third place. Indeed, it was a strong morning for the manufacturer at its home venue with Jack Miller progressing from Q1 to secure fourth at the end of Q2.
He will share row two with Alex Marquez, though he could face a reprimand for touring in the path of Martin in the final seconds, ruining the Spaniard's last time attack. Like Miller, Luca Marino made it past Q1 to secure sixth on the grid, ahead of VR46 team-mate Bezzecchi, the Italian unable to tap into his lap record pace of Friday as he made do with seventh
Miguel Oliveira secured a spot in the middle of row three, where he will be joined by Fabio Quartararo, while Johann Zarco, Alex Espargaro - who suffered a tip off at Turn 4 - and a disgruntled Martin make up row four.
|2023 Austrian MotoGP | Spielberg, Austria | Qualifying Results | Round 10 of 20|
|1||Pecco Bagnaia||🇮🇹||Ducati Leonovo Team||Ducati GP23||1m 28.539|
|2||Maverick Vinales||🇪🇦||Aprilia Racing||Aprilia RS-GP||1m 28.576|
|3||Brad Binder||🇿🇦||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM RC16||1m 28.653|
|4||Jack Miller||🇦🇺||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM RC16||1m 28.769|
|5||Alex Marquez||🇪🇦||Gresini Racing MotoGP||Ducati GP22||1m 28.828|
|6||Luca Marini||🇮🇹||Mooney VR46 Racing||Ducati GP22||1m 28.839|
|7||Marco Bezzecchi||🇮🇹||Mooney VR46 Racing||Ducati GP22||1m 28.908|
|8||Miguel Oliveira||🇵🇹||CryptoData RNF Racing||Aprilia RS-GP||1m 28.966|
|9||Fabio Quartararo||🇨🇵||Monster Energy Yamaha||Yamaha M1||1m 29.034|
|10||Johann Zarco||🇨🇵||Prima Pramac Racing||Ducati GP23||1m 29.113|
|11||Aleix Espargaro||🇪🇦||Aprilia Racing||Aprilia RS-GP||1m 29.245|
|12||Jorge Martin||🇪🇦||Prima Pramac Racing||Ducati GP23||1m 30.367|
|13||Pol Espargaro||🇪🇦||GasGas Factory Racing Tech3||KTM RC16||1m 29.295|
|14||Enea Bastianini||🇮🇹||Ducati Leonovo Team||Ducati GP23||1m 29.365|
|15||Franco Morbidelli||🇮🇹||Monster Energy Yamaha||Yamaha M1||1m 29.446|
|16||Joan Mir||🇪🇦||Repsol Honda Team||Honda RC213V||1m 29.454|
|17||Raul Fernandez||🇪🇦||CryptoData RNF Racing||Aprilia RS-GP||1m 29.476|
|18||Marc Marquez||🇪🇦||Repsol Honda Team||Honda RC213V||1m 29.479|
|19||Takaaki Nakagami||🇯🇵||LCR Honda IDEMITSU||Honda RC213V||1m 29.508|
|20||Fabio di Giannantonio||🇮🇹||Gresini Racing MotoGP||Ducati GP22||1m 29.681|
|21||Iker Lecuona||🇪🇦||LCR Honda Castrol||Honda RC213V||1m 29.751|
|22||Augusto Fernandez||🇪🇦||GasGas Factory Racing Tech3||KTM RC16||1m 29.769|
|23||Lorenzo Savadori||🇮🇹||Aprilia Racing||Aprilia RS-GP||1m 29.962|