Factory Ducati’s Andrea Iannone has snatched MotoGP pole position from under the nose of Valentino Rossi by a tenth of a second with his final lap of qualifying at the Red Bull Ring with Andrea Dovizoso bagging the final front row spot.
The works Desmosedicis were expected to top the final timed session with their horsepower and top speed advantage but Yamaha have spent the weekend learning how to make their M1 competitive and as Rossi briefly hit the top of the timesheets with only seconds of the session left, team-mate Jorge Lorenzo also flirted with the front row.
It was Rossi’s lap of 1’23.289 which pushed Lorenzo to the head of row two before Iannone put in the fastest time of the weekend - a 1’23.142 - to make it an all-Italian front row for tomorrow’s race in Austria.
Marc Marquez came back from a big crash in free practice three - which saw him taken to hospital for checks - and managed a 1’23.475 to take fifth place even though he lost the front for 20 feet but managed to pick his RC213V up on his knee.
Maverick Vinales completes the second row with Cal Crutchlow, who flew through from qualifying one, had his first fast lap deleted for exceeding track limits. His next flying lap was good enough for seventh place and he nudged Scott Redding’s Octo Ducati back into eighth place, one ahead of the injured Aleix Espargaro.
Hector Barbera is in tenth place while Eugene Laverty put in his best-ever MotoGP qualifying performance to come through from qualifying one with a 1’23.961 but couldn;t match it in the final session.
Dani Pedrosa ended in 12th place, just head of Danilo Petrucci with Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro completing the top 15.