Championship leader Marc Marquez claims third straight pole in Austria

Pauline Gross
August 13, 2017

The reigning world champion was right at the tail of the Ducati rider with Dovizioso crossing the chequered flag just 0.176 seconds ahead of Marquez.

It was the Italian's third win of the season after his back-to-back victories in Italy and Catalonia in June.

The Austrian GP started with Marquez on the pole and the Honda rider seemed determined to keep things that way.

Marquez got close to Andrea Iannone's outright lap record with a 1'23.235 but bailed out of his final lap as he saw Dovizioso was in attendance, trying to get a tow around the Red Bull Ring.

Marquez defended his move and admitted that in the moment he forgot about his championship hopes, with the five-time world champion admitting he wouldn't be able to sleep on Sunday night without knowing if he could've won the race, even if it jeopardised his championship lead.

Chasing his fourth career championship, Marquez leads the standings and is 16 points clear of Dovizioso with seven races left.

That proved only a temporary setback though as Marquez quickly reclaimed second before forcing compatriot Lorenzo wide at Remus. "No worries. Next time we'll try again", said Marquez.

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With Dovizioso repeatedly blocking off Marquez's favoured overtaking spot - Turn 7 - in the final minutes, their battle came down to the very last corner of the last lap.

Meanwhile, Dani Pedrosa showed some fantastic pace during the Austrian MotoGP.

Johann Zarco started slowly on his soft/soft tyre combination but gradually wound up to claim sixth place with a 1'23.879 and demote Yamaha stablemate Valentino Rossi to the head of row three. Pedrosa eventually passed Lorenzo to take third place and finished comfortably in the space, but couldn't match up to the fight of the top two.

The 2015-spec Ducatis of Loris Baz (Avintia) and Aspar's Karel Abraham completed the top eight and will take part in Q2 as a result.

Six-time MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi on Yamaha posted the seventh fastest time, while last year's victor, Suzuki rider Andrea Iannone, was 10th.

Tech 3's Jonas Folger was the only rider to crash during the session, the German taking a fall at the Turn 4 right-hander.

Other reports by GizPress

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