Andrea Iannone’s late charge in Austria saw him snatch the pole from Valentino Rossi and Andrea Dovizioso.
Ducati’s Andrea Iannone stormed to pole for the Austrian Gran Prix after a closely fought battle with Valentino Rossi, Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo. Rossi finished 2nd with Dovizioso taking the 3rd spot on the grid, making it an all Italian front row.
Thanks to the long-straights and stop-go layout of the circuit, Ducatis dominated the field during the practice sessions. The first rider to challenge the Ducati riders during qualifying today was Lorenzo as he topped the time-sheet during the early laps of the 15-minute shootout. In the closing laps though, Dovizioso went faster by 0.219s over Lorenzo, although his reign lasted for a very brief time. Rossi took 0.156s off Dovizioso’s lap time to move to the top, but then, Iannone’s flying lap of 1’23.142 helped him snatch the pole from Rossi.
Lorenzo will start 4th from the grid while current championship points leader, Marc Marquez, finished 5th. Earlier in the day Marquez had a massive crash as he dislocated his shoulder in the morning practice. However, after treatment he was allowed to take part in the qualifying by the medical team. Maverick Vinales completes the second row in 6th spot.
Cal Crutchlow (7th), Scott Redding (8th) and Aleix Espargaro (9th) will line up on the third row for race tomorrow. The fourth row will have Hector Barbera in 10th, Eugene Laverty in 11th and Dani Pedrosa in 12th spot.