Courtesy of Red Bull Media Service Team
Pol Espargaró to start from front of grid after topping qualifying at Styrian GP.
Pol Espargaró came out on top after a hectic qualifying session at the Grand Prix of Styria, taking a first-ever premier-class pole position for both himself and the Red Bull KTM Factory team. Here is all you need to know:
– The Spanish rider, 29, set a fastest time of 1:23.580 in the closing minutes of Q2 to snatch pole away from Takaaki Nakagami.
– The achievement comes just two weeks after Espargaró’s teammate, Brad Binder, secured the first MotoGP win for the Austrian manufacturer with victory at the Czech Grand Prix in Brno.
– Espargaró commented: “Unbelievable. I’m really pleased. I couldn’t imagine we’d go pole and I was fighting for the first or the second row. We were struggling for a very fast lap: I was missing the last 10th [of a second] and making small mistakes. I knew I could do an ‘OK’ lap if I could stay away from the green track limits! Anyway, I’m super-pleased and super-happy. All my guys and all of Red Bull KTM have worked for this and I’m happy for them.”
– LCR rider Nakagami, whose final lap time was expunged for exceeding the track limits, will still be delighted to have achieved a career-best qualifying position of second.
– Ducati’s Jack Miller will have high hopes of a second consecutive weekend on the Red Bull Ring podium, having put in a time of 1:23.700 to grab P4 on tomorrow’s grid.
– The winner of last weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix, Andrea Dovizioso of Ducati, has some ground to make up in Sunday’s race, qualifying in eighth spot, but will know he has the speed and experience to do so.
– Fellow Ducati rider Johann Zarco came through a late fitness test to set the early pace and finished with the third-fastest time of the session. However, he will start from the back of the grid following a penalty for his part in last weekend’s crash.
Styrian GP qualifying
1. Pol Espargaró SPA Red Bull KTM 1:23.580
2. Takaaki Nakagami JAP LCR 1:23.602
3. Joan Mir SPA Suzuki 1:23.678
4. Jack Miller AUS Ducati 1:23.700
5. Maverick Viñales SPA Yamaha 1:23.778
2020 MotoGP rider standings
1. Fabio Quartararo FRA Yamaha 67 points
2. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati 56
3. Maverick Vinales SPA Yamaha 48
4. Brad Binder RSA KTM 41
5. Valentino Rossi ITA Yamaha 38