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Thursday, December 7, 2023

Bagnaia beats Vinales to pole

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In a frantic last quarter-hour, pole place modified palms continuously as Ducati, Aprilia and KTM battled for high honours.

A late 1m28.539s from reigning world champion Bagnaia moved him to high spot and allowed him to take his fifth pole of the season.

Vinales was second from KTM’s Brad Binder to finish the entrance row, as Fabio Quartararo was the only Japanese producer consultant within the high 10, qualifying ninth on his manufacturing facility Yamaha.

With a brand new circuit lap report set on Friday in observe, the battle for pole was anticipated to be a frantic affair, and proved so within the opening salvo.

Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro set the preliminary tempo at 1m29.916s, earlier than Binder – who has signed a new contract with KTM through to the end of 2026 – edged forward with a 1m29.610s.

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However Binder’s lap was scrubbed for exceeding observe limits, reinstating Espargaro to the highest of the order earlier than RNF Aprilia’s Miguel Oliveira took over with a 1m29.807s.

Vinales then set the tempo with a 1m29.249s with just below 11 minutes to go, earlier than Binder edged forward with a 1m29.206s.

With 9 minutes remaining, Vinales set a brand new reference with a 1m28.907s as 9 minutes remained, after team-mate Espargaro crashed at Flip 3 seconds earlier.

Vinales’ time stood because the benchmark till the ultimate three minutes, when he discovered a 1m28.576s.

However a primary pole for Aprilia was denied by Bagnaia, who edged forward by 0.037 seconds along with his last flying effort of 1m28.539s – albeit lacking out on a brand new lap report by simply 0.006s.

Vinales held onto second, whereas Binder accomplished the entrance row for the primary time since final 12 months’s Japanese GP.

Maverick Vinales, Aprilia Racing Group

Photograph by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

KTM team-mate Jack Miller got here by means of Q1 to qualify fourth forward of Gresini Ducati’s Alex Marquez, whereas Luca Marini was sixth on his VR46 Ducati.

Group-mate Marco Bezzecchi was seventh forward of Oliveira and Quartararo, with Johann Zarco rounding out the highest 10 on his Pramac Ducati.

Espargaro was eleventh after his tumble, with Jorge Martin (Pramac) twelfth having had most of his laps cancelled for exceeding observe limits.

Narrowly denied a spot in Q2, Tech3’s Pol Espargaro will go from thirteenth on this afternoon’s dash – however will drop three locations for the grand prix after blocking Marc Marquez in FP2 on Friday.

Enea Bastianini’s troublesome marketing campaign continued on the manufacturing facility Ducati in 14th forward of Yamaha’s Franco Morbidelli and Honda’s Joan Mir.

Raul Fernandez cut up the manufacturing facility Honda pair on his RNF Aprilia, with Marc Marquez shuffled right down to 18th in consequence forward of LCR’s Takaaki Nakagami.

Fabio Di Giannantonio was twentieth on his Gresini Ducati from LCR stand-in Iker Lecuona, Tech3’s Augusto Fernandez and Aprilia wildcard Lorenzo Savadori.

MotoGP Austrian GP qualifying – outcomes

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