10.08.2019

Another Q2 slot for Pol Espargaro at Red Bull KTM's home Grand Prix

MotoGP 2019 - Round 11, Red Bull Ring (AUT)
Pol Espargaro KTM RC16 MotoGP Austria 2019

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The sun shone down on the thrilling and scenic circuit in Spielberg as the second day of Free Practice began and led straight into qualification with the lap-times extremely tight throughout the leaderboard. Despite missing the 2018 edition of the Grand Prix, Pol Espargaro established a positive feeling on his works KTM RC16 and spent FP3 refining suspension to cope with the Red Bull Ring’s mix of hard braking zones and sweeping turns. The Spaniard took 10th place to earn a slot directly into the decisive Q2 session and then attempted three flying laps. At one stage he held 7th but finally rested in 11th and less than a second from the new circuit record set by World Champion Marc Marquez.

Johann Zarco strived to hone his set-up and was able to register 16th place to sit on the sixth row of the grid. The Frenchman was bettered by Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Miguel Oliveira. The Portuguese set an impressive pace on Friday and was just three tenths of a second short of emerging from Q1. The former Moto3 and Moto2 race winner will position his #88 machine in 13th – his best MotoGP qualification yet - seven spots ahead of teammate Hafizh Syahrin, who was trying to recover form after a fall in Free Practice on Friday.

Pol Espargaro: “Everyone is super-fast. I wasn't here last year and two years ago we could not follow the improvements of the others but today we went into Q2 directly and then we made a good lap-time but it was not enough to be a bit further forward. Tomorrow we start from 11th, which is not too bad, and I think we can do a good race. The best thing we have is consistency with our lap-times. We’ll see if there is any rain tonight and if this changes the track conditions.”

Johann Zarco: “It might have been possible to be in Q2 but I gave my best. I could not go faster than I did. Today was at least constant, and I could do many good laps, which was great after our bad luck with a technical problem yesterday. It is our target to get faster: I’m not far from that possibility and I am not crashing so things are under control. We are just missing some speed.”

Miguel Oliveira: “We did a good job in FP3 and the Qualifying. We had a decent FP4 with a strong race pace, so everything is clear on our side for the race. Now we just need to do a compilation of our best settings and go for it. We feel comfortable with the bike on race pace, the target was to start a few rows in front and we did it, so we have to be happy.”

Hafizh Syahrin: “After my crash yesterday, I still don’t feel 100 percent fit but we improved the bike step by step and also my confidence, especially in the second last corner, after I went down there. Race day is tomorrow, so I will try to rest as good as possible in order to be ready.”

Moto2 & Moto3

In Moto2 both Red Bull KTM Ajo riders made the cut directly to Q2. Brad Binder missed out on his first Pole Position of the season by just 0.073 of a second but will stare at an empty track from the grid thanks to 2nd place and a prime front row spot. Jorge Martin takes the last space on the fourth row after qualifying in 12th.

Bester Capital Racing’s Jaume Masia emerged from Q1 to enter Q2 and seal a front row position for the Moto3 grid with 3rd (later pushed to 2nd after a sanction applied to Ayumu Suzuki). The young Spaniard was the highest-running KTM rider at the end of a frantic session. The Öncü twins will line-up in 27th and 28th.

Races: August 11th, 2019 – Moto3 11.00 | Moto2 12.20 | MotoGP 14.00 CET

Results Qualifying MotoGP Red Bull Ring 2019

1. Marc Marquez (ESP), Honda 1:23.027
2. Fabio Quartararo (FRA), Yamaha +0.434
3. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA), Ducati +0.488
4. Maverick Viñales (ESP), Yamaha +0.496
5. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA), Ducati +0.625
11. Pol Espargaro (ESP), Red Bull KTM +0.839
13. Miguel Oliveira (POR), Red Bull KTM Tech3 1:24.130 (Q1)
16. Johann Zarco (FRA), Red Bull KTM 1:24.392 (Q1)
20. Hafizh Syahrin (MYS), Red Bull KTM Tech3 1:24.759 (Q1)

Results Qualifying Moto2 Red Bull Ring 2019

1. Tetsuta Nagashima (JPN) Kalex 1:36.572
2. Brad Binder (RSA) Red Bull KTM Ajo +0.073
3. Somkiat Chantra (THA) Kalex +0.144
12. Jorge Martin (ESP) Red Bull KTM Ajo +0.343

Results/Grid Positions Moto3 Red Bull Ring 2019

1. Romano Fenati (ITA) Honda 1:36.460
2. Jaume Masia (SPA) KTM +0.229
3. John McPhee (GBR) Honda +0.230
27. Can Öncü (TUR) Red Bull KTM Ajo
28. Deniz Öncü (TUR) Red Bull KTM Ajo

Contact:
Press & PR Manager
Sebastian Kuhn
+43 676 599 0084
sebastian.kuhn@ktm.com

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