MOTOGP NEWS - Marc Marquez will start the Austrian MotoGP from pole after Honda's world champion posted a new lap record time in qualifying on Saturday to overtake Mick Doohan's all-time mark with his 59th pole in the top division.
The Spaniard, who holds a commanding 63-point lead in his hunt for a sixth MotoGP world title, is seeking his first ever win in Austria but his seventh of 2019.
Marquez secured his landmark pole in style with a fastest ever lap at the Red Bull Ring of 1min 23.027sec, having topped all four practice sessions.
"I produced what was a really very good lap. I made a minor mistake in the last sector but I had a good rhythm," he said.
Fellow Honda rider Cal Crutchlow hailed the Spanish rider.
"He's like Houdini," Crutchlow told motorsport.com. "He just vanishes in thin air - you see him one minute and he's gone the next."
Marquez had drawn level with retired Australian five-time world champion Doohan's tally at Brno last time out.
The Lewis Hamilton of the two-wheel fastlane is joined on the front row by Fabio Quartararo, the French rookie with Yamaha's satellite SRT team, who pushed factory Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso into third with his final lap.
"This front row is like pole for me," the talented Frenchman told Canal+.
"I'm happy because I never thought I could make the front row in Austria and we've succeeded."
Ducati are seeking their fourth straight win in Austria, but they appear to have their work cut out with Marquez's Honda a sizeable 0.434sec clear of Quartararo.
The second row is occupied by Maverick Vinales (Yamaha), Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati-Pramac) and Takaaki Nakagami (Honda-LCR).
"Honestly, I'm really happy because we worked in a good way today," said Vinales.
"But we have to keep trying because we lose a few tenths on the straights which we have to recover on the brakes and corner speed. We have to keep working hard to see if we can improve."
Honda's German test driver Stefan Bradl, who is replacing Marquez's injured Repsol Honda teammate Jorge Lorenzo, starts in 21st and last place in this 11th instalment of the 19-race season.
Italian MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi was looking good for a prominent starting position in Q2 before having to settle for 10th on his factory Yamaha.
"Starting from the fourth row will be hard, but my pace is quite good, I'm not so bad," said seven-time premier class world champion Rossi.