Bastianini claims maiden MotoGP pole in Austria after edging out Bagnaia

·2-min read

Enea Bastianini will start on pole for the first time in his MotoGP career at the Austrian Grand Prix after edging out Francesco Bagnaia for top spot.

Gresini Racing rider Bastianini beat Bagnaia's time by 0.024 seconds to claim his first premier class pole position.

Ducati's Jack Miller completed the front row, while Fabio Quartararo and Aleix Espargaro – the top two in the riders' standings – now face second and third-row starts respectively.

Bastianini was surprised to claim pole after leaving it late but is determined to start quickly on Sunday.

"It's been a long time without a pole position for me," he said. "I'm really happy for the team; we have prepared very well for the qualifying.

"I was fast in all the laps and made good paces; I was confident I would do a great job.

"To start in front is a surprise. It is looking good for tomorrow.

"Tomorrow, we have to be fast from the start. Usually I'm fast in the second part, so it's important to start fast. We will see tomorrow in the race."

Quartararo, who is 22 points ahead of Espargaro at the top of the riders' standings, will start from fifth on the grid after posting a time 0.231s slower than Bastianini's.

The Frenchman revealed he did not feel like he had full control of his bike, which again impacted his enjoyment of qualifying.

"In qualifying, in every corner, I don't know if I'm going to turn or if I'm going to go in the gravel, so that's the most difficult thing," he said.

"My front is moving so much, the bike is moving, and at the end I don't have 100 per cent control in the qualifying.

"On the race pace, we are always more or less good, but in qualifying I have no control. I'm just out of control, and this is a problem.

"In 2019 or even last year, I was much more consistent and better. But this year is a nightmare for us. I'm not enjoying qualifying like before."

PROVISIONAL GRID

1. Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing) 1:28.772
2. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati) + 0.024
3. Jack Miller (Ducati) + 0.109
4. Jorge Martin (Pramac Racing) + 0.186
5. Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) + 0.231
6. Johann Zarco (Pramac Racing) + 0.274
7. Maverick Vinales (Aprilia Racing) + 0.363
8. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) + 0.483
9. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) + 0.483
10. Fabio Di Giannantonio (Gresini Racing) + 0.564