LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow says his factory counterpart Marc Marquez is like "Houdini" in that he has "a trick" for every part of the Red Bull Ring circuit.
On one of the shortest tracks on the calendar, Marquez took Austrian Grand Prix pole position by a dominant 0.434 seconds, and broke Mick Doohan's record of 58 premier class poles in the process.
Crutchlow only qualified ninth, over seven tenths slower than Marquez and even behind his team-mate Takaaki Nakagami on the year-old Honda.
Nakagami took sixth, his best MotoGP qualifying position, and said that he learned a "trick" from Marquez, as well as Crutchlow, that is helping him ride the Honda better.
When asked what this was, Crutchlow was unable to explain but said that Marquez "has got a trick everywhere".
"I don't know what trick he's talking about - but from my eyes, Marc's got a trick everywhere," he said.
"He's like fucking Houdini. He just vanishes in thin air - you see him one minute and he's gone the next.
"It's not like he has a trick in one sector, I think he has a trick in all the sectors. He's riding amazingly, it's as simple as that.
"And you can't, even as a rider, give this guy enough credit for what he's doing, with the bike that he has. It's something very, very special."
Crutchlow feels the reigning champion is making the rest of the MotoGP grid "look average".
"It's clear he has an advantage over everyone else - but why, I have no idea. If I could go as fast as him, I would," he added.
"What he's doing different is in nearly every corner, every braking, every acceleration. The lap time I did in qualifying, he did about 15 of them this morning.
"But he's not just making me look average - I know that I'm on the same bike, but I can tell you now, you put most of the other guys on the grid on my bike, they're not going to be as fast as what I am.
"So, I think that everyone's trying their best, everyone's trying to match him, especially me, because I'm on the same manufacturer, but at the moment it's not possible."
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