World championship leader Marc Marquez will start Sunday's Austrian MotoGP from pole position after holding off the Ducati challenge at the Red Bull Ring.

Using the medium front and soft tyre combination, the Repsol Honda star kept last year's runner-up Andrea Dovizioso at bay by 0.144s, the Italian and his team being rewarded for a 'crazy' decision to fit the medium rear due to the afternoon heat.

Team-mate Jorge Lorenzo opted to use soft-soft rubber as he completed the front row with a best lap 0.386s behind Marquez. The Spaniard, riding with a special 'Diablo' helmet design, is looking increasing confident as the weekend goes on.

Row two will consist of Movistar Yamaha's Maverick Vinales, Pramac's Danilo Petrucci and Monster Yamaha Tech 3's Johann Zarco. The Frenchman again went his own way in qualifying, declining a pit stop and making only a single run.

Vinales team-mate Valentino Rossi was left in row three (+0.747s), alongside Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa and Honda's Cal Crutchlow. Suzuki's Andrea Iannone, last year's winner for Ducati, Aspar's Karel Abraham and Avintia's Loris Baz completed the Qualifying 2 participants.

Marquez starts Sunday's race with a 14-point lead over Vinales, 21-point lead over Dovizioso and 22-point lead over Rossi.

CLICK HERE for the full qualifying results...


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I don't think it can be denied, Marc Marquez is getting a sniff of another world title. He sure has a sting in his tail. I was watching him overtaking Tito Rabat, (FP3 i think), he swung  around on the seat letting Tito know with hand gestures he wasn't happy that he had been blocked.  The bike still accelerating with the wheel off the ground... who does that. Great to see Jorge putting it together on the Duc, won't be long before the bubble bursts... my opinion only.

I really feel for Scott. After all the negativity he has faced in the last few days he put in a lap only a few thousandths of a second slower than Cal and finds himself six places behind. Ironic really that after badmouthing Scott he can only beat him by millimeters.

What a ride from Dovi, he pulled the plug when he needed to.

Jorge is getting closer and closer....Let's see him have a good race.

Don't write off the old geezer, he is now showing some pace.

MM 5kph faster than the Ducati's at a Duc favoring track? I know Dovi and JLo are using the downforce fairing, but Honda is running wings too. HRC is stepping it up this year; and it appears Marc is riding like he can already see a reflection of himself holding up the championship trophie in his visor... Rossi is ominously consistent as well - wouldn't be surprised at all to see him pull out the old Jerry Burgess gunpowder setting and give us a good show tomorrow, provided tire choice isn't an issue. Would really like to see Jorge put up a good fight as well. He's been a good sport so far considering he's been struggling. We know the bike has the pace, so let's see if he can match it.