Bautista makes Q2 for third time in four races2018-08-12 10:18
Ángel Nieto Team consolidates recent qualifying improvements to secure twelfth on the grid
Just two thousandths of a second were enough for Marc Márquez to seal pole position in Austria and spoil the celebrations for Ducati. The Spaniard will start from the front of the grid in tomorrow’s race, just as he did here in 2017, when he battled for the win until the final corner Andrea Dovizioso. The Italian will start alongside him on the front row in second place, with teammate Jorge Lorenzo completing the top three. Danilo Petrucci, Cal Crutchlow and Johann Zarco make up an all-Independent Team second row, with Valentino Rossi, second in the championship, starting fourteenth.
Álvaro Bautista continued with his recent strong showings in qualifying to make Q2 for the third time in four races. The Ángel Nieto Team rider was the fastest qualifier from Q1 but could not progress any further than twelfth position in Q2. Bautista didn’t feel comfortable with the medium front tyre in the second session and switched back to a soft option that already had several laps on it and no longer had the performance for him to make a stronger lap time. Karel Abraham will start from 23rd position after getting held up by another rider on his fast lap, costing a vital few tenths that would have moved him one or two rows further forward.
12th Álvaro Bautista 1:24.342: “We were fastest in Q1 and managed to get through to Q2 with a strong lap time. We have done virtually full race distance on a soft front and I feel confident with it but in Q2 we tried a medium front and I didn’t like it, I felt the front was folding. We didn’t have another soft front available so I went back to a tyre with over fifteen laps on it and immediately struggled. We will tried to go with the lead group from the start tomorrow. I am happy and motivated and I have a good feeling with the bike.”
23rd Karel Abraham 1:25.339: “I am really angry with how today went. I had a couple of incidents with other riders slowing down in the middle of the track and I got blocked a couple of times in free practice and also in qualifying. The bike is not working how I want and I had some problems that made it hard to fight with the rest. I’m annoyed because if it was the other way around there’d have been a big fuss, but because it’s him nothing is done. I am really angry about that because it cost me half a second, which would have gained us four or five positions on the grid. This is one of my favourite tracks and I didn’t manage a good lap in qualifying.”
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