Marc Marquez braced for second row start in Austria, Dani Pedrosa qualifies twelfth
Marc Marquez had the scare of the day on Saturday at Spielberg, suffering a crash in the morning free practice session and taking a hard hit to his left shoulder.
After an initial assessment by doctors at the track, the Repsol Honda Team rider was taken to hospital in nearby Leoben, where further examination ruled out serious injury. Despite his shoulder having been lightly dislocated in the crash, the Spaniard was able to go back out for FP4 -in which he placed fourth.
Contesting the Q2 session that decided the starting grid for the Austrian GP, Marquez stopped the clock at 1:23.475 to qualify fifth for the race, starting from the second row.
Teammate Pedrosa continued working on finding a feel for the Spielberg circuit. Tenth in FP3, he repeated the position in FP4 and, on his final lap of the qualifying session, set a time of 1:24.263 for twelfth on the grid.
“It was a tough day for us as we began the morning session with a crash in FP3 that was completely my mistake. I braked too late and went wide at turn 3, risking a clash with Dani who was in front on the outside line. To avoid him, I crashed and I dislocated my left shoulder. I decided, along with the doctor, to go to the hospital to check that everything was okay. Luckily it was just a scare, and I was able to ride in the afternoon despite being bruised up. In the end, I think fifth place is good. The goal was to be close to the podium spots, and we succeeded in that. Tomorrow we’ll try to get close to the two Yamahas, with the knowledge that the Ducatis have been faster until now, but we’ll give our best as usual.”
“With today’s higher temperatures, we were able to take a step forward from yesterday and I lowered my lap by two seconds, although it was a shame not to get into the 1’23 range. Even if I expected a better result, we’ll try to concentrate, get as much confidence as possible and be positive. We will look for possible solutions for the race; our intention is to go out and give everything we have and get references that help us to move forward. We want to improve this dynamic as soon as possible; the rider is the one who can contribute the most, so I want to do as well as possible.”
Source: Repsol Media