MotoGP 2020: Pol on pole! Espargaro and KTM to start from the front for first time

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Pol Espargaro will start from pole for the first time in his MotoGP career after going quickest in Q2 at the Styrian Grand Prix.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider Espargaro clocked a time of one minute, 23.580 seconds to start from the front of the grid at the Red Bull Ring.

As well as being a maiden pole in the premier class for the 29-year-old Spaniard, it was also a first for Austrian manufacturer KTM, who earned their first win at the Czech Republic Grand Prix two weeks ago.

Espargaro will hope he fares better than he did during the Austrian Grand Prix at the same track last time out, having led the race when it was restarted after a red flag before crashing out in a collision with Miguel Oliveira.

Takaaki Nakagami guided his LCR Honda to second place, while Johann Zarco, who had surgery on his scaphoid on Wednesday, qualified third.

However, with Zarco handed a pitlane penalty following the horror crash with Franco Morbidelli last weekend that injured his wrist, Joan Mir was promoted to the front row.

Jack Miller sat out FP4 due to shoulder pain from an FP3 crash but will start fourth ahead of Maverick Vinales, while championship leader Fabio Quartararo was unable to extend his run of successive front-row starts to 12. He will begin the race from ninth.

Last weekend's race winner Andrea Dovizioso will get away from the middle of the third row, while Valentino Rossi was down in 14th after he crashed at turn nine on his final lap in Q1.

Qualifying results

1. Pol Espargaro (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) 1:23.580
2. Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda) +0.022s
3. Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Racing) +0.252s
4. Joan Mir (Suzuki Ecstar) +0.098s
5. Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) +0.120s
6. Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha) +0.198s
7. Alex Rins (Suzuki Ecstar) +0.202s
8. Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) +0.217s
9. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) +0.269s
10. Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha) +0.286s
11. Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha) +0.441s
12. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati) +0.594s