Honda rider Marquez takes Austrian GP pole with track record

SPIELBERG, Austria (AP) — Defending MotoGP champion Marc Marquez set a track record in qualifying on Saturday to take pole position for the Austrian Grand Prix.

The Honda rider timed 1 minute, 23.027 seconds and will share the front row of the grid for Sunday’s race with Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo and Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso, who both were over four-tenths slower.

It’s the seventh pole of the season and 59th overall for Marquez, who surpassed Mick Doohan’s best mark of 58 poles which the Australian rider set in the 1990s.

Marquez is chasing his first victory in Austria, the only track on this year’s calendar where he has yet to win a race. The Austrian GP returned to the calendar in 2016, and all three races since have been won by Ducati.

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Chasing his sixth championship, Marquez easily leads with 210 points in the overall standings after 10 of 19 races. Dovizioso is second with 147 and his Ducati teammate Danilo Petrucci third with 129. A race win is worth 25 points.

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