(Reuters) – MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez will start the Austrian Grand Prix on pole position for Honda after beating Italian Andrea Dovizioso’s time by 0.002 seconds in qualifying on Saturday.
Marquez set a time of one minute 23.241 seconds on his seventh lap to edge out the Ducati rider by the smallest margin in the electronic timing era since the 2003 German Grand Prix.
Italian Max Biaggi pipped Jeremy McWilliams by 0.002 seconds in qualifying for that race.
Dovizioso’s team mate Jorge Lorenzo took third spot on the front row for Sunday’s race at the Red Bull Ring.
Another Ducati rider, Danilo Petrucci, was fourth fastest ahead of Briton Cal Crutchlow and France’s Johann Zarco.
Four-times champion Marquez has 181 points after 10 races to lead the championship and is in a good position to extend his 49-point advantage over second-placed Valentino Rossi.
The Italian great failed to make it through the first qualifying round and will start in 14th place.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)