(Reuters) – Honda’s world champion Marc Marquez celebrated a record 59th MotoGP pole position at the Austrian Grand Prix on Saturday to overtake retired Australian Mick Doohan in the all-time lists.
The Spaniard’s best lap of one minute 23.027 seconds was a track record at Spielberg’s Red Bull Ring and 0.434 faster than French rider Fabio Quartararo, second fastest on a Petronas Yamaha.
Italian Andrea Dovizioso, Marquez’s closest championship rival but 63 points behind after 10 of 19 races, completed the front row for Ducati.
Honda’s German test rider Stefan Bradl, standing in for the injured Jorge Lorenzo as Marquez’s Repsol Honda team mate in Sunday’s race, qualified 21st and last.
Italian great Valentino Rossi will line up 10th for Yamaha.
MotoGP and Austrian Grand Prix organisers also announced a five-year contract extension for the race, keeping it on the calendar until at least 2025.
“For me, MotoGP is the most attractive racing series in the world,” said Red Bull chief executive Dietrich Mateschitz in a statement. Mateschitz also owns two Formula One teams, Red Bull and Toro Rosso.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Christian Radnedge)