Iannone takes MotoGP pole in Austria with last-gasp lap

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Andrea Iannone picked up his second MotoGP pole position with a last-gasp effort in qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix on Saturday in Spielberg.

Ducati entered Saturday as the red-hot favorite to score pole, with riders Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso widely expected to scorch to a one-two finish in qualifying at the Red Bull Ring.

Dovizioso headed the field ahead of the final Q2 runs, only for Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo to produce a stunning time that vaulted him up to provisional pole.

Both Ducati riders struggled in the final sector, leaving them with one final lap once the checkered flag had fallen.

Dovizioso was able to get ahead of Lorenzo, but was soon relegated off pole when Valentino Rossi went fastest on the second Yamaha, piling the pressure on Iannone as the last man to run.

The Italian soaked up the pressure and produced a near-perfect lap of 1:23.142 to score his second pole in MotoGP, his first coming at last year’s Italian Grand Prix.

Rossi was therefore left to settle for second place ahead of Dovizioso and Lorenzo, while Marc Marquez rallied to fifth despite dislocating his shoulder just hours earlier in practice.

Maverick Vinales made good on his impressive Friday practice pace, qualifying sixth for Suzuki ahead of Cal Crutchlow and Scott Redding.

Aleix Espargaro was ninth, having suffered a fractured finger on Friday, while Hector Barbera rounded out the top 10.