The premier class went out for qualifying under the impending threat of rain but the track remained in prime condition throughout and allowed the show to unfold. Yamaha’s performance might have been somewhat underwhelming throughout practice in Austria but they found their way to the front when it mattered. Fabio Quartararo might not have spent a lot of time in the spotlinght in Austria but when the time came for qualifying, he had to place his bid for pole and spent his first outing exchanging top spot with future teammate Maverick Vinales. The Spaniard had the upper hand after the first run, posting the fastest time of the weekend but there was more time to find on the final shootout and it was Vinales who found it to secure his first pole position of the season. Jack Miller came within seven hundredths of a second of pole but ended up as the top Ducati in a Yamaha sandwich, with Quartararo completing the front row of the grid.
Andrea Dovizioso looked like he had the speed to threaten for top honours but the Italian went from provisional pole to fourth on the timesheets in the late surge of red sectors. After shining throughout practice, Pol Espargaro could not quite replicate that come Saturday afternoon and had to make do with fifth, while Joan Mir closed the second row of the grid for Suzuki. Franco Morbidelli fronts row three ahead of Alex Rins and Johann Zarco, the Frenchman leading the escape from Q1.
Takaaki Nakagami was the lead Honda in tenth, sharing the fourth row of the grid with Miguel Oliveira and Valentino Rossi. Yamaha’s veteran broke Danilo Petrucci’s heart at the last minute in Q1, leaving his compatriot 14th and sharing fifth row with Cal Crutchlow and Iker Lecuona.