Repsol Honda Team's Spanish rider Marc Marquez competes during the third practice session of the MotoGP Austrian Grand Prix weekend at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria on August 12, 2017. AFP Photo

SPIELBERG BEI KNITTELFELD: World champion Marc Marquez on a Honda stormed on Saturday to pole position for Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix ahead of Ducati pair Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo.

Having won the last two GPs, three-time world champion Marquez has a 14-point lead in the standings over Maverick Vinales, who was fourth on Saturday with his Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi seventh.

It is a third straight pole for the Spaniard, who suffered a series of mechanical and tyre problems in the early season.

He posted a time of 1min 23.235sec to beat Dovizioso by 0.144sec for the 42nd pole of his 70 Grand Prix career.

He is on for a hat-trick of victories having also won the US GP at the start of the season.

Marquez, 24, has taken control of the Moto GP season after struggles earlier in the season had left him fourth following June’s Dutch GP, behind Vinales, Dovizioso and Rossi.

However, since July’s German GP, Marquez has been in a league of his own.--AFP

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