Marquez takes blistering pole in Australia

Marquez waves to crowd
Marquez waves to crowd

Marc Marquez claims his 30th MotoGP pole position by over three-tenths from Iannone and Lorenzo, with Rossi starting from seventh.

Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez took pole position at the Pramac Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix with an incredible display of riding. In near perfect conditions (Track temp. 42ËšC) at Phillip Island the Spaniard set a 1'28.364 to clearly show his rivals he is back to full fitness after breaking a bone in his left hand before the Japanese GP.

No one had an answer to the reigning MotoGP World Champion's one-lap pace, despite it being almost half a second slower than Jorge Lorenzo's 2013 Pole Record (1'27.899). Marquez, after finishing second in FP1 on Friday, has topped every session since and his race pace looks ominous at the only track on the MotoGP calendar where he has not scored a point in the premier class. He led the way from the very first lap in Q2 and was never knocked off the top, improving his time on his third run as he made use of a two-stop strategy.

Ducati Team's Andrea Iannone (+0.316s) also made use of a two-stop strategy and the extra soft option tire available to him to record only his third front row start of the season. The Italian set an identical time to Movistar Yamaha's Lorenzo, but will start from second due to count back.

Lorenzo (+0.316s) completes the front row in third, making it 13 front row starts this year. It is actually his worst qualifying performance since his 8th in Assen as Lorenzo also made use of a two-stop strategy. However the two-time MotoGP champion will take heart from the fact the man who is leading him in the title standing by 18 points, Valentino Rossi, will be forced to start from seventh.

Marquez's teammate Dani Pedrosa (+0.348s) looked like he would be on the front row as the clock ticked down in Q2, but will instead have to start from the front of the second row in fourth. LCR Honda's Cal Crutchlow (+0.548s) followed up his excellent third place overall in practice with fifth, his best Qualifying result since he started the Indianapolis GP from the same position and it sees him as the leading Satellite rider.

Team Suzuki Ecstar's Maverick Vinales (+0.568s) continued his excellent weekend and will start from sixth, just 0.02s behind Crutchlow. It was his best Qualifying performance since his 2nd at the Catalan GP as the Spaniard made use of the sweet handling of his GSX-RR around the fast and flowing Phillip Island circuit.

Championship leader Valentino Rossi's recent good run in qualifying came to an end as he put on his worst performance since he claimed 8th at Indianapolis. The ‘Doctor' improved his time from Practice by over seven-tenths, but it was only good enough for seventh and sees the Doctor start the race from the head of the third row.

Vinales' teammate Aleix Espargaro will start the race from eighth after making it through from Q1 alongside his brother Pol, who qualified in ninth.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) was tenth fastest, with Brits Scott Redding (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) and Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) completing the fourth row, despite the latter becoming the only rider to crash so far throughout the weekend in FP4.

Hector Barbera (Avintia Racing) will start from 14th as the leading Open class rider ahead of local hero Jack Miller in 15th (LCR Honda) and Eugene Laverty (Aspar MotoGP Team) in 16th. Nicky Hayden (Aspar MotoGP Team) celebrated the announcement he will be inducted into the MotoGP Hall of Fame at Valencia by qualifying in 20th.

Marc Marquez
"I am pleased with how the day went, and of course with pole position! Thanks to the team for all their work, we have a good pace for tomorrow and we are ready to fight for the podium and hopefully the victory tomorrow. However we must wait and see what happens, because here every day is different; it can be sunny but then all of a sudden clouds can appear, and the key will be interpreting how the track conditions are, in order to have a good race."

Results

Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time
1 MARQUEZ Marc 93 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 1'28.364
2 IANNONE Andrea 29 ITA Ducati Team Ducati 1'28.680
3 LORENZO Jorge 99 SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1'28.680
4 PEDROSA Dani 26 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 1'28.712
5 CRUTCHLOW Cal 35 GBR LCR Honda Honda 1'28.912
6 VINALES Maverick 25 SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 1'28.932
7 ROSSI Valentino 46 ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1'29.014
8 ESPARGARO Aleix 41 SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 1'29.015
9 ESPARGARO Pol 44 SPA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 1'29.222
10 DOVIZIOSO Andrea 4 ITA Ducati Team Ducati 1'29.267
11 REDDING Scott 45 GBR Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 1'29.499
12 SMITH Bradley 38 GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 1'29.626
13 PETRUCCI Danilo 9 ITA Pramac Racing Ducati 1'29.918
14 BARBERA Hector 8 SPA Avintia Racing Ducati 1'30.064
15 MILLER Jack 43 AUS LCR Honda Honda 1'30.104
16 LAVERTY Eugene 50 IRE Aspar MotoGP Team Honda 1'30.105
17 HERNANDEZ Yonny 68 COL Pramac Racing Ducati 1'30.135
18 BAUTISTA Alvaro 19 SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1'30.147
19 BAZ Loris 76 FRA Athina Forward Racing Forward Yamaha 1'30.173
20 HAYDEN Nicky 69 USA Aspar MotoGP Team Honda 1'30.376
21 BRADL Stefan 6 GER Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1'30.634
22 DI MEGLIO Mike 63 FRA Avintia Racing Ducati 1'30.959
23 WEST Anthony 13 AUS AB Motoracing Honda 1'31.205
24 ELIAS Toni 24 SPA AB Motoracing Honda 1'31.837
25 CUDLIN Damian 55 AUS E-Motion IodaRacing Team ART 1'33.884

Leave a Reply