Marquez qualifies on pole for Australian MotoGP
World championship leader Marc Marquez will start from pole position in today’s Australian MotoGP after setting the fastest time in qualifying at the Phillip Island circuit yesterday.
Rain yesterday morning gave way to sunny, dry conditions for afternoon qualifying.
Spain’s Marquez, on a Honda, set the pace with a best lap of 1 minute, 28.386 seconds, 0.333 seconds ahead of compatriot Maverick Vinales, riding a Yamaha. It will be his seventh pole of the season.
Johan Zarco of France qualified third on a Yamaha, 0.358 seconds behind Marquez, while Andrea Iannone of Italy, on a Suzuki, edged Australia’s Jack Miller out of fourth place.
The reigning champion took back the honour on his final lap after being threatened at the top by Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) and Motegi polesitter Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), who now join the reigning Champion on the front row. Marquez’ key title rival Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) had a tough session, taking P11. Skies were dry, but it remained far from tropical on the Island.
Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) heads up the second row as one of the key protagonists of the 2015 Island Battle was unleashed in Q2, with Jack Miller (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) another notable performance in P5 – equaling his best ever qualifying result, also gained at Phillip Island last season. Miller is also back on the grid for the first time since breaking his leg in training three weeks ago, making the second row start even more impressive.
Sixth on the grid is yet another stunning display of progress for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing as Pol Espargaro took the marque onto the second row – and in fully dry conditions. Espargaro has a good record at the Island, including the biggest winning margin in Moto2™ history in 2012.
Italy’s Valentino Rossi will start seventh after setting the pace in the first qualifying session.
Marquez leads the championship by 11 points from Andrea Dovizioso who qualified 11th.
Spain’s MotoGP rider Marc Marquez steers his Honda during qualifying Photo: AP