News 22 Oct 2016

Marquez on MotoGP pole, Miller fifth at Phillip Island

Second of the Australians Jones to start out of 19th position.

Image: Russell Colvin.

Image: Russell Colvin.

Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez put on a masterclass in Phillip Island’s 2016 Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix this afternoon, scoring a spectacular pole position on a drying circuit.

After wrapping up the world title last weekend at Motegi, Marquez used full slicks to post a 1m30.1892, which was 0.792s faster than second-placed Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda), while Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech3) completes the front row.

It was looking like a first-career front row for home hero Jack Miller (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda) until a final flying lap from Pol and Aleix Espargaro (Team Suzuki ECSTAR) bumped him to fifth – the first time he’s taken a top 10 position on the grid.

Danilo Petrucci (Pramac Racing Ducati) jumped up to sixth late in the session past American Nicky Hayden (Repsol Honda) in his return to MotoGP, as Stefan Bradl (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini), Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) and Hector Barbera (Ducati Team) completed positions eight through 10.

Movistar Yamaha duo Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi were a lowly 12th and 15th respectively – Rossi unable to make it through more tricky conditions in Q2. Australia’s Mike Jones (Avintia Racing Ducati) managed to out-qualify teammate Loris Baz in 19th for tomorrow’s

Red-flagged and re-started with only four minutes left on the clock after a crash for Juanfran Guevara (RBA Racing Team), Moto3 qualifying at Phillip Island was a stunning rush to the line and it was new champion Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo) who navigated the drama the best, topping the timesheets as a whole host of riders swept over the line on their final attempts.

Fabio Quartararo (Leopard Racing) was the man at the top until Binder’s last lap, but the Frenchman still starts from the middle of the front row after an impressive session and lap, only 0.094s off the South African’s best, with Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46) taking P3 to complete that front row. Wildcard Matt Barton (Suus Honda) was outside of the 107 percent qualifying cut-off.

Tom Luthi (Garage Plus Interwetten) will start Moto2 from pole position after an incredible qualifying session for the intermediate class, with Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) in P2 ahead of Sam Lowes (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2).

Lowes was the first high profile crasher to slide out, with the man P4 in the title quickly heading back to the pits to get back in the session, with more rain forecast and putting on the time pressure.

The Brit then took another tumble later in the session, before reigning champion Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) crashed and hit the deck for a second time later on his way to 10th. Remy Gardner (Tasca Racing Scuderia) was 23rd, 1.812s from pole.