Marquez Dominates Phillip Island Qualifying

by Louis Suddaby

Marc Marquez looked every inch the world champion in qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix, taking a dominant pole position ahead of Cal Crutchlow. The Spaniard was in a class of his own in rapidly changing conditions, taking pole by 0.792s on a day when Movistar Yamaha’s season reached a new low at Phillip Island.

With team morale low after the disaster of Motegi, Yamaha’s misery deepened in final practice with both riders caught out by a mid-session downpour, leaving them to go through Q1. With Crutchlow in inspired form, only one other qualification spot remained and Jorge Lorenzo would ultimately secure it, leaving Valentino Rossi a season-low fifteenth on the grid. Lorenzo didn’t make much use of his second chance in Q2 though, winding up a humiliating six seconds slower than the polesitter in twelfth.

With fifteen minutes extra track time under his belt, Crutchlow looked a serious pole position contender midway through Q2, clocking a 1:32.189, but Marquez had pitted for slicks after a single lap and as soon as the Repsol Honda rider was up to speed, pole position was only going one way.

Marquez eventually lowered the benchmark to a 1:30.189, eight tenths faster than Crutchlow, while Pol Espargaro took advantage of a slipstream from his brother Aleix to steal third on the grid from his sibling. Home favourite Jack Miller will line up fifth ahead of Danilo Petrucci while Nicky Hayden qualified a superb seventh on his return to Repsol Honda.

Stefan Bradl gave Aprilia their best qualifying result of the year in eighth, beating the factory Ducatis of Andrea Dovizioso and Hector Barbera, while eleventh placed Scott Redding will join Lorenzo on the fourth row.


2016 Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix (Qualifying Classification)

PosRiderConstructorTeamBest Time 
193. Marc MARQUEZHondaRepsol Honda Team1:30.189Q2
235. Cal CRUTCHLOWHondaLCR Honda1:30.981Q2
344. Pol ESPARGAROYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 31:31.107Q2
441. Aleix ESPARGAROSuzukiTeam SUZUKI ECSTAR1:31.673Q2
573. Jack MILLERHondaEG 0,0 Marc VDS1:31.754Q2
69. Danilo PETRUCCIDucatiOcto Pramac Yakhnich1:32.420Q2
769. Nicky HAYDENHondaRepsol Honda Team1:32.944Q2
86. Stefan BRADLApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini1:33.015Q2
94. Andrea DOVIZIOSODucatiDucati Team1:33.090Q2
108. Hector BARBERADucatiDucati Team1:33.914Q2
1145. Scott REDDINGDucatiOcto Pramac Yakhnich1:34.682Q2
1299. Jorge LORENZOYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP1:36.840Q2
1325. Maverick VINALESSuzukiTeam SUZUKI ECSTAR1:40.744Q1
1438. Bradley SMITHYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 31:41.129Q1
1546. Valentino ROSSIYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP1:41.368Q1
1650. Eugene LAVERTYDucatiPull & Bear Aspar Ducati Team1:41.532Q1
1768. Yonny HERNANDEZDucatiPull & Bear Aspar Ducati Team1:41.766Q1
1819. Alvaro BAUTISTAApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini1:41.850Q1
197. Mike JONESDucatiAvintia Racing1:42.261Q1
2076. Loris BAZDucatiAvintia Racing1:43.128Q1
2153. Tito RABATHondaEG 0,0 Marc VDS1:44.096Q1

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