Jorge Martin timed his pole position charge to perfection as he topped the qualifying timesheets at Phillip Island on Saturday. The Spaniard beat a late rain shower to claim his eighth pole of the season ahead of Gabriel Rodrigo with Joan Mir going in search of the Moto3 world championship from third on the grid tomorrow.
Martin figured towards the top of the leaderboard throughout the qualifying session which thankfully saw no repeat of the farcical slow riding and slipstreaming that has blighted many a Saturday this season. Jorge’s main threat looked to be coming from the RBA KTMs of Rodrigo and Juanfran Guevara with the two team-mates working together to give each other the best possible slingshot down the home straight.
Elsewhere, title rivals Joan Mir and Romano Fenati were also circulating together but there was no sign of any co-operation between these two. Fenati, who suffered an enormous highside in FP1 yesterday, swarmed all over the back of the Leopard Honda as both chased pole position but unsurprisingly, neither would match Martin’s pace as they focused on each other.
In the end, Martin rose to the top decisively with fifteen minutes remaining, edging two tenths ahead of Rodrigo, with a light shower in the final three minutes putting paid to any hopes his rivals had of usurping him. Rodrigo will line us second as a result with Mir taking third ahead of Guevara and Fenati.
Jules Danilo will start alongside his Marinelli Rivacold team-mate in sixth with Manuel Pagliani heading row three for Mahindra, just ahead of the Estrella Galicia duo of Aron Canet and Enea Bastianini.
Moto3 Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix: Qualifying
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