Marc Marquez provided another demonstration of his speed and bravery to claim pole position for tomorrow’s Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island. The world champion produced a sensational lap in blustery conditions with showers in the air to take pole position ahead of Yamaha duo Maverick Vinales and Johann Zarco.
With rain starting to fall, the early minutes of Q2 resembled a mad dash with the riders sensing that the conditions were only going to deteriorate. Marquez set the early benchmark on a 1:31.282 but when the Spaniard found a second and a half on his next attempt, grip levels were clearly better than first thought.
Practice pacesetter Andrea Iannone provided further proof with a 1:29.712, although he quickly lost provisional pole to Zarco, but Marquez timed his run to perfection by setting a 1:29.109 moments before the showers returned. This time though, the rain was heavy enough to slow the riders down and Marc was able to celebrate a fifth pole position of 2018.
Vinales beat the rain to snatch second from Zarco with Iannone relegated to the front of the second row where he will be joined by Suzuki team-mate Alex Rins and home favourite Jack Miller. Iannone’s pace in FP4 suggests he will feature in the battle for victory tomorrow though. Valentino Rossi will head the third row ahead of Danilo Petrucci while Andrea Dovizioso wound up ninth after taking a cautious approach in Q2.
Hafizh Syahrin bounced back from his morning crash to qualify a career-high tenth with Q1 qualifiers Pol Espargaro and Alvaro Bautista rounding out the fourth row, Bautista crashing at MG midway through the second session.
2018 Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix (Qualifying)
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