Marquez Dodges the Rain to Take Phillip Island Pole

by Louis Suddaby

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)

PosRiderConstructorTeamBest Time 
193. Marc MarquezHondaRepsol Honda Team1:29.199Q2
225. Maverick VinalesYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP1:29.509Q2
35. Johann ZarcoYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 31:29.705Q2
429. Andrea IannoneSuzukiTeam Suzuki ECSTAR1:29.712Q2
542. Alex RinsSuzukiTeam Suzuki ECSTAR1:30.026Q2
643. Jack MillerDucatiAlma Pramac Racing1:30.140Q2
746. Valentino RossiYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP1:30.270Q2
89. Danilo PetrucciDucatiAlma Pramac Racing1:30.328Q2
94. Andrea DoviziosoDucatiDucati Team1:30.519Q2
1055. Hafizh SyahrinYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 31:30.593Q2
1143. Pol EspargaroKTMRed Bull KTM Factory Racing1:30.640Q2
1219. Alvaro BautistaDucatiDucati Team1:32.367Q2
1317. Karel AbrahamDucatiAngel Nieto Team1:30.174Q1
1430. Takaaki NakagamiHondaLCR Honda IDEMITSU1:30.452Q1
1521. Franco MorbidelliHondaEG 0,0 Marc VDS1:30.518Q1
1638. Bradley SmithKTMRed Bull KTM Factory Racing1:30.646Q1
1710. Xavier SimeonDucatiReale Avintia Racing1:30.679Q1
1826. Dani PedrosaHondaRepsol Honda Team1:30.770Q1
1941. Aleix EspargaroApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini1:30.911Q1
2012. Thomas LuthiHondaEG 0,0 Marc VDS1:30.958Q1
2181. Jordi TorresDucatiReale Avintia Racing1:31.141Q1
2245. Scott ReddingApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini1:31.309Q1
237. Mike JonesDucatiAngel Nieto Team1:32.639Q1

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