Marquez Shrugs Off Crash to Lead FP3 in Australia

by Louis Suddaby
Marc Marquez - Photo Credit: Repsol Honda

Marc Marquez bounced back from his second crash of the weekend to top the timesheets in FP3 at Phillip Island on Saturday morning. The reigning champion was one of only ten riders to improve their overall lap time following an early morning rain shower and as a result, the top ten automatic qualifiers to Q2 remained unchanged.

Rain had fallen in the Moto3 session on Saturday morning and although the circuit dried out for the premier class, the riders found improvements hard to come by in cold conditions. Instead, crashes were more frequent than fast laps with Jordi Torres tumbling at the Hayshed, while Bradley Smith suffered a low-speed spill at the MG hairpin.

The biggest accident of all came from Tech 3’s Hafizh Syahrin who suffered a dramatic fall at Doohan’s corner in scenes reminiscent of Cal Crutchlow’s race-ending crash on Friday. The Malaysian was stretchered away, a major concern with his home Grand Prix just one week away, while it remains to be seen whether he will take any further part today having secured a place in Q2.

Marquez was the next to go down, dropping his Honda at turn four while cruising on an out lap. After a brief visit back to the pits, the world champion re-joined the circuit to set the fastest lap of the morning. His 1:29.714 saw him outpace Maverick Vinales and Jack Miller but with conditions not as favourable, he remained sixth in the combined classification.

Elsewhere, Valentino Rossi improved overall to consolidate a Q2 place, breaking into the 1:29s in the final six minutes, while Pol Espargaro and Dani Pedrosa came within a tenth of a second of bumping Syahrin out of the top ten. The two Spaniards wound up eleventh and twelfth and will lead the field in Q1 this afternoon.

 

2018 Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix (Combined Times)

PosRiderConstructorTeamBest Time 
129. Andrea IannoneSuzukiTeam Suzuki ECSTAR1:29.131FP2
29. Danilo PetrucciDucatiAlma Pramac Racing1:29.291FP2
325. Maverick VinalesYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP1:29.354FP2
44. Andrea DoviziosoDucatiDucati Team1:29.406FP2
55. Johann ZarcoYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 31:29.686FP2
693. Marc MarquezHondaRepsol Honda Team1:29.714FP3
743. Jack MillerDucatiAlma Pramac Racing1:29.792FP3
842. Alex RinsSuzukiTeam Suzuki ECSTAR1:29.918FP2
946. Valentino RossiYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP1:29.974FP3
1055. Hafizh SyahrinYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 31:30.179FP2
1143. Pol EspargaroKTMRed Bull KTM Factory Racing1:30.221FP3
1226. Dani PedrosaHondaRepsol Honda Team1:30.259FP3
1338. Bradley SmithKTMRed Bull KTM Factory Racing1:30.346FP2
1419. Alvaro BautistaDucatiDucati Team1:30.485FP3
1517. Karel AbrahamDucatiAngel Nieto Team1:30.720FP3
1641. Aleix EspargaroApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini1:30.736FP2
1721. Franco MorbidelliHondaEG 0,0 Marc VDS1:30.787FP2
1830. Takaaki NakagamiHondaLCR Honda IDEMITSU1:30.830FP2
1910. Xavier SimeonDucatiReale Avintia Racing1:30.973FP3
2012. Thomas LuthiHondaEG 0,0 Marc VDS1:31.320FP3
2181. Jordi TorresDucatiReale Avintia Racing1:31.570FP2
2245. Scott ReddingApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini1:31.941FP1
237. Mike JonesDucatiAngel Nieto Team1:32.988FP3

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