Martin battles to pole in Phillip Island ahead of Australian GP

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Jorge Martin Phillip Island qualifying 2018

Jorge Martin has taken his 10th pole position of the season in Phillip Island for the Australian GP. He will be joined on the front row by Darryn Binder and Ayumu Sasaki, after a qualifying session in cold and windy conditions. This pole presents an opportunity for Martin to create a gap in the tight championship battle.

Phillip Island is notorious for the changeable weather and this year is no different. Shortly before the Moto3 qualifying session there was a short downpour, leaving the track damp. Lap times were improving constantly throughout the session as the track surface dried. This resulted in the times changing frequently, with Martin having to outpace numerous other riders for the top spot right at the end. Usually in Moto3 we see a lull in the middle of qualifying between riders’ runs but the ever-looming threat of more rain meant we didn’t see any let-up in the track action during the session.

Martin is now only one point ahead of Marco Bezzecchi in the title fight after crashing last time out in Japan, but this race should be a good opportunity for Martin to gain some more points on his rival. Bezzecchi qualified some way down the grid in 15th place, with Martin’s teammate Fabio Di Giannantonio also struggling; he finished 17th fastest.

Binder put in a very strong performance to start from 2nd on the grid tomorrow. He’s had a torrid season for the most part but recently things seem to have changed drastically, and he achieved his first ever podium last time out in Japan. He’ll be looking to continue this improved pace in the race tomorrow.

For Scot John McPhee, it looked like it might be a very strong performance coming from him when he topped the times with around 12 minutes of the QP session left. Unfortunately for him, though, the changeable conditions and improving track meant that most riders were able to improve their time. He will start tomorrows race from 18th on the grid.

Moto3 Michelin Australian Grand Prix – Qualifying Result:

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Covering MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3 for The Checkered Flag and studying Digital Media at the University of Sheffield. Contact: [email protected]
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