Pasini on Phillip Island Pole as Title Contenders Struggle

by Louis Suddaby
Mattia Pasini - Photo Credit: MotoGP.com

Mattia Pasini took his second career pole position at Phillip Island on Saturday after a qualifying session which saw both championship challengers suffer nightmare afternoons. Pasini was a quarter of a second clear of the field but Francesco Bagnaia and Miguel Oliveira struggled badly in the blustery conditions, qualifying 16th and 20th respectively.

With a rain shower prior to the Moto3 session washing the track, grip levels were far from ideal and as a result, the times tumbled in the early stages of qualifying. Unfortunately for Alex Marquez, he was sent tumbling from his Marc VDS Kalex after a strange incident coming over Lukey Heights as Steven Odendaal appeared to slow mid-corner, leaving the Spaniard with nowhere to go.

The rejuvenated Dominique Aegerter enjoyed a strong start to the session, clocking a 1:33.841 to take provisional pole. The Swiss rider held on for ten minutes before Xavi Vierge moved to the top on his Dynavolt Kalex. Unfortunately for the Spaniard, Pasini was following close behind in his slipstream and the tow down the main straight proved crucial, enabling the Italtrans rider to set a 1:33.368 that no-one would be able to match.

Despite a tumble at the Honda hairpin late on, Pasini held onto pole with Marcel Schrotter edging out his team-mate to take second. Aegerter will head the second row in fourth with Brad Binder salvaging fifth on a disappointing day for Red Bull KTM Ajo. Fabio Quartararo will line up sixth, the Frenchman paying the price as his Speed Up consistently lost ground on the run onto the home straight.

Luca Marini will lead the Sky VR46 effort from seventh with Iker Lecuona and Marquez alongside, injury permitting, while Bagnaia was unable to hide his frustration as he took the chequered flag in sixteenth spot. Oliveira will start four places further back but both will face an uphill challenge to score crucial championship points tomorrow.

 

Moto2 Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix (Qualifying)

PosRiderConstructorTeamBest Time
154. Mattia PasiniKalexItaltrans Racing Team1:33.368
223. Marcel SchrotterKalexDynavolt Intact GP1:33.624
397. Xavi ViergeKalexDynavolt Intact GP1:33.721
477. Dominique AegerterKTMKiefer Racing1:33.841
541. Brad BinderKTMRed Bull KTM Ajo1:33.929
620. Fabio QuartararoSpeed UpMB Conveyors - Speed Up1:33.951
710. Luca MariniKalexSky Racing Team VR461:33.963
827. Iker LecuonaKTMSwiss Innovative Investors1:33.988
973. Alex MarquezKalexEG 0.0 Marc VDS1:34.007
102. Jesko RaffinKalexSAG Team1:34.039
117. Lorenzo BaldassarriKalexPons HP401:34.050
129. Jorge NavarroKalexFederal Oil Gresini Moto21:34.086
1340. Augusto FernandezKalexPons HP401:34.094
1436. Joan MirKalexEG 0.0 Marc VDS1:34.149
1587. Remy GardnerTech 3Tech 3 Racing1:34.181
1642. Francesco BagnaiaKalexSky Racing Team VR461:34.367
1762. Stefano ManziSuterForward Racing Team1:34.413
185. Andrea LocatelliKalexItaltrans Racing Team1:34.491
1922. Sam LowesKTMSwiss Innovative Investors1:34.540
2044. Miguel OliveiraKTMRed Bull KTM Ajo1:34.556
2145. Tetsuta NagashimaKalexIDEMITSU Honda Team Asia1:34.784
2257. Edgar PonsSpeed UpMB Conveyors - Speed Up1:34.844
2389. Khairul Idham PawiKalexIDEMITSU Honda Team Asia1:34.850
2416. Joe RobertsNTSNTS RW Racing GP1:34.851
2524. Simone CorsiKalexTasca Racing Scuderia Moto21:34.934
264. Steven OdendaalNTSNTS RW Racing GP1:34.958
2767. Bryan StaringTech 3Tech 3 Racing1:35.760
2895. Jules DaniloKalexNashi Argan SAG Team1:35.978
2921. Federico FuligniKalexTasca Racing Scuderia Moto21:35.986
3032. Isaac VinalesSuterForward Racing Team1:36.173
3118. Xavi CardelusKalexMarinelli Snipers Team1:37.065
NQ66. Niki TuuliKalexSIC Racing TeamNo Time

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