Sunday, October 18

MARQUEZ ON POLE IN AUSTRALIA

Reigning World MotoGP Champion  Marc Marquez took his 58th world championship pole position at Phillip Island yesterday so will start Sunday’s 27 lap Pramac Australian MotoGP Grand Prix from the very front of the 25 rider grid.

Marquez went out hard early in the 15 minute final qualifying session to set fastest time at 1m 28.731s on his first flying lap, then upped the ante right at the end to post an even faster 1:28.364.

That was well outside the 2013 pole record set by Jorge Lorenzo – 1:27.899 – but still comfortably ahead of his rivals.  Lorenzo managed a 1:28.680 right at the end but that was only good enough for third on the grid because Ducati’s Andrea Iannone used a tow from the Yamaha man to sling-shot past on the second last lap, and with a soft tyre on the back, he got his head down to post a 1m 28.680s lap a few seconds before Lorenzo crossed the line behind him – with an identical lap time.

Dani Pedrosa had jumped up to second fastest shortly before the dueling Iannone and Lorenzo crossed the line, so was then relegated to fourth on the grid, just ahead of Cal Crutchlow and Maverick Vinales (Suzuki).

Seventh on the grid was Valentino Rossi (1:29.014), just a whisker ahead of Aleix Espargaro on the second factory Suzuki (1: 29.015) with brother Pol ninth fastest (1:29.222).

The Espargaro brothers only made it into Qualifying Two after topping Qualifying One only minutes earlier.

For the full grid positions, click here.