Saturday, October 17

MARQUEZ TOPS PRE-QUALIFYING AT THE ISLAND

Reigning MotoGP Champion Marc Marquez has topped pre-qualifying practice at Phillip Island today, clocking a best lap of 1m 29.081s on his Repsol Honda, just a whisker outside the pole record set in the 990cc MotoGP era when Nicky Hayden stopped the clocks at 1:29.020.

Marquez set his best lap in the third and final 45 minute pre-qualifying session, improving on the time he set in Friday afternoon’s session.  That Friday afternoon time bettered Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo’s 1m 29.433s best effort, and as neither Lorenzo, nor anyone else, bettered that in the third session, Marquez was already on top of the pre-qualifying times.  But to throw out a further challenge, Marquez lopped a further two tenths of a second of his best Friday time to get close to Hayden’s 990cc pole record.

Jorge Lorenzo, the 2010 and 2012 MotoGP champion, was second fastest even though he failed to improve on his Friday afternoon time.  Next was English Honda rider Cal Crutchlow who went a little faster on Saturday morning (1:29.509) and was thus able to beat the lap time set by Spanish MotoGP rookie Mavrick Vinales on Friday afternoon (1:29.518).

Andrea Iannone was fifth (1:29.544) on the first of the works Ducatis, with Scott Redding (1:29.675) sixth and Valentino Rossi (1:29.815) just managed to break out of the 1m 30s bracket inn the final pre-qualifying practice session.

Now the riders have a’Free’ Practice Session of 45 minutes to finalise their race set-up ahead of this afternoon’s final qualifying sessions.

For the combined pre-qualifying practice times from MotoGP at Phillip Island click here.