Marquez on pole as rain returns to Phillip Island
Marc Marquez has qualified on pole for the Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix while Jack Miller was sixth in changeable conditions.
Marquez will start alongside Maverick Viñales and Johann Zarco after light rain in the latter minutes brought an early end to the fast running.
Miller nevertheless decided to keep pushing and was personal best to the third sector, giving himself a small chance of moving onto the front row.
However, he nearly lost the front of his Pramac Ducati coming to the final corner and ultimately did not improve.
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Viñales, too, went after a better lap and set the fastest first sector during the final minute but the conditions proved too much and he was consigned to second.
The Movistar Yamaha rider had gone back out early and was the only man to find more pace on his second run, rising from fourth to second.
He still came up 0.310s short of the #93 Repsol Honda as Marquez got down to a 1:29.199s before sprinkles of rain, which also appeared at the very start of the 15-minute Qualifying 2 session, returned in the 12th minute.
Zarco was fastest for a moment on his Tech3 Yamaha before Marquez put more than half a second on him at the end of the first runs, while the Suzuki Ecstar pair of Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins finished fourth and fifth.
Row 3 will be Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha), Danilo Petrucci (Pramac Ducati), and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), while Hafizh Syahrin (Tech3 Yamaha) rounded out the top 10.
The Q1 graduates Pol Espargaro (Red Bul KTM) and Alvaro Bautista ended up 11th and 12th, the latter having had an ugly moment midway through the session.
Bautista lost control of his factory Ducati coming down from Lukey Heights and had to jump from the bike to avoid sliding down the hill with it.
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) never looked like making it out of Q1 and will start from 18th on the grid.
Australian Mike Jones will start from the rear of the 23-bike grid in his injury replacement ride on a Nieto Ducati.
The MotoGP field will return to the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit for a 20-minute Warm Up at 1140 local time/AEDT.
Qualifying: Australian MotoGP
|1||93||Marc MARQUEZ||ESP||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||1:29.199|
|2||25||Maverick VIÑALES||ESP||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||1:29.509||0.310 / 0.310|
|3||5||Johann ZARCO||FRA||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||1:29.705||0.506 / 0.196|
|4||29||Andrea IANNONE||ITA||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||Suzuki||1:29.712||0.513 / 0.007|
|5||42||Alex RINS||ESP||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||Suzuki||1:30.026||0.827 / 0.314|
|6||43||Jack MILLER||AUS||Alma Pramac Racing||Ducati||1:30.140||0.941 / 0.114|
|7||46||Valentino ROSSI||ITA||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||Yamaha||1:30.270||1.071 / 0.130|
|8||9||Danilo PETRUCCI||ITA||Alma Pramac Racing||Ducati||1:30.328||1.129 / 0.058|
|9||04||Andrea DOVIZIOSO||ITA||Ducati Team||Ducati||1:30.519||1.320 / 0.191|
|10||55||Hafizh SYAHRIN||MAL||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||Yamaha||1:30.593||1.394 / 0.074|
|11||44||Pol ESPARGARO||ESP||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||1:30.640||1.441 / 0.047|
|12||19||Alvaro BAUTISTA||ESP||Ducati Team||Ducati||1:32.367||3.168 / 1.727|
|13||17||Karel ABRAHAM||CZE||Angel Nieto Team||Ducati||1:30.174||Q1 / Q1|
|14||30||Takaaki NAKAGAMI||JPN||LCR Honda IDEMITSU||Honda||1:30.452||Q1 / 0.278|
|15||21||Franco MORBIDELLI||ITA||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||Honda||1:30.518||Q1 / 0.066|
|16||38||Bradley SMITH||GBR||Red Bull KTM Factory Racing||KTM||1:30.646||Q1 / 0.128|
|17||10||Xavier SIMEON||BEL||Reale Avintia Racing||Ducati||1:30.679||Q1 / 0.033|
|18||26||Dani PEDROSA||ESP||Repsol Honda Team||Honda||1:30.770||Q1 / 0.091|
|19||41||Aleix ESPARGARO||ESP||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia||1:30.911||Q1 / 0.141|
|20||12||Thomas LUTHI||SUI||EG 0,0 Marc VDS||Honda||1:30.958||Q1 / 0.047|
|21||81||Jordi TORRES||ESP||Reale Avintia Racing||Ducati||1:31.141||Q1 / 0.183|
|22||45||Scott REDDING||GBR||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||Aprilia||1:31.309||Q1 / 0.168|
|23||7||Mike JONES||AUS||Angel Nieto Team||Ducati||1:32.639||Q1 / 1.330|