Marquez on pole as rain returns to Phillip Island

Marc Marquez pic:

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.

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

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time Gap 1st/prev
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

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