The Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix is back underway for the first time since 2019 following multiple cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the only Australian, Jack Miller is the home crowd favourite for the weekend and remains within mathematical contention for the world championship.
Phillip Island track record smashed as title rivals line up alongside each other in MotoGP quali
Jorge Martin has snatched pole for the Australian Grand Prix with an all-time motorcycling track record.
The Pramac rider’s best time of 1:27.767 is the fastest anyone has ever lapped the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on a bike, breaking the nine-year-old record previously held by Jorge Lorenzo previous set at 1:27.899.
It secured him top qualifying spot by just 0.013 seconds ahead of Marc Márquez and 0.186 seconds ahead of Francesco Bagnaia.
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Márquez has Bagnaia to thank for his front-row qualifying spot, having slipstreamed him shamelessly during the second runs and picking up a valuable slipstream that put him ahead of the Ducati on their final attempts.
“That was the only chance to be on the front row,” he said. “I played my cards.
“Of course it’s not the best way to do the lap time, but we are here for competing and we are here to try to do our best.”
Márquez’s session was highlighted by a phenomenal save of a front snap out of MG — a proper old-school Marc rescue — that the Spaniard said was down to him feeling increasingly better on the bike,
“On the physical side I feel better, and this is the key point for me,” he said.
Bagnaia is at the head of a title-contending trio, heading Aleix Espargaró by 0.016 seconds and championship leader Fabio Quartararo by 0.05 seconds.