Martin Defeats Marquez To Pole, And Bagnaia Leads The Title in Third in Australian MotoGP
Pramac Ducati’s Jorge Martin captured the pole from Mark Marquez in the Australian MotoGP Grand Prix. On the other hand, Francesco Bagnaia became the fastest title challenger.
The lap record on Phillip Island belongs to Jorge Lorenzo, a three-time MotoGP champion since 2013, but finally vanished when Martin hit 1:27.767 to finish his third win.
Martin, who had never ridden a MotoGP bike on Philippe Island before this weekend, was 0.013 seconds ahead of Marquez as Bagania completed the top three from Avrilla's Alex Espargaro and championship leader Fabio Quartaro to challenge the fastest. Enter the race on Sunday.
The dry Q2 session kicked off with a frantic lap as three Ducati riders took turns setting the pace. Ducati factory rider Bagnaia set the best time of 1'28.206s before Marco Bezzecchi - a rookie at the MotoGP circuit like Martin - pushed the Desmosedici ahead with a 1.28.185 on his VR46 run.
Martin began to outdo the duo with a one-minute set of 28.112 seconds during the first four minutes of the 15-minute second quarter.
Bagnaia would finish the first lap of the course with 1m28.054 to take the gauntlet, with Martin 0.058 seconds behind. In the dying phase's final lap, the session's best sector was superimposed over the entire timing screen.
However, Martin won the day with a time of 1:27.767. The Pramac rider fended off the onslaught of Honda's Marquez by 0.013s to secure the seventh pole position of his MotoGP career.
Marquez showed another shining sign that his recovery is on track as he maintained a significant lead moment early in the second quarter and into the 10th hair turn.
Marquez, who slipped on the final lap of Banaya, closed the gap between Martin and his rider at the factory Ducati in his second front-row start in four races. Aprilia's Alex Espargaro fell behind teammate Maverick Vinales and was on track to do a lap to challenge the front line in the final leg. However, Espargaro suffered a severe concussion at the last corner of the pit straight and had to settle for fourth place with a 1m 27.957s.
This leaves Quartararo 0.016 ahead of Quartararo on the factory Yamaha, with Johann Zarco finishing second on his sister Pramac Ducati who spent Q1 with Suzuki's Alex Rins.
Luca Marini took third place in a VR46 Ducati ahead of local hero Jack Miller on sister factory teams GP22 and Bezzecchi.
The flush starts at Suzuki ahead of Alex Marquez from LCR Honda and is second at Aprilias by Maverick Vinales.
Enea Bastianini will sit in 13th place as the lowest-ranked championship contender after failing to qualify for Q2 in practice.
The Gresini Ducati rider lost just 0.038s in a Q2 place after holding off KTM's Miguel Oliveira on his final lap - an incident, like an illegal practice start, which saw the Portuguese rider drop three places on the grid. And a long lap penalty for the race.
Later in Q1, Bastianini passed Honda's Pol Espargaro, set for a Q2 podium, with Joan Mir in the top two before both drivers withdrew from their last race.
That leaves Espargaro in 14th place behind Suzuki's Mir, with KTM's Brad Binder 16th behind RNF Racing duo Cal Crutchlow and Darin Binder.
Remy Gardner will start his only home MotoGP appearance at Tech3 KTM on the 19th, ahead of Fabio Di Giannantonio and Oliveira, who will begin in last place.
Raul Fernandez (Tech3 KTM), Yamaha's Franco Morbidelli, and Tesota Nagashima at LCR Honda completed the 24-passenger race grid.