MotoGP: Gallery and rundown as Marquez leads at Phillip Island


It was qualifying day at the MotoGP at Phillip Island and Marquez showed his intentions as Iannone has put himself in the mix, to the detriment of the title contenders at Yamaha…

Words by PR, photos by Leonard Smith


Marc Marquez took his eighth pole position of the season with Jorge Lorenzo qualifying on the front row, while Valentino Rossi starts from the third row after qualifying in seventh place.


Marc Marquez: “I am pleased with how the day went, and of course with pole position! Thanks to the team for all their work, we have a good pace for tomorrow and we are ready to fight for the podium and hopefully the victory tomorrow. However we must wait and see what happens, because here every day is different; it can be sunny but then all of a sudden clouds can appear, and the key will be interpreting how the track conditions are, in order to have a good race.”


Andrea Iannone: “A very positive qualifying session for me: it was really important to be able to start from the front row tomorrow. Let’s hope we can make a good start in the race, because here it is essential. For sure following Jorge gave me a hand in improving my lap time, but we have been quick all weekend in every session, we have worked well and we’ve always improved the bike. In the race we have to be quick right from the start, because it’s important on this track. In any case I am really happy and upbeat: I’d like to thank all the guys in my team who, despite some difficulties, always manage to find the right solutions, even at the last minute.”


Jorge Lorenzo: “I was a little bit angry after qualifying, because my real position was second place if I could have been on track alone, but with my tow Iannone was very fast here and the Ducati‘s soft tyre for sure helped him to improve two or three tenths of a second and take second from me. This is very important because usually I start better than Marquez, but my starts are the same or maybe even a bit worse than Iannone‘s so this will make the first lap more difficult. We will have to be patient and know that the race is very long. Little by little I will work my way to the front and fight with Marquez for victory, that‘s my goal. I‘m happy with my last three fast laps, but not so much with the position, but it‘s not so bad in the bigger perspective, because Vale is on the third row.”


Valentino Rossi: “Starting from third row is always difficult and we expected a little bit more. During today we tried some different things to improve our speed, but we haven‘t found a good solution. I remain consistent with my lap times, but they are not fast enough, so at the end we arrived at qualifying not being ready. I was able to do a lap that was not so bad, but it wasn‘t enough to start more in front. Bridgestone is worried about this track, especially considering the past, but the grip of the new asphalt is less, so everybody‘s wheels spin a lot. For this reason I think that the life of the tyre is not a problem, but it‘s more important to find the right balance of the bike to reduce wheel spin.”


Cal Crutchlow: “I’m a little disappointed with today’s final result in qualifying, I felt I could have made a better job of it. Unfortunately I made two silly mistakes on my lap and I think it cost me a front row position. It was my own fault though. The team have worked really hard today, but we really need to focus now on getting more grip for the bike tomorrow because again in the fourth free practice we struggled with the rear tyre. We all look forward to tomorrow’s race and I will try and battle as hard as possible to pick up a good result.”


Dani Pedrosa: “Today was a difficult day, especially in the morning. It was quite cold and very windy, and I had problems in FP3, which did not go well. FP4 went somewhat better, although my pace was still not amongst the fastest. However, in the qualifying session we managed to improve a lot, finally setting a good lap time and qualifying well.”



Despite a crash Lincolnshire’s Sam Lowes held onto a Moto2™ front row start with Alex Rins taking his third pole position of the season.

Twenty one year old Danny Kent is poised to become the first British Grand Prix World Champion for 38 years tomorrow, but will start the most important race of his life from the third row of the grid despite setting the fastest lap in qualifying for the Moto3™ race at the Pramac Australian Grand Prix this afternoon. Kent, who holds a 56 point lead in the championship with three rounds remaining, finished the fastest rider in the 40 minute session round the Phillip Island circuit but had already been informed by Race Direction that he would be moved back six places after breaking the rules on two occasions by slowing on the racing line in practice. He now starts the 23 lap race from the third row of the grid in seventh place but still has a great chance of taking the title riding the Leopard Racing Honda.


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