An almost-unassailable Marc Marquez has dominated Saturday at Phillip Island to leave himself on pole position and clear favourite for tomorrow’s Australian Grand Prix come wet or dry conditions.
With on and off rain disrupting all of the day’s sessions, Marquez proved himself to be almost untouchable, and combined with some clever strategy at the end of the day left him in just the right place to come out on top in qualifying.
“This weekend has been really tricky with the weather – because you need to be fast of course, but you also need the correct strategy. It was difficult because the setup wasn’t perfect and I couldn’t do a perfect lap. The forecast said heavy rain in ten minutes and everyone went out and was pushing – then I saw the track was dry, and I went back in to get the correct tyres. I lost a few minutes but it was worth it. I was worried someone else would go in and have newer tyres, but in the end it was enough.
“We’ll see tomorrow if it will be flag-to-flag or dry, because the weather is incredible. When we came here in the pre-season the rain was like this. It gets dry really quick, so it’s something to understand for tomorrow.”
Cal Crutchlow had a strong run to second place, making the most of the LCR Honda’s strengths at the fast circuit, while Pol Espargaró was an equally impressive third just ahead of brother Aleix.
However, it was a disaster for many of the factory riders, with Jorge Lorenzo able to manage 12th as his issues in the rain continue to plague him, with Maverick Viñales 13th and Valentino Rossi a disastrous 16th after failing to properly strategize during qualifying.
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