Moto3: Mir lays down a marker at Phillip Island

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Moto3 champion-elect Joan Mir has laid down an important marker on the first day of action at the Australian Grand Prix, controlling the day’s first two sessions to finish a quarter of a second clear of the closest challenger to him, fellow Spaniard Aron Canet.

The Leopard Honda rider was half a second clear for a long time in the day’s second session as times fell and track temperatures came up, with only a late lap from Canet closing the gap to 0.230 when the chequered flag, with Dutchman Bo Bendsneyder finishing the day on the provisional front row with them.

Gabriel Rodrigo was fourth, ahead of Jorge Martin and Romano Fenati, with the top ten rounded out by Juanfran Guevara, Tatsuki Suzuki, Niccolo Bulega and Marcos Ramirez.

It was a disappointing day for John McPhee, though, coming home in a distant 24th after suffering bike problems at a circuit where he’s enjoyed some of his best results in the past.

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer