MotoGP: Marquez on pole as Dovi suffers a disaster

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Marc Marquez will start tomorrow’s Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island from pole position, capitalising on a difficult day for championship rival Andrea Dovizioso, who will have to come through the field from a disastrous 11th to maintain his title aspirations.

Marquez controlled much of the session at the seaside circuit despite brief spells at the front for Maverick Viñales and Johann Zarco, eventually finishing up a third of a second clear of the Yamaha duo on the front row.

Andrea Iannone was a strong fourth on the Suzuki, ahead of home hero Jack Miller, continuing his strong performances of all weekend despite a broken leg. The second row was rounded out by Pol Espargaró, handing KTM their best ever qualifying finish so far.

Valentino Rossi, Aleix Espargaró, and a good result for the second Red Bull KTM of Bradley Smith completed the third row, with Cal Crutchlow forced back to tenth when a crash on his fast lap took him out of contention.

It was a disappointing day all round for Ducati, too, with only Dovizioso making it to qualifying two and his factory teammate Jorge Lorenzo forced back to 16th place as his woes continue at the Australian track.

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer