2015 Australia MotoGP Qualifying Results
Marc Marquez is back to his usual quick ways. The Repsol Honda RC213V pilot broke his left pinky finger ahead of last weekend’s Motegi MotoGP, but he seemed to overcome the pain Saturday during qualifying at Phillip Island in Australia.
The 22-year-old Marquez was untouchable during 2015 Australia MotoGP Qualifying, earning his eight pole of 2015, and the 30th of his MotoGP career.
Marquez, who has no mathematically chance of earning the 2015 MotoGP title, claimed the Phillip Island MotoGP pole with a lap time of 1:28.634, which was was over tenths ahead of the two riders who join him on the front row: Ducati Team’s Andrea Iannone and Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Jorge Lorenzo, respectively.
The two-time MotoGP Champion Marquez was quick, but was still almost a half-second slower than the 2013 Phillip Island pole record set by Lorenzo in 2013 (1:27.899). Marquez finished second overall behind Lorenzo during Friday MotoGP practice, but led every session on Saturday.
As the series gets underway at Phillip Island, round 16 of 18 and the second of three back-to-back rounds, the only two riders capable of earning the title are Lorenzo and his teammate Valentino Rossi. The nine-time World Champion has an 18-point lead over Lorenzo. Marquez is third, 86 points behind. Regardless, this didn’t slow Marquez down.
“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,” Marquez says.
Just like Marquez, Iannone used a two-stop strategy to earn his third front-row starting position of the season. Iannone qualified 0.316 of a seconds behind Marquez, and so did Lorenzo. Though the times were identical, Iannone earned second on the grid due to crossing the finish line ahead of Lorenzo on the final qualifying lap.
This makes for 13 front-row starts for Lorenzo this season. Though this was Lorenzo’s worst qualifying attempt since 8th at Assent MotoGP, he is still way ahead of Rossi, who qualified seventh, 0.650 of a second off the pace.
Qualifying on top of the second row was Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa, who earned his first win of 2015 MotoGP at Motegi last weekend. Pedrosa was 0.348 of a second off the pace. The Spaniard will be joined on row two by LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow (-0.548) and Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Maverick Vinales (-0.568).
Rossi qualified seventh, and will be joined on row three by Suzuki’s Aleix Espargaro and Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Pol Esparagaro.
Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso was tenth fastest, with Brits Scott Redding (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) and Bradley Smith (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) completing the fourth row, despite the latter becoming the only rider to crash so far throughout the weekend in FP4.
The top Open class qualifier with 14th was Avintia Racing’s Hector Barbera. As for the sole American in MotoGP, Aspar MotoGP’s Nicky Hayden, qualified 20th. The 2006 MotoGP Champion, who joins Ten Kate Honda in 2016 World Superbike, will also be inducted into the MotoGP Hall of Fame.
The 27-lap Australian Grand Prix gets underway Sunday; Fox Sports 1 will broadcast the race live at 12:30 a.m. Sunday.
2015 Australia MotoGP Qualifying Results:
1. Marc Marquez (SPA) Repsol Honda Team 1’28.364
2. Andrea Iannone (ITA) Ducati Team 1’28.680
3. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’28.680
4. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda Team 1’28.712
5. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) CWM LCR Honda 1’28.912
6. Maverick Viñales (SPA) Team Suzuki Ecstar 1’28.932
7. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’29.014
8. Aleix Espargarò (SPA) Team Suzuki Ecstar 1’29.015
9. Pol Espargarò (SPA) Monster Yamaha Tech3 1’29.222
10. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Ducati Team 1’29.267
11. Scott Redding (GBR) Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS 1’29.499
12. Bradley Smith (GBR) Monster Yamaha Tech3 1’29.626
13. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Octo Pramac Racing 1’29.918
14. Hector Barbera (SPA) Avintia Racing 1’30.064
15. Jack Miller (AUS) CWM LCR Honda 1’30.104
16. Eugene Laverty (IRL) Aspar MotoGP Team 1’30.105
17. Yonny Hernandez (COL) Octo Pramac Racing 1’30.135
18. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’30.147
19. Loris Baz (FRA) Forward Racing 1’30.173
20. Nicky Hayden (USA) Aspar MotoGP Team 1’30.376
21. Stefan Bradl (GER) Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’30.634
22. Mike Di Meglio (FRA) Avintia Racing 1’30.959
23. Anthony West (AUS) AB Motoracing 1’31.205
24. Toni Elias (SPA) Forward Racing 1’31.837
25. Damian Cudlin (AUS) E-Motion IodaRacing Team 1’33.884