Despite wet conditions and a crash during the morning practice session, the newly crowned 2018 MotoGP Champion Marc Marquez claimed pole Saturday for Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island.This was his sixth pole of 2018 MotoGP, and his fifth consecutive top qualifying position at Phillip Island. Despite his crash, Marquez topped the third free practice session. e
Joining Marquez on the front row for Sunday’s 27-lap MotoGP are Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Vinales, who finished 0.310 of a second behind, and Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Johann Zarco, who finished 0.506 behind.Speaking after Saturday’s rainy qualifying session, Marc Marquez said: “Pole position today was quite difficult, and it was especially tricky to understand when it was the right time to push.“The light rain that was falling wasn’t strong enough to wet the tarmac, but when you see the little drops on your visor and windscreen, things become a bit scary at this track. As soon as I realized that the drizzle had stopped, I did a good lap that was enough to be on pole for tomorrow.“At the moment, I’m able to be fast and close to the top riders, but honestly speaking, I’m not feeling as comfortable as I would like. We were able to improve over the weekend and our mentality remains positive like always, but we don’t know exactly what to expect from tomorrow’s race.“We saw many crashes and we crashed as well, and the weather is very unpredictable. Tire choice will be important, as will understanding that it’s not an on-off situation—we have the Constructors and Team Championships to think of, and if it’s not possible to win, then it’s time to look for the podium.”Heading up row two is Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Andrea Iannone, who led Friday’s practice sessions that were held under damp conditions. Iannone was followed by his teammate Alex Rins and Alma Pramac Racing Ducati’s Jack Miller.Rounding out the top 10 in qualifying were Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi; Alma Pramac Racing Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci; and Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso. As for Jorge Lorenzo’s replacement rider on the other factory Ducati (Lorenzo is out due to injury), Alvaro Bautista qualified 12th, 3.1 seconds off the pace.The riders return to Phillip Island Sunday for the Australian Grand Prix, round 17 of 19 in 2018 MotoGP, and the second of three back-to-back rounds.Photos by Luciano Bianchetto
KTM Super ADV R + Lightning Motorcycles’ Richard Hatfield
byMotos and Friends by Ultimate Motorcycle
Hello everyone and welcome once again to Motos and Friends—the weekly Podcast brought to you by the editorial team at Ultimate Motorcycling. My name is Arthur Coldwells.
In this week’s first segment, Editor Don Williams rides KTM’s new 1290 Super Adventure R. This hardcore ADV bike is big, powerful, and a true expert-level machine. Interestingly, it has multiple points of adjustment within its highly capable electronics package, and Don discovered several big surprises where the bike changed personality completely. His is an intriguing look at one of the most capable off road ADV bikes on the market today.
In the second segment, I chat with Richard Hatfield, CEO of Lightning motorcycles. This silicon valley based manufacturer was founded in 2006, and having racked up several notable race victories (including Pikes Peak in 2013 with the late Carlin Dunne on board) Lightning have certainly dominated in racing terms. In another first, Lightning has just announced a new rapid-charging battery technology that may well bring electric motorcycles into becoming real-world, practical transport.
So from all of us here at Motos & Friends… we hope you enjoy this episode!