Marc Marquez squeezed his way through to register his fifth consecutive pole position in the Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix at Philip Island. It was his sixth pole position of the season for the Factory Repsol Honda rider, and he locked the lap timing of 1.29.199 s.
Marquez also wins the BMW M award for the highest number of pole positions in the qualifyings this season. He won this accolade for the sixth time.
In the qualifying, he was 0.310s clear of Maverick Vinales(Factory Yamaha), who is in the second place and 0.506s clear of Johann Zarco (Monster Tech-3 Yamaha).
Brief showers of rain just before the start of Q2 made it tricky for the riders to advance in the qualifying.
Racing in his backyard, Australia's Jack Miller(Pramac Ducati) set the fastest reference lap of the Q2- 1.31.723s, before Marquez pushed him down by half-a-second, registering 1.31.282s. Vinales was just 0.082s behind Marquez.
As the rain stopped falling, riders went after their jobs confidently. Andrea Iannone, who dominated the free practice session, went the quickest, pipping Marquez just by 0.03s. But he was soon dethroned by Johann Zarco, 1.29.705s.
Marquez was out once again and clocked the fastest time 1.29.199s, over half-a-second faster that Zarco. As the flying laps came closer, Vinales squeezed his way between Marquez and Zarco, almost two-tenths of a second clear of Johann Zarco.
Yamaha had a decent outing with their two riders in the top slots but Valentino Rossi could not finish any better than seventh on the grid.
Alvaro Bautista is racing for Factory Ducati(in place of Jorge Lorenzo) in the 17th round of MotoGP in Australia alongside Andrea Dovizioso. Bautista, along with Pol Espargo, had earlier emerged as the fastest riders in Q1 and subsequently graduated to the Q2.
However, Bautista suffered a weird crash at the turn 10 with eight minutes remaining in the Q2. So, finishing 12th in the qualifying. His teammate Andrea Dovizioso was the ninth fastest on the grid. Ducati's expectation surely suffered the dents ahead of the race on Sunday.
Rain returned once again before the start of the second run, preventing the riders from attempting to better their timings.