PHILLIP ISLAND: Newly-crowned world champion Marc Marquez’s gamble on using slick tyres under the threat of rain paid off yesterday when he stormed to pole position for this weekend’s Australian MotoGP at Phillip Island.
The 23-year-old Spaniard, on a Repsol Honda, posted the fastest lap of 1min 30.189sec amid threatening rain to start on the inside of the grid for today’s race.
It was Marquez’s 37th MotoGP pole and 65th across all classes as he vies for his 30th career premier class win at Phillip Island.
British Honda rider Cal Crutchlow was second, ahead of Spain’s Monster Yamaha racer Pol Espargaro with both to start off the front row with Marquez.
“This weekend has been really tricky with the weather conditions,” said Marquez. “You need to be fast, of course, but you also need a clever strategy and at the moment we are going out with the correct tyres every time and we were able to be on pole position.”
Lorenzo could only finish 12th in Q2, some 6.6 seconds behind Marquez, while his Movistar team-mate and nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi failed to make it into the final qualifying session and will start 15th on the grid for Sunday’s race.
Rossi and Lorenzo are fighting for second place in this year’s world championship.
Lorenzo trails Rossi by 14 points heading into the final three races of the season.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 23rd, 2016.