Australian island of Phillip In order to win the Australian MotoGP’s pole position, Jorge Martin broke the nine-year-old Phillip Island lap record on Saturday. World champion Fabio Quartararo finished sixth.
The Spaniard made sure he will start at the top of the line on Sunday by doing a fast lap in one minute and 27.767 seconds in dry and partly overcast weather.
Unbelievably, it happened with the Ducati-Pramac rider having never ridden the gorgeous waterfront course before this weekend, shattering the 1:27.899 record held by Jorge Lorenzo since 2013.
The bikes are quicker today, so it’s time to break those records, Martin added.
“Since this is my first trip here, I got a little confused yesterday and had to take the measurement (of the track). But today I finally moved well.
“I didn’t realize how competitive I could be until it got to this point. A 1:27 time is incredible. Hopefully, we can persevere tomorrow “Added he.
Despite losing the front end of his Honda and spinning at turn 10 on his first lap, six-time world champion Marc Marquez miraculously avoided a collision and went on to finish second, 0.013 seconds behind Lorenzo and also faster than his time.
Marquez, a three-time champion at Phillip Island who has just lately returned from yet another serious injury, said: “I’m not a little bit thrilled, I’m a lot.”
“The most crucial factor is that my mood is improving as I ride the bike, so little by little.
The fact that I am physically feeling better is important to me.
Despite finishing behind fellow title challenger Francesco Bagnaia, who will start third on his Ducati, world championship leader Quartararo of Yamaha finished fifth.
With three grand prix remaining in the 20-race season, Quartararo leads the Italian by a razor-thin two points in the standings.
The top five are only separated by 40 points, making a championship matchup mathematically certain.
Aleix Espargaro of Spain (Aprilia) was the fourth-fastest competitor, while Jack Miller of Australia (Ducati) placed eighth.
However, Italian Enea Bastianini (Ducati), who is 39 points down, could only manage 13th, further undermining his tenuous chances.