In a dramatic Q2 session at Phillip Island, World Championship leader Marc Marquez secured his 11th front row start for Sunday’s Tissot Australian Grand Prix – with his Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa, starting from the second row in fifth.
Marquez, who had a small crash at turn 10 in FP3 on his first exit with the hard rear tyre, recorded his fastest lap on his second run in qualifying - on lap 6 of 8 with a 1'28.120, claiming second on the grid.
With his second position, Marquez has now also sealed the BMW M Award for Best Qualifier in 2013.
Marquez stated, "The goal today was to get a front row start, and we achieved it. We knew that Jorge (Lorenzo) and Valentino (Rossi) would both be very fast over a single lap with the new soft tyre compound, something that they showed today."
"Jorge, Dani and Valentino have a great pace, but I think I can stick with them. After the issues with tyres the race will now be a flag-to-flag, which for me is the first time so it will be interesting - even if I would have preferred a shorter race but this is the decision from Race Direction."
Pedrosa also worked hard in qualifying and got his fastest time on the last of his nine laps with a 1'28.748 lap, placing him fifth.
"I'll make no excuses," Pedrosa commented. "Qualifying didn't go well for us and I was not able to go fast. However, the practice sessions have been positive for us. Now we have been told that Race Direction have taken a decision to make the race 26 laps with a flag-to-flag. I don't think this is the best option but this is the scenario so we will do our best to prepare for it."