A pulsating Phillip Island qualifying session has set the scene for another mind-blowing Michelin® Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix to take place on Sunday and before the lights go out, why not check out ten stats from Saturday’s action?
1. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) has qualified on pole position for the fifth successive time at Phillip Island, equalling Casey Stoner who did it between 2008 and 2012 at this track.
Marquez: "I was waiting for the rain to stop"
2. This is Honda's 12th pole position at Phillip Island in the MotoGP™ class since 2002. On their 11 previous pole positions at this track, Honda riders have won five times, twice with Marquez in both 2015 and last year.
Michelin® Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix: MotoGP™ Q2
3. Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) has qualified in second, equalling his best qualifying result of the season from the Circuit of the Americas (he started from pole position, but following a penalty for Marquez).
Viñales didn't even get his best run!
4. With Viñales and Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), this is the second time this year there are two Yamaha riders on the front row on the grid, along with the Italian GP.
Zarco: "I was scared of the rain, so I'm happy for third"
5. Heading the second row on the grid for the second successive year in Phillip Island is Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar), which is his best qualifying result since he was also fourth at Mugello earlier this year.
MotoGP™ FP3 at the Michelin® Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix
6. Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) has qualified fifth on the grid, equalling his best qualifying result since he stepped up to the premier class of Grand Prix racing last year.
7. Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing) starts his home round from sixth, which is the third successive year he starts from the second row on the grid at Phillip Island.
8. Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), who has stood on the podium 15 times on his 18 previous premier class visits to Phillip Island, starts from seventh on the grid for the second successive year in Australia.
FP4 - the final tests before qualifying at Phillip Island
9. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team), who crashed out of the race at Motegi last week, starts from ninth, which is his worst qualifying result since he was also ninth in Valencia last year on the eve of the final showdown for the crown.
10. Following Cal Crutchlow’s (LCR Honda Castrol) withdrawal from the Australian GP, Hafizh Syahrin’s (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) time was enough to join Q2 directly for the first time in his rookie season in the MotoGP™ class. He’s qualified in tenth on the grid, which is the best qualifying result for any of the five rookies this year.
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