World champion Marc Marquez grabbed pole for the Australian MotoGP after his early switch to slick tyres earned him the number spot at Phillip Island.
The LCR Honda rider, who claimed his third title last weekend, took advantage of his competitors being on wets and intermediates to go 0.792s clear of his nearest rival Cal Crutchlow.
— Repsol Honda Team (@HRC_MotoGP) October 22, 2016
Tech 3’s Pol Espargaro did eventually commit to the dry rubber and went on to break home hearts by snatching the final front row place from Aussie Jack Miller.
Miller will start in fifth spot after losing out to the Espargaro brothers on the final lap.
Pramac Ducati’s Danilo Petrucci will complete the second row, with Nicky Hayden – taking part in his first qualifying session for Repsol Honda since 2008 – claiming seventh spot. The American had been fastest in the rain interrupted earlier FP4 session.
Aprilia’s Stefan Bradl will start eighth ahead of the Ducati pair of Andrea Dovizioso and Hector Barbera, while Scott Redding and Jorge Lorenzo completed the Q2 line-up, with Lorenzo strangely opting to stay on wet tyres – a decision that left him 6.651s behind pole-sitter Marquez.
— MotoGP™ (@MotoGP) October 22, 2016
Suzuki’s Maverick Vinales and Tech 3’s Bradley Smith surprisingly missed out on Q2, while 2015 Australian SBK champion Mike Jones qualified 19th out of the 21 riders during his second event for Avintia Ducati.
Qualifying 2 times:
1 Marc Marquez Repsol Honda Team 1’30.189
2 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda 0.792s
3 Pol Espargaro Monster Yamaha Tech 3 0.918s
4 Aleix Espargaro Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1.484s
5 Jack Miller Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS 1.565s
6 Danilo Petrucci OCTO Pramac Yakhnich 2.231s
7 Nicky Hayden Repsol Honda Team 2.755s
8 Stefan Bradl Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 2.826s
9 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Team 2.901s
10 Hector Barbera Ducati Team 3.725s
11 Scott Redding OCTO Pramac Yakhnich 4.493s
12 Jorge Lorenzo Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 6.651s
Qualifying 1 times:
13 Maverick Viñales Team Suzuki Ecstar 1’40.744s
14 Bradley Smith Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1’41.129s
15 Valentino Rossi Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’41.368s
16 Eugene Laverty Aspar MotoGP Team 1’41.532s
17 Yonny Hernandez Aspar MotoGP Team 1’41.766s
18 Alvaro Bautista Factory Aprilia Gresini 1’41.850s
19 Mike Jones Avintia Racing 1’42.261s
20 Loris Baz Avintia Racing 1’43.128s
21 Tito Rabat Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS 1’44.096s