2018 MotoGP

Phillip Island Qualifying

Saturday morning pace not as quick as Friday

Marc Marquez was the quickest rider in the FP3 session on Saturday morning ahead of Maverick Vinales and Jack Miller. However, on combined times, it was still Andrea Iannone fastest overall on the back of his 1m29.131 set on Friday afternoon.

MotoGP Australia Iannone
Andrea Iannone

In fact, the top five on combined times had all gone faster on Friday; Iannone, Petrucci, Vinales, Dovizioso and Zarco that leading quintet. Marquez had improved marginally in FP3, but not enough to break into that top five though. The same went for Jack Miller, the young Aussie remained in P7 on combined times ahead of Alex Rins.

Valentino Rossi got into the 1m29s for the first time this weekend in Saturday’s FP3 session to secure his spot straight through to Q2 along with Malaysian rookie Hafizh Syahrin.

Yamaha men quick

That meant that all four Yamaha machines were in the top ten, and thus all Yamaha riders were guaranteed to be in the first four rows on the grid tomorrow.

MotoGP Australia Marquez
Marc Marquez

Honda men not so much

In contrast only one Honda was at that stage guaranteed a spot in Q2, that rider Marc Marquez. Dani Pedrosa was in P12, Franco Morbidelli P17, Takaaki Nakagami P18 and Tom Luthi in P20.

Despite their lack of recent wins it would appear, on those results, that the Yamaha is a better machine than the Honda here this weekend. Either that, or Yamaha’s riders are a lot faster than most of the Honda pilots…

MotoGP Combined FP1/FP2/FP3 Times

  1. Andrea Iannone – Suzuki 1m29.131 (FP2)
  2. Danilo Petrucci – Ducati 1m29.291 (FP2)
  3. Maverick Vinales – Yamaha 1m29.354 (FP2)
  4. Andrea Dovizioso – Ducati 1m29.406 (FP2)
  5. Johann Zarco – Yamaha 1m29.686 (FP2)
  6. Marc Marquez – Honda 1m29.714 (FP3)
  7. Jack Miller – Ducati 1m29.792 (FP3)
  8. Alex Rins – Suzuki 1m29.918 (FP2)
  9. Valentino Rossi – Yamaha 1m29.974 (FP3)
  10. Hafizh Syahrin – Yamaha 1m30.179 (FP2)
  11. Pol Espargaro – KTM 1m30.221 (FP3)
  12. Dani Pedrosa – Honda 1m30.259 (FP3)
  13. Bradley Smith – KTM 1m30.346 (FP2)
  14. Alvaro Bautista – Ducati 1m30.485 (FP3)
  15. Karel Abraham – Ducati 1m30.720 (FP3)
  16. Aleix Espargaro – Aprilia 1m30.736 (FP2)
  17. Franco Morbidelli – Honda 1m30.787 (FP2)
  18. Takaaki Nakagami – Honda 1m30.830 (FP2)
  19. Xavier Simeon – Ducati 1m30.973 (FP3)
  20. Tom Luthi – Honda 1m31.320 (FP3)
  21. Jordi Torres – Ducati 1m31.570 (FP2)
  22. Scott Redding – Aprilia 1m31.941 (FP1)
  23. Mike Jones – Ducati 1m32.988 (FP3)

Free Practice 4

Early on in FP4 Jack Miller went down softly at turn four, the Queenslander was quickly up and going again but a less than auspicious start to his afternoon which saw him return to the pits after the crash.

MotoGP Australia FP Jack Miller
Jack Miller

Halfway through FP4 no rider had dipped back into the 1m29s. Rossi looked confident and was leading most of the first half of the session before being demoted by Andrea Iannone. The Suzuki man the first rider into the 1m29s on his seventh lap of the session, 1m29.954, he then backed that up with a 1m29.913 as Vinales then moved up to second place, pushing his teammate back to third.

Jack Miller finally made it back out on track when there was ten-minutes remaining in the FP4 session.

Iannone again improved his time marginally, a 1m29.905 to remain on top of FP4. A few laps later he went quicker again, 1m29.604, there were three-minutes remaining when he crossed the stripe. That proved good enough for Iannone to top the session by half-a-second.

Mike Jones had dipped into the 1m32s on Saturday morning in FP3 but set a best of 1m33.237 in FP4.

MotoGP Australia Mike Jones
Mike Jones

MotoGP FP4 Times

Pos Rider Team Time
1 Andrea IANNONE Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’29.604
2 Maverick VIÑALES Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’30.148
3 Valentino ROSSI Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’30.292
4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team 1’30.299
5 Johann ZARCO Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1’30.399
6 Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team 1’30.478
7 Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’30.531
8 Hafizh SYAHRIN Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1’30.887
9 Danilo PETRUCCI Alma Pramac Racing 1’31.043
10 Alvaro BAUTISTA Ducati Team 1’31.087
11 Xavier SIMEON Reale Avintia Racing 1’31.268
12 Takaaki NAKAGAMI LCR Honda IDEMITSU 1’31.292
13 Scott REDDING Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’31.293
14 Dani PEDROSA Repsol Honda Team 1’31.404
15 Franco MORBIDELLI EG 0,0 Marc VDS 1’31.499
16 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’31.662
17 Bradley SMITH Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’31.706
18 Karel ABRAHAM Angel Nieto Team 1’31.781
19 Jack MILLER Alma Pramac Racing 1’31.802
20 Thomas LUTHI EG 0,0 Marc VDS 1’31.883
21 Pol ESPARGARO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’31.946
22 Jordi TORRES Reale Avintia Racing 1’32.065
23 Mike JONES Angel Nieto Team 1’33.237

MotoGP Qualifying

The Q1 session got underway under cloudy skies a little after 1600 on Saturday afternoon. Alvaro Bautista and Karel Abraham were 1-2 with five-minutes remaining in the session, Bautista leading on 1m30.344.

In the final minutes things stepped up another gear. Alvaro Bautista the first to drop in a 1m29 to strengthen his claim on a promotion through to the Q2 session. Pol Espargaro then went P2 on 1m30.105 and that time remained good enough to put the KTM man through to Q2 despite a determined effort by Karel Abraham.

Mike Jones put his best time of the weekend thus far in that Q1 session with a 1m32.639 on the Angel Nieto Ducati, but that was only good enough for the last position on the grid, 1.3-seconds behind Scott Redding.

MotoGP Australia Mike Jones
Mike Jones

The stars of MotoGP started rolling out of pit-lane for the grid deciding Q2 session at 1635, just as it looked as though rain clouds were gathering beyond the cliffs below the circuit.

Track temperature was lower today which had been causing riders problems with front tyre temperature on the rarely used right-hand side of the front hoop. This is why so many riders had failed to improve on their Friday times.

Sure enough, just as riders left their pit-boxes on slicks a few rain drops started appearing at some points of the circuit. Now the riders had to either decide to throw caution to the wind a little, and go for a time as soon as possible in the expectation that it might start raining properly. There were lots of concerned faces and confusion in pit-lane, every which way was going to be a gamble…

Jack Miller led early on before being eclipsed by Marc Marquez and Pol Espargaro. Miller though went back on top after the next lap, a 1m30.884 but then was quickly shuffled back to P7 by Marquez, Vinales, Zarco, Dovizioso, Espargaro, and Rins.

Marquez then went top with 1m29.742, Vinales and Zarco also in the 29s. Miller went back up to P4 with a 1m30.140.

Iannone then top with ten-minutes remaining, a 1m29.712.  Zarco then knocked him off after putting in a 1m29.705.

Alvaro Bautista went down at turn ten.

Marquez back on top with seven-minutes remaining, a 1m29.199 the second fastest time of the weekend overall. The only quicker lap had been set by Iannone in practice on Friday.

MotoGP Australia Marquez
Marc Marquez

Then just as riders exited pit-lane for their final time attack spots of rain started appearing once again at various points of the circuit. That precipitation ruined the final run for a lot of the riders, and allowed Marquez’ time to stand and the Spaniard awarded pole.

Jack Miller and Maverick Vinales did not hold back despite the drizzle but there were risks went unrewarded. Ultimately Vinales had to settle for P2 on the back of his earlier time while Zarco rounded out the front row.

MotoGP Australia Iannone
Andrea Iannone

Andrea Iannone heads the second row but is certainly one to watch as the Suzuki man has put in a huge number of very fast laps this weekend across almost every session. He is the dark horse for tomorrow. His teammate Alex Rins will start alongside him from P5 while Jack Miller rounds out the second row and was the fastest qualifying Ducati.

Valentino Rossi heads the third row alongside Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Dovizioso while Hafizh Syahrin rounds out the top ten.

MotoGP 2018 – Phillip Island – MotoGP Qualifying Results
  1. Marc Marquez – Honda 1m29.199
  2. Maverick Vinales – Yamaha 1m29.509
  3. Johann Zarco – Yamaha 1m29.705
  4. Andrea Iannone – Suzuki 1m29.712
  5. Alex Rins – Suzuki 1m30.026
  6. Jack Miller – Ducati 1m30.140
  7. Valentino Rossi – Yamaha 1m30.270
  8. Danilo Petrucci – Ducati 1m30.328
  9. Andrea Dovizioso – Ducati 1m30.519
  10. Hafizh Syahrin – Yamaha 1m30.593
  11. Pol Espargaro – KTM 1m30.640
  12. Alvaro Bautista – Ducati 1m32.367
  13. Karel Abraham – Ducati 1m30.174 (Q1)
  14. Takaaki Nakagami – Honda 1m30.452 (Q1)
  15. Franco Morbidelli – Honda 1m30.518 (Q1)
  16. Bradley Smith – KTM 1m30.646 (Q1)
  17. Xavier Simeon – Ducati 1m30.679 (Q1)
  18. Dani Pedrosa – Honda 1m30.770 (Q1)
  19. Aleix Espargaro – Aprilia 1m30.911 (Q1)
  20. Tom Luthi – Honda 1m30.958 (Q1)
  21. Jordi Torres – Ducati 1m31.141 (Q1)
  22. Scott Redding – Aprilia 1m31.309 (Q1)
  23. Mike Jones – Ducati 1m32.639 (Q1)


Mattia Pasini took pole in the Moto2 category ahead of Marcel Schrotter while Xavi Vierge rounded out the front row ahead of Aegerter, Binder and Quartararo.

MotoGP Australia FP Remy Gardner
Remy Gardner

Remy Gardner was a bit battered and bruised from his massive tumble yesterday and his teammate for this round, fellow Australian Bryan Staring, was similarly bruised after being taken out by another rider on Friday.

Remy Gardner – P15

“We kind of bounced back today from a pretty disastrous day yesterday. I woke up not feeling too bad. I feel like we could have put ourselves in top 10 in Qualifying, but I was struggling to find a toe on the last exit. I still think we’ve got a very good pace and I still believe we can be quite strong for tomorrow. I feel like it can be a truly fun race from P15.”

Gardner ended qualifying in 15th place while Staring was 27th.

Bryan Staring – P27

“Actually for the first time this weekend, I’m disappointed with my performance, only because it was Qualifying and I couldn’t manage to take a step forward with the lap time. But also fro what ever reason, which we don’t understand yet, I had a lot of chatter in the front of the bike for the final run, so that didn’t help the situation in fact. Anyway, with other than chatter we’ve got the bike to the best it’s been to me all weekend and I really enjoyed working with the guys that worked hard for me. I’m disappointed with the performance, but the race is tomorrow. We’ve still got a Warm Up to take home yet and see what we can do.”

MotoGP Australia Bryan Staring
Bryan Staring
MotoGP 2018 – Phillip Island – Moto2 Qualifying Results
Pos Rider Team Time
1. Pasini M. Italtrans Racing Team 1:33.368
2. Schrotter M. Dynavolt Intact GP +0.256
3. Vierge X. Dynavolt Intact GP +0.353
4. Aegerter D. Kiefer Racing +0.473
5. Binder B. Red Bull KTM Ajo +0.561
6. Quartararo F. Beta Tools-Speed Up Racing +0.583
7. Marini L. Sky Racing Team VR46 +0.595
8. Lecuona I. SWI +0.620
9. Marquez A. Estrella Galicia Marc VDS +0.639
10. Raffin J. SAG Team +0.671
11. Baldassarri L. Pons HP40 +0.682
12. Navarro J. Federal Oil Gresini +0.718
13. Fernandez A. Pons HP40 +0.726
14. Mir J. Estrella Galicia Marc VDS +0.781
15. Gardner R. Tech 3 Racing +0.813
16. Bagnaia F. Sky Racing Team VR46 +0.999
17. Manzi S. Forward Racing Team +1.045
18. Locatelli A. Italtrans Racing Team +1.123
19. Lowes S. SWI +1.172
20. Oliveira M. Red Bull KTM Ajo +1.188
21. Nagashima T. Idemitsu Honda Team Asia +1.416
22. Pons E. Beta Tools-Speed Up Racing +1.476
23. Pawi K. I. Idemitsu Honda Team Asia +1.482
24. Roberts J. NTS RW Racing GP +1.483
25. Corsi S. Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2 +1.566
26. Odendaal S. NTS RW Racing GP +1.590
27. Staring B. Tech 3 Racing +2.392
28. Danilo J. SAG Team +2.610
29. Fuligni F. Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2 +2.618
30. Vinales I. Forward Racing Team +2.805
31. Cardelus X. Marinelli Snipers Team +3.697
NC Tuuli N. SIC Racing Team NC


Jorge Martin took Moto3 pole in what was a fairly spread out field for the 250cc four-stroke machines. More than half-a-second covering the top trio with Binder second quickest and Sasaki rounding out the front row.

Jorge Martin

“We managed to be competitive already this morning on wet track, which is something we had struggled to do in Japan. Despite the strong wind, we showed a good pace on the dry this afternoon despite lapping on our own and we were able to make a final decision on the tyre to use tomorrow. We also took pole position in the process, so it has definitely been a positive day for us. We need to stay focused though, as points are earned tomorrow.”

MotoGP Australia Moto Jorge Martin
Jorge Martin
MotoGP 2018 – Phillip Island – Moto3 Qualifying Results
Pos Rider Team Time
1. Martin J. Del Conca Gresini Racing 1:36.591
2. Binder D. Red Bull KTM Ajo +0.257
3. Sasaki A. Petronas Sprinta Racing +0.526
4. Kornfeil J. PruestlGP +0.766
5. Rodrigo G. RBA BOE Skull Rider +0.874
6. Oettl P. Sudmetall Schedl GP Racing +0.949
7. Arbolino T. Marinelli Snipers Team +0.988
8. Ramirez M. Bester Capital Dubai +1.120
9. Foggia D. Sky Racing Team VR46 +1.166
10. Canet A. Estrella Galicia 0,0 +1.253
11. Arenas A. Angel Nieto Team Moto3 +1.301
12. Toba K. Idemitsu Honda Team Asia +1.305
13. Norrodin A. Petronas Sprinta Racing +1.352
14. Bastianini E. Leopard Racing +1.404
15. Bezzecchi M. PruestlGP +1.420
16. Lopez A. Estrella Galicia 0,0 +1.426
17. Di Giannantonio F. Del Conca Gresini Racing +1.430
18. Mcphee J. CIP Green Power +1.443
19. Masia J. Bester Capital Dubai +1.823
20. Dalla Porta L. Leopard Racing +1.999
21. Perez V. Reale Avintia Racing +2.237
22. Vietti C. Sky Racing Team VR46 +2.262
23. Montella Y. SIC58 Squadra Corse +2.314
24. Suzuki T. SIC58 Squadra Corse +2.343
25. Nepa S. CIP Green Power +2.436
26. Atiratphuvapat N. Idemitsu Honda Team Asia +2.637
27. Migno A. Angel Nieto Team Moto3 +2.925


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