#AustralianGP Phillip Island, Qualifying roundup: MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3

 In MotoGP, News


Since 2013, MotoGP™ Legend Jorge Lorenzo has been the fastest rider ever to lap Phillip Island, but no more. Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) is the new all-time lap record holder at the Australian track, and by a mere smidge as Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) missed out by just 0.013. The number 93 also had a helping tow from Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) as the two lapped in tandem, with Pecco just pipped to it but still completing the front row.

Martin had been on the pace as soon as Q2 started, punching out a 1:28.112 out the gate – the fastest lap of the weekend to that point. He would hold onto that honour for just a lap as Bagnaia clocked a 1:28.054 next time through, and they were the top two at the end of the opening runs, with Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) third on a 1:28.174. Marc Marquez sat fifth on a 1:28.313, having been forced into one of his trademark front-end saves exiting ‘MG’ on his second flying lap which saw him veer onto the grass.

With the second runs on in earnest, Johann Zarco jumped to the top with a 1:28.007 before Martin made it a Prima Pramac Racing one-two with the first lap of Phillip Island that was quicker than Lorenzo’s 1:27.899 in 2013.

Marquez then tagged on behind Bagnaia for the final few minutes of the session, and with the chequered flag about to come out, the number 63 moved up to second on a 1:27.953 but was beaten almost immediately by the Honda rider in his slipstream, who set a 1:27.780. That made for a top four of Martin, Marc Marquez, Bagnaia, and Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing), with Quartararo edging back up to fifth thanks to a 1:27.973 on his final lap.

When all’s said and done, Bagnaia is the first of the title contenders as a few stack up from third back, with Aleix Espargaro heading Row 2 in fourth and Championship leader Quartararo right alongside. Quartararo was the final rider in the 1:27s, with Zarco just into the 1:28 bracket. Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) slots into seventh.

It was a tougher session for Jack Miller (Ducati Lenovo Team) as he’ll start eighth – although he did win from seventh at Motegi. For fellow challenger Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) it was an even tougher one, however, as the number 23 was in Q1 and then failed to make the cut – after also getting held up by Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing). The Portuguese rider did a practice start too early and then was slow on the line, gaining a three-place grid penalty and a Long Lap.

Zarco was the quickest in Q1 and moved through alongside Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) as the two pipped Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team) and Joan Mir (Team Suzuki Ecstar) late in the session. The latter duo therefore line up P13 and P14.

Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) starts ninth as he joins Marini and Miller on an all-Ducati Row 3, with Rins forced to settle for tenth ahead of automatic Q2 graduate Alex Marquez (LCR Honda Castrol).

Qualifying didn’t go to plan for Maverick Viñales (Aprilia Racing) and he’ll start P12. After topping the timesheets in FP4, ‘Top Gun’ will certainly be ready to move forward on race day.

With five riders in 40 points, there’s more and more at stake as the time to make a comeback gets shorter and shorter. Just three races now remain, and the first of those is sure to be a stunner as Phillip Island hosts for the first time since 2019.


Fermin Aldeguer (Beta Tools SpeedUp) set a stunning new lap record at Phillip Island on Saturday as a 1:32.233 puts him on pole for the Animoca Brands Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix. Championship leader Augusto Fernandez (Red Bull KTM Ajo) missed out by just 0.073, with Alonso Lopez (Beta Tools SpeedUp)in third making it both Boscoscuros on the front row.

Ai Ogura (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia), who trails Fernandez by just 1.5 points in the Championship, has qualified 13th after a tougher weekend so far, although the Japanese rider won from the same position at Motegi. Buriram winner Tony Arbolino (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) heads the second row ahead of Aron Canet (Flexbox HP 40), with Celestino Vietti (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) in sixth. Manuel Gonzalez (Yamaha VR46 Master Camp) is an impressive seventh on an all-rookie Row 3, with Pedro Acosta (Red Bull KTM Ajo) and Jeremy Alcoba (Liqui Moly Intact GP) alongside.

The remaining riders between Fernandez and Ogura are Filip Salač (Gresini Racing Moto2™), in 10th fresh from his first intermediate class podium, Cameron Beaubier (American Racing) in a solid P11 and Sam Lowes (Elf Marc VDS Racing Team) in P12. Jake Dixon (Inde GASGAS Aspar Team) is just behind Ogura, in P14 after a tougher Saturday.

After 17 races in the intermediate class, just 1.5 points separate Fernandez and Ogura with three rounds remaining.


Another week, another new lap record! This time it’s Ayumu Sasaki (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) as the number 71 backed up his fastest lap on Friday with the fastest lap of Phillip Island ever, taking pole by nearly two tenths and putting in the only 1:35. Sergio Garcia (Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team) is the only other rider in Sasaki’s postcode, and he has a half-second gap behind him back to Ivan Ortola (Angeluss MTA Team) as the rookie completes the front row.

Championship leader Izan Guevara (Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team) heads up Row 3 in seventh place, giving him a reasonable launch position ahead of his first match point in the fight for the crown. He has an advantage of 49 points and needs more than 50 by the flag on Sunday to secure the Championship. Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing), now his closest challenger, lines up in P12 on Row 4 – his equal worst result of the season as he failed to improve late on.

Row 2 is Carlos Tatay (CFMoto Racing PrüstelGP), Diogo Moreira (MT Helmets – MSI) and Stefano Nepa (Angeluss MTA Team). Between Guevara in seventh and Foggia in 12th are Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech3), Jaume Masia (Red Bull KTM Ajo), Taiyo Furusato (Honda Team Asia) – for whom it’s a best ever qualifying – and David Muñoz (BOE Motorsports). In the session, one dash of spice saw Muñoz get a behaviour warning for getting a little close to Masia, too.


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