18 October 2014
Moto3 Australia: Marquez pole as rival Miller struggles
Alex Marquez took pole position in Saturday's qualifying session for the Australian Moto3 Grand Prix as his main championship rival Jack Miller failed to find clear track at his home race.
Alex Marquez took his third pole of the season during qualifying for the Australian Moto3 Grand Prix.
The Spaniard put in a well timed performance in the chaos of the final five minutes, the championship leader setting a new lap record to secure the top spot on the grid at a cloudy and windy Phillip Island.
The Estrella Galicia 0,0 rider's best of 1m 36.050 was enough to hold off the advancing pace of team-mate Alex Rins, his Honda just 0.014 slower around the Australian circuit.
The front row is completed by Juanfran Guevara, the Kalex KTM riders second front row start of the season after also starting from third ahead of the Aragon Grand Prix.
Husqvarna rider Danny Kent found himself squeezed out by just thousandths and heads up row two in fourth after a calm and easy lapping, often riding solo as the crowds looking for a tow appeared.
Joining him is fellow Briton John McPhee in fifth. The injured SaxoPrint-RTG rider pushed through his shoulder pain for his second best start of the year after starting from the front row in Japan, and sits one place ahead of his team-mate Efren Vazquez in sixth.
Jasper Iwema is the top Mahindra rider for CIP as he continues to improve since returning to the Moto3 championship.
Jack Miller was lucky to hold on to eighth as the top ten times were so close after throwing away a final chance of a fast lap while gesticulating at his rivals as pressure and traffic got to the Red Bull KTM title contender at his home track.
The Australian had already attempted to lose a pack of twenty riders all looking for the same piece of track and a tow by riding through the pits, only to be followed by a handful of riders and meet with just as much traffic on his next attempt, leading to some frantic hand waving from the Queenslander, and a third row start.
Despite his early crash Alexis Mabou recovered for ninth with the early pace-setter and first man on track in a bid to turn around his poor qualifying form, Romano Fenati, completing the top ten for Sky Racing Team VR46.
Moto3's rookie of the year title winner Enea Bastianini was off the pace a little for team Go & Fun in 20th.
The session crashes were all fairly spectacular. Alexis Masbou was the first off after five minutes, giving his Ongetta-Rivacold a broken gear lever.
Niklas Ajo saw his hopes of a good qualifying flash past his eyes when the Husqvarna skidded out through the gravel at turn one, ruining his bike and shredding his leathers. The Finn still starts 19th.
Ten minutes later the medics arrived to stretcher off Team Calvo's Eric Granado, who was sitting up as he left the track with precautions taken as an FP3 fall had already left him with a broken finger and is reported to now be suffering with back pain resulting from the crash.
Remy Gardner, son of racing legend Wayne, returns for a wild-card appearance with Team Laglisse Calvo, his Spanish Championship team and qualified 24th, just 1.4 seconds off the pace of Marquez.
Making a first appearance on home soil is current Red Bull Rookies rider Olly Simpson, with his own Olly Simpson Racing team bike, the teenager starts 33rd.
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