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Marc Marquez claimed a record-equalling twelfth pole of the season during qualifying for the Australian MotoGP at Phillip Island.

The newly crowned double world champion snatched the top spot from Ducati's Cal Crutchlow.

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The Englishman, riding the original GP14 from pre-season testing, proved the surprise of a session that began with uncertainty due to spots of rain.

Ultimately the rain didn't develop, with Crutchlow jumping from seventh to first with a few minutes remaining. Repsol Honda's Marquez then prevented back-to-back poles for Ducati by 0.234s.

Marquez has thus matched the 12 poles in a season by Mick Doohan in 1997 and Casey Stoner in 2011. Crutchlow meanwhile easily beat his best Ducati qualifying of fifth.

Movistar Yamaha's Jorge Lorenzo claimed the final place on Sunday's front row, just 0.242s from Marquez.

Row two will be formed by Tech 3 Yamaha's Bradley Smith, Marquez's team-mate Dani Pedrosa (who was forced to take part in Qualifying 1) and top Open class rider Aleix Espargaro.

Italians Andrea Iannone (Pramac), Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) were left disappointed with seventh, eighth and tenth respectively. Crutchlow's team-mate Dovizioso has two GP14.2 machines available this weekend.

Marquez needs just one more victory to match Australian legend Mick Doohan's all-time record of twelve wins in a season.

Qualifying 2:
1. Marc Marquez
2. Cal Crutchlow
3. Jorge Lorenzo
4. Bradley Smith
5. Dani Pedrosa
6. Aleix Espargaro
7. Andrea Iannone
8. Valentino Rossi
9. Pol Espargaro
10. Andrea Dovizioso
11. Stefan Bradl
12. Hiroshi Aoyama