Marc Marquez made an early switch to slicks at a drying Phillip Island and was rewarded with pole position for the Australian MotoGP.

With his rivals on wets or intermediates - and having been warned of rain approaching - the newly crowned triple premier-class champion soared to the top, ultimately finishing the session 0.792s clear of nearest rival Cal Crutchlow.

The LCR Honda rider did a commendable job after admitting he made a mistake by sticking with a front intermediate, rather than switching to slicks front and rear during his pit stop.

Tech 3's Pol Espargaro did commit to the dry rubber, after Marquez, and went on to break home hearts by snatching the final front row place from Jack Miller. Miller will line-up fifth on the grid after losing out to both Espargaro brothers on the final lap - Suzuki rider Aleix unaware he was towing Pol to third.

Danilo Petrucci will complete the second row for Pramac Ducati, with Nicky Hayden - taking part in his first qualifying session for Repsol Honda since 2008 - claiming seventh. The American was fastest in the storm interrupted FP4 session.

Stefan Bradl put his Aprilia into an impressive eighth, ahead of factory Ducati riders Andrea Dovizioso and Hector Barbera.

Scott Redding and Jorge Lorenzo completed the Qualifying 2 competitors; Lorenzo changed to slicks but was a massive 6.651s from Marquez.

But the Spaniard still fared better than Movistar Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi. The Italian superstar didn't even make it through Qualifying 1 after - in a reverse of Marquez's decision - being the first to try a switch from full wets to an intermediate.

Another pre-event favourite, Suzuki's Maverick Vinales, also failed to make Qualifying 2. Bradley Smith (Tech 3) will start between the 2017 factory Yamaha line-up after a fall at the end of Qualifying 1 - whilst holding second behind Crutchlow. Lorenzo went on to join Crutchlow in Qualifying 2.

2015 Australian SBK champion Mike Jones qualified 19th out of the 21 riders during his second event for Avintia Ducati.

The weather is expected to continue to improve tomorrow, albeit remaining cool and windy, with the ever present chance of showers.

Qualifying 2:
1. Marc Marquez
2. Cal Crutchlow
3. Pol Espargaro
4. Aleix Espargaro
5. Jack Miller
6. Danilo Petrucci
7. Nicky Hayden
8. Stefan Bradl
9. Andrea Dovizioso
10. Hector Barbera
11. Scott Redding
12. Jorge Lorenzo

CLICK HERE for full results.


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