Jorge Martin claimed his tenth pole of the year with a perfectly timed lap, gaining a huge advantage over his championship rival Marco Bezzecchi, who got his strategy all wrong, leaving him down in fifteenth on the grid after qualifying for the Moto3 Australian Grand Prix.

Martin looked calm despite only holding a single point advantage in the title hunt following Bezzecchi’s win in Japan and was constantly at the top of the timesheets.

The Del Conca Gresini rider, who was also on pole at Phillip Island in 2017, found a competitive group to charge around with for his final lap the circuit, and gaining a slight slipstream from Jakub Kornfeil (Bezzecchi’s team-mate) he posted a best of 1m 36.591.

The Honda riders perfect timing paid off as the Italian and his Redox Pruestel GP team made some strange decisions: starting the session by scrubbing in a wet tyre instead of banking a fast lap, leaving the pits while being followed by a train of riders looking for a tow and staying out in the final minutes instead of returning for fresh rubber all contributed to the KTM man finishing the session 15th.

Darryn Binder, fresh from his first podium at Motegi, found himself in the same group as Martin and reaped the rewards, claiming his first front row start with Red Bull KTM Ajo, just 0.257s behind the Spaniard.

The front row will be completed by Ayumu Sasaki , also in the same group for Petronas Sprinta Racing.

Jakub Kornfeil kept himself in the mix, and topped the timesheets earlier in the session, but being passed by Martin saw him drop to fourth.

He will be joined on row two by Japan’s polesitter Gabriel Rodrigo for RBA in fifth and Philip Oettl (Sudmetal Schedl GP Racing) who lead the way at the start of the session on his way to sixth.

Tony Arbolino (Marinelli Snipers Team) was, unusually for Moto3, the final rider within a second of the pole time in seventh after his final charge.

Marcos Ramirez was an early frontrunner but missed out in the final shootout for pole, leaving him eighth for Bester Capital Dubai.

Dennis Foggia was the best of the rookies in ninth for Sky Racing VR46, while Aron Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) who had lead the way in FP2 completes the top ten.

Bezzecchi wasn’t the only big name to miss out in the final shakedown for pole:

Gresini’s Fabio Di Giannantonio had topped the wet FP3 session but was down 17th when it counted in qualifying. John McPhee’s (CIP Green- Power) late attack failed to pay off this time leaving him 18th.

Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing) won in Misano and has been second in the last two races but could only manage a best of 20th at the tricky island track.

Kazuki Masaki was declared unfit for qualifying after fracturing a finger on his left hand in his FP3 crash.

Nicolo Bulega is again absent as he recovers from tendon surgery, Celestino Vietti again steps in at Sky Racing VR46, he starts 22nd.

Niccolo Antonelli joined the injury list after his Motegi fall (back contusion and a left foot fracture), he is replaced by Yari Montella for his second start with SIC58 Squadra Corse, who is just one place behind Vietti in 23rd.

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