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Old 10-17-2015, 03:40 PM   #1
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MotoGP Phillip Island Qualifying: Marc Marquez Stays On Top

So far in his MotoGP career, Marc Marquez has scored zero points at Phillip Island. The Repsol Honda man looks to change that in 2015. Photo Courtesy of MotoGP

No one had an answer to Marc Marquez’ hot lap in MotoGP qualifying at Phillip Island. In fact, the Repsol Honda rider has led the way in every session except FP1 and threw down a 1:28.364 to take his eighth pole position of the season and 30th of his career.

The reigning champ feels good about his pace for tomorrow and looks to fight for a race win.

“Looks like the race level it’s good. I feel well. I feel strong,” Marquez said. “Tomorrow in the race will be maybe different because here, 27 laps in a row, you must be careful of the rear tire, that it doesn't overheat because it spins a lot.”

It’s not just tire life that Marquez has to worry about, he knows that Jorge Lorenzo will be pretty motivated for a race win.

Jorge Lorenzo was not happy with second, especially after losing it to his hot-lap shadow Andrea Iannone. Photo Courtesy of Movistar Yamaha

“Looks like Jorge also his pace is not too bad and sure tomorrow he will do this step because he is fighting for the title and he will be really strong,” Marquez said. “We will try to be there minimum on the podium, and if we can fight for the victory we will try.”

Indeed, Lorenzo needs that race win to try and close the 18-point gap on his Movistar Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi who qualified seventh. But the Spaniard was pretty miffed at Ducati’s Andrea Iannone who took the second place spot on the grid after following Lorenzo on his hot lap. The pair tied with a 1:28.680, but Iannone won the tiebreaker with a better second-best time.

“A little bit angry, because I think my real position was the second place if I could have stayed alone,” Lorenzo said. “But with my wheel, Iannone was very fast here and with the Ducati with this soft tire. This will for sure help him to improve two or three tenths and take the second place. Was very important because normally I start better than Marquez, but I start the same, or maybe a little worse than Iannone. So it will make it a little bit more difficult on the first lap.”

So what’s the big deal, really? Why does Lorenzo get so bent out of shape about being followed?

“Because any rider doesn't like to lose position and that’s what can happen when if you get someone behind you,” he explained. “If he’s fast enough to follow you he can overtake you, because this front rider helps him to improve. I think every rider doesn’t like to be followed.”

Andrea Iannone didn't see what all the fuss was about... Photo Courtesy of MotoGP

Iannone wasn’t too bothered about it. He laughed it off, a little sheepishly.

“He’s a big champion, but I think is the first time this year, and okay no problem,” Iannone said. “I also understand this is Jorge. So sorry, but for sure in the qualifying I try my best. I see Jorge in front of me and I push my maximum.”

Can Valentino Rossi pull off a third-row-start miracle? Photo Courtesy of Movistar Yamaha

There are a lot of question marks going into tomorrow’s race, because you never know what to expect from Phillip Island. Will Marquez’ injured finger hold up to the 27 laps? Will the tires? And even though Rossi is on the third row of the grid, the Italian has four wins at the Island, and a history of being relentless. The nine-time World Champion is gunning for his 10th title and will want to keep the pressure on his Spanish teammate.

2015 MotoGP Phillip Island Qualifying Results:
  1. Marc Marquez (SPA) Repsol Honda Team 1:28.364
  2. Andrea Iannone (ITA) Ducati Team 1:28.680
  3. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Movistar Yamaha 1:28.680
  4. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda 1:28.712
  5. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) LCR Honda 1:28.912
  6. Maverick Vinales (SPA) Team Suzuki Ecstar 1:28.932
  7. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Movistar Yamaha 1:29.014
  8. Aleix Espargaro (SPA) Team Suzuki Ecstar 1:29.015
  9. Pol Espargaro (SPA) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1:29.222
  10. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Ducati Team 1:29.267
  11. Scott Redding (GBR) EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 1:29.499
  12. Bradley Smith (GBR) Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1:29.626
  13. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Octo Pramac Racing Ducati 1:29.918
  14. Hector Barbera (SPA) Avintia Racing Ducati 1:30.064
  15. Jack Miller (AUS) LCR Honda 1:30.104
  16. Eugene Laverty (IRL) Aspar Honda 1:30.105
  17. Yonny Hernandez (COL) Octo Pramac Racing Ducati 1:30.135
  18. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1:30.147
  19. Loris Baz (FRA) Forward Racing Yamaha 1:30.173
  20. Nicky Hayden (USA) Aspar Honda 1:30.376
  21. Stefan Bradl (GER) Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1:30.634
  22. Mike Di Meglio (FRA) Avintia Racing Ducati 1:30.959
  23. Anthony West (AUS) AB Motoracing Honda 1:31.205
  24. Toni Elias (SPA) Forward Racing Yamaha 1:31.837
  25. Damo Cudlin (AUS) E-Motion IodaRacing Team 1:33.884

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