Marquez masters tricky weather conditions to earn fifth consecutive Phillip Island Pole

Marquez masters tricky weather conditions to earn fifth consecutive Phillip Island Pole

Marc Marquez
photo: HRC

Marc Marquez taking pole position at Phillip Island is nothing new, but it was not easy today for the 2018 MotoGP World Champion to secure his fifth consecutive pole at the track (equalling Casey Stoner’s five poles in a row).

Tricky weather conditions, including occasional rain, low temperatures and cold wind, made the search for bike setup challenging and the track conditions demanding.

Marquez, wearing gloves and boots in Mick Doohan’s colours as a tribute to the Aussie legend, was able to choose exactly the best moment to push, and his 1’29.199” lap time proved to be untouchable in the final minutes of the session

“Pole position today was quite difficult, and it was especially tricky to understand when it was the right time to push. The light rain that was falling wasn’t strong enough to wet the tarmac, but when you see the little drops on your visor and windscreen, things become a bit scary at this track. As soon as I realized that the drizzle had stopped, I did a good lap that was enough to be on pole for tomorrow. At the moment, I’m able to be fast and close to the top riders, but honestly speaking, I’m not feeling as comfortable as I would like”, Marquez explained.

“We were able to improve over the weekend and our mentality remains positive like always, but we don’t know exactly what to expect from tomorrow’s race. We saw many crashes and we crashed as well, and the weather is very unpredictable. Tyre choice will be important, as will understanding that it’s not an on-off situation—we have the Constructors and Team Championships to think of, and if it’s not possible to win, then it’s time to look for the podium.”

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider Maverick Viñales secured a front row start

“Today‘s qualifying was good. I expected a little bit more, but when I arrived at sector 4 it was raining there, so I couldn‘t finish my lap like I normally would. I‘m actually pretty happy about how the bike was working. I‘m in second place, so I‘m really satisfied with the bike’s performance, and the team is working well. We‘re not changing anything on the set-up; we‘re just riding and riding, getting in a lot of laps to get used to the bike”, Viñales said

“I‘m happy, because after Japan we made an improvement here, and I‘m able to be more consistent, especially in all the fast corners. I really don‘t know what to expect for tomorrow‘s race though. I want to be the rider that pulls away a little. But I will just try to do my best. I think we have good potential, so I just need to take a bit of a risk and stay in the 1‘29s, and it also depends on the tyre performance.”