Date : 19/10/2013
Weather : Sunny
Air : 25°C
Track : 38°C
Humidity : 26%
MotoGP Rookie of the Year, Marc Marquez, has taken his eleventh front row start for tomorrow's Australian GP with Repsol Honda teammate, Dani Pedrosa, starting from the second row in 5th after another dramatic day in Phillip Island.
Marc, who had a small crash in turn ten in this morning's FP3 session on his first exit with the hard rear tire, recorded his fastest lap on his second run in qualifying - on lap 6 of 8 with a 1'28.120, claiming 2nd spot on the grid. Dani pushed and took his fastest lap on his final of 9 with a 1'28.748 placing him 5th.
With this 2nd position, Marc has now sealed the BMW M Award for Best Qualifier in 2013. His total of 322 points puts him out of reach from second place Lorenzo on 266, with just 50 points left to take in Japan and Valencia.
Today's hot topic has been tyre degradation as it has emerged that b oth harder option tyres are suffering badly on this new asphalt. The Moto2 class are also experiencing problems and Race Direction have decreased the number of race laps to thirteen in order to allow for this issue. For the MotoGP class, the race has been shortened to 26 laps with a restriction limiting no more than 14 consecutive laps - for the first time a flag-to-flag race under dry conditions, with riders changing the bike at least once to align with Race Direction's decision.
MARC MARQUEZ – 2nd - 1'28.120
“The goal today was to get a front row start for tomorrow, and we achieved it. We knew that Jorge and Valentino would be very fast over a single lap with the new soft tyre compound, something that they showed today. Jorge, Dani and Valentino have a great pace, but I think I can stick with them. After the issues with tyres the race will now be a flag-to-flag, which for me is the first time so it will be interesting - even if I would have preferred a shorter race but this is the decision from Race Direction. We shall see if in the warmup we can try out some last minute things and then we will give 100%, as always”
DANI PEDROSA – 5th - 1'28.748
“I'll make no excuses; Qualifying didn't go well for us and I was not able to go fast. However, the practice sessions have been positive for us. Now we have been told that Race Direction have taken a decision to make the race 26 laps with a flag-to-flag. I don't think this is the best option but this is the scenario so we will do our best to prepare for it”