Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Honda) has powered to his eighth Moto3™ pole position of the season at the Michelin® Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix 2017 at Phillip Island.
The Spaniard has become the master of the flying lap, and so it was again today as he slotted himself at the pointy end of the field for tomorrow’s 23-lap race after setting a best lap of 1m37.030s.
With the qualifying mission accomplished, the next major goal for Martin will be trying to win his maiden Moto3™ race. He’s currently fifth in the 2017 Moto3™ title, with a best finish of second at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin.
Martin moved into the top spot with 15 minutes to go in the 40-minute session, and that’s where he stayed ahead of Argentine Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA BOE Racing Team KTM, 1:37.248). Rodrigo also started on the Phillip Island front row in 2016.
World Championship leader Joan Mir (Leopard Racing Honda, 1:37.411) will be the final front row starter as he looks to wrap up the title before the paddock heads to Malaysia next weekend.
Mir leads by 55 points over Italian Romano Fenati (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers Honda), who will start from row two sandwiched between Juanfran Guevera (RBA BOE Racing Team KTM, 1:37.544) and his teammate Jules Danilo (1:37.710).
Row three will be filled by Manuel Pagliani (CIP Mahindra, 1:37.713) and EG 0,0 teamsters Aron Canet (1:37.743) and Enea Bastianini (1:37.820).
The current Moto3™ lap record is held by Aussie Jack Miller with a 1:36.302, set in 2014.
Meanwhile, it was a disappointing qualifying for Nicolo Bulega (Sky Racing Team VR46), who set the fastest time in opening practice but has struggled to find any rhythm since then. Bulega started from the front row last year.
Al 31 riders qualified, including Aussie wildcard Tom Toparis (Cube Racing KTM, 1:42.218).
The 23-lap Moto3™ race will begin at 1:00pm on Sunday.
Tickets for the Michelin® Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix 2017 are still available. Book now for an epic weekend.