Jorge Navarro has navigated his way through a competitive field and tricky conditions to take pole at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit for Sunday’s Pramac Generac Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix 2019.
On his Beta Tools SpeedUp, the Spanish rider took his first pole position since the French Grand Prix when he lapped the Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit in a best time of 1:33.565 seconds. That put him a whopping 0.321 seconds clear of the opposition.
His opposition will be led by Brad Binder. His Red Bull KTM has been one of the bikes to beat throughout the practice sessions, but the changeable weather meant that the South African, who has won at the Victorian circuit in the past, was not able to challenge for pole position.
The other front-row place represents something of a miracle. Straight from two wins in Thailand and Japan, Luca Marini has been clearly struggling with a shoulder injury since a major crash in the opening practice session on Friday, but the Italian somehow produced a lap of 1:33.934 seconds with his SKY VR46 Kalex.
Marini, the half-brother of Valentino Rossi, only just made it into the second qualifying session with a last minuted flying lap in the first session.
Star rookies filled the next two places; Fabio Di Giannantonio on the second SpeedUp and Jorge Martin, who took his Red Bull KTM to his first Moto2™ podium last week at the Twin Ring Motegi.
Sam Lowes qualified sixth fastest but the British rider will start from the rear of the grid on his Gresini Kalex, after being penalised for clashing with another rider during Friday’s Free Practice 2 session.
World championship leader Alex Marquez will start from seventh on the grid ahead of Jesko Raffin (NTS), though Tom Luthi, the man challenging the younger brother of Marc Marquez for the title, is further back in 11th.
Just more than 24 hours after his ONEXOX Kalex was virtually destroyed in a practice crash, Remy Gardner will start his home GP from 15th on the grid. The Australian has been playing catch-up since repairs were made but his form in the first qualifying session shows that he is quickly regaining his speed.
Sunday’s Moto2™™ action is due to start with the warm-up at 9:20am AEDT, with the 23-lap race schedule to begin at 12:00pm AEDT.