Australia MotoGP: Vinales on pole by half a second

Yamaha MotoGP rider Maverick Vinales put on a dominant display in qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix to claim pole position by a more than half a second from Fabio Quartararo.

Australia MotoGP: Vinales on pole by half a second

Vinales built on the pace he showed earlier in the weekend, breaking into the 1m28s barrier on his first run to put him comfortably on provisional pole heading into the mid-session lull.

After returning to the track, Vinales immediately posted a minor improvement to pull himself further clear of the field, before finding yet more time on his final two laps.

With neither Petronas Yamaha's Quartararo nor Honda’s Marc Marquez making any progress in their second runs, Vinales’ time of 1m28.492s put him comfortably on pole and ensured he continued his unbeaten record of the weekend.

Quartararo and Marquez will line up alongside Vinales on the front row, with Valentino Rossi posting a late improvement on the second Yamaha to catapult himself up to fourth.

Danilo Petrucci was Ducati’s top qualifier in fifth ahead of LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow, while Aleix Espargaro and Andrea Iannone qualified seventh and eighth on a strong day for Aprilia.

Pramac’s Jack Miller was ninth fastest on home turf, ahead of the factory Ducati of Andrea Dovizioso.  

Petronas Yamaha's Franco Morbidelli finished 11th, while Alex Rins was classified 12th and last of the Q2 runners in a disappointing session for the Suzuki rider.

Quartararo dominates Q1

Quartararo set the initial pace in Q1, with Suzuki’s Joan Mir also provisionally earning himself a Q2 berth after the first runs.

However, while Quartararo safely progressed to the final part of qualifying, Mir was bumped out by the Aprilia of Iannone by 0.157s.

Johann Zarco qualified a further two tenths behind in his first qualifying session for LCR Honda and will line up 13th, just ahead of Pramac Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia.

Factory Honda rider Jorge Lorenzo’s trying campaign continued as he qualified 19th for the fourth race running, only ahead of the crashed Tech 3 KTM of Hafizh Syahrin and the Avintia Ducati of Tito Rabat.

Syahrin’s teammate Miguel Oliveira took no part in qualifying after he was declared unfit due to bruises sustained in a crash during Saturday’s fourth practice.

Results:

Cla Rider Bike Time Gap
1 Spain Maverick Viñales
Yamaha 01'28.492
2 France Fabio Quartararo
Yamaha 01'29.043 00.551
3 Spain Marc Marquez
Honda 01'29.216 00.724
4 Italy Valentino Rossi
Yamaha 01'29.243 00.751
5 Italy Danilo Petrucci
Ducati 01'29.339 00.847
6 United Kingdom Cal Crutchlow
Honda 01'29.535 01.043
7 Spain Aleix Espargaro
Aprilia 01'29.558 01.066
8 Italy Andrea Iannone
Aprilia 01'29.581 01.089
9 Australia Jack Miller
Ducati 01'29.615 01.123
10 Italy Andrea Dovizioso
Ducati 01'29.667 01.175
11 Italy Franco Morbidelli
Yamaha 01'29.716 01.224
12 Spain Alex Rins
Suzuki 01'29.947 01.455
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