Will championships be decided tomorrow? The Moto3 title could well be settled after the race, a lot of bleary-eyed British fans clinging to their cappuccinos in a desperate attempt to stay awake. It won't take much: Danny Kent just has to finish ahead of Enea Bastianini and higher than seventh to be sure. The MotoGP title is still too close to be settled at Phillip Island, but tomorrow's race could well turn out to be pivotal. If Valentino Rossi finishes ahead of Jorge Lorenzo, the Italian will have one hand on the MotoGP crown.
Phillip Island, Australia
Tito Rabat is to fly home for further treatment on the arm he broke in a training accident a week before Motegi. Rabat was forced to skip the Japanese round of Moto2 due to a lack of strength in the arm, still weak from surgery to insert a plate over the fractured bone.
Press releases from the teams, Bridgestone and Tissot after qualifying at Phillip Island:
Marquez takes blistering pole in Australia with heartache for Pedrosa in 4th
Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez has taken an incredible pole position – his 30th in MotoGP – as he chases his first win in the premier class at Phillip Island, but unfortunately teammate Dani Pedrosa was demoted from second to fourth in the dying seconds of qualifying.
Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after qualifying at Phillip Island:
Oliveira takes hard fought front row
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider takes third position in qualifying session for Australian Grand Prix. Binder and Hanika go tenth and twelfth, respectively.
10/17/2015 - Phillip Island Circuit, Australia
Alex Rins continued his strong form to take pole at the Phillip Island track Saturday. The Moto2 rookie stayed near the top of the timesheet nearly every session and led the majority of qualifying. Axel Pons grabbed a surprising second spot on the grid. Sam Lowes held on for the final spot in the front row despite a heavy, high-side crash during qualifying.
Even with four wins in 2015, it hasn't been the easiest year for Marc Marquez. Mistakes, crashes and injuries have conspired to take him out of the championship race. But they have not taken him out of championship influence. Marquez seized pole position Saturday at the Phillip Island circuit and in doing so, made the championship fight between Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi that much more interesting.
Marc Marquez extended his practice dominance with a 1'29.245 lap that put him more than half a second clear of Jorge Lorenzo. Lorenzo continued his run as the second-fastest rider at the Phillip Island circuit this year with Andrea Iannone right on his heels. Generally, FP4 is more about race pace and setup than raw qualifying speed but no one apparently told that to Marquez, the current world champion. Marquez's final five laps of the session all dipped into the 1'29s, making him the only rider to do that during FP4.
UPDATE: Danny Kent will not start the Moto3 race from pole position. After the session, Kent was penalized by race direction for riding slowly in the racing line and will start the race from seventh position. John McPhee will start from pole along with a subsequent, single-place forward adjustment to the top six qualifying riders.
Alex Rins Improved his time by half a second to grab to the top spot for the second practice in a row Saturday at the Phillip Island circuit in Australia. Rins FP3 time of 1'32.883 put him two-tenths clear of Sam Lowes who finished second in both FP2 and FP3. (Lowes did top the timesheet in FP1).
Marc Marquez, who has never scored a point in his MotoGP career at Phillip Island, moved a step closer to changing his luck in the third free practice Saturday at the Australian circuit. Marquez's 1'29.081 put him four-tenths of a second clear of Cal Crutchlow (2nd) and Jorge Lorenzo (3rd). What more, Marquez's pracrice laps were consistently fast as he dropped into the low 1'30s and 1'29s regularly in the session.