Marc Marquez delivered another incredible performance in this afternoon’s qualifying session at Phillip Island, taking his 37th pole in MotoGP and the 65th in his career, which is also the new historical record, at just 23 years of age. It’s also Marc’s seventh pole of 2016, meaning that the Spaniard has already won the BMW M Award for the best-qualifying MotoGP rider of the season, as he has done every year since entering the premier class.
Nicky Hayden took an impressive seventh position after displaying a very competitive pace in all conditions and during all of the sessions, including a P1 in FP4.
The day started with Marc topping FP3, which was held in mixed conditions, while Hayden finished the session with the eighth-best lap time, which put him directly into Q2. FP4 began in dry conditions, which unfortunately didn’t last long, and the session was red-flagged due to heavy rain with 19 minutes remaining, with Hayden leading the way. The session resumed 25 minutes later on a wet track, meaning that nobody was able to improve and the American remained on top, with Marquez in second (though quickest on rain tyres).
When QP2 started at 16:05, weather forecasts were threatening heavy rain in the next few minutes, but it stayed away for the entire session. Marc’s perfect tyre strategy saw him starting the session on an intermediate/intermediate tyre combination and immediately entering the pit to change to full slicks. He was the first one to take the gamble in the changeable conditions, a tactic that allowed him to put in a series of fast laps that nobody else was even able to approach.
Considering the limited amount of dry track time that the riders experienced during the weekend, Race Direction decided to extend the length of Sunday’s morning warm-up session to 30 minutes.
Phillip Island, the self-styled home of Australian motorsport, is steeped in motor racing tradition, with the first car races having been held there on public roads in the 1920s. The first motorcycle races took place in 1931 and a permanent track was built in 1956. The circuit fell into disrepair… read more.
|4.448 kilometres / 2.764 miles
|0.900 kilometres / 0.559 miles
Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, Phillip Island, Ventnor, Victoria, Australia - View in Google Maps
|1m 27.246s (183.5 km/h) Jorge Martin (Ducati, 2023)
|1m 28.108s (181.7 km/h) Marc Marquez (Honda, 2013)
|40m 33.849s (177.6 km/h) Marc Marquez (Honda, 2015)
|2023 Race Winner
|Johann Zarco (Ducati)