There were echoes of 2019 as Marquez produced another magic save while chasing pole position at the Australian Grand Prix, Espargaro lamenting his near miss in Q1 but hopeful for the race.

Leading the way in Free Practice 3 with a blisteringly quick lap to put him 0.130s ahead of the pack, Marc Marquez started Saturday in supreme style. Having spent Friday testing a new aerodynamics package for Honda, the #93 and his team switched to race mode as they chased times and overall pace. This work ethic would extend into Free Practice 4 as Marquez made good progress for Sunday’s race.

Q2 had the eight-time World Champion back to his elbow-saving best. There were flashbacks to 2019 as Marquez picked up a low-side crash at Turn 10, flicking himself and the Honda RC213V upright and earning an excited roar from the crowd. The save called Marquez back into the pits to begin his second run. Dipping under Jorge Lorenzo’s lap record from 2013, Marquez’s 1’27.780 virtually guaranteed him a front row before the final laps began. Missing out on a second pole position of 2022 by just 0.013s, the 2019 Australian Grand Prix winner is content with what he and the Repsol Honda Team have achieved so far this weekend.

For the third time in 2022, Marquez will line up on the front row of the grid as he hunts a 100th premier class podium.

Pol Espargaro’s Saturday in Australia was a day of near misses, the #44 less than a tenth of a second from progressing to Q2. But Espargaro himself admits that the issues came in Free Practice 3 where he felt he was not riding well and missed the early opportunity to advance. Sunday will again be a day of catching up in the race, but Espargaro is feeling more confident in his recovery this time out. A top ten finish is the aim for the Repsol Honda Team rider on Sunday.

Racing is scheduled to begin at 14:00 Local Time and running for 27 laps. Both riders have highlighted tyre life as a crucial factor for the Australian Grand Prix, the weather set to have a big impact as well.

Marc Marquez

Second 1'27.780

“Here it’s really important to take profit from the slipstream, I was able to get a good position on track for my fastest lap and this helped us gain some time. Tyre choice will be really important for the race, especially on the rear. I myself am also making improvements and feeling better and better each time out. I think this is the closest we have been to the top guys. We’ve been working well this weekend, working for the future and for the present – I think we found a good balance. Things are improving. As for the save, it was exactly like 2019! Same movement, same image and it’s good to see that I can now make some saves again on the right side.”

Pol Espargaro

13th 1'28.392

“We were really close to improving and going to Q2, less than a tenth of a second. But I was sleeping in Free Practice 3 and that’s how this situation has happened. I should have been faster than what I was in the session. I was losing a lot of time in a couple of places on track and it took me too long to find out how to improve in this area. On the positive side, we have figured it out and we were able to set a decent lap time in Qualifying, even if it wasn’t enough. I think we can make some improvements in the race; the last ten laps will be very important with rear tyre life. It’s been a long time since we’ve had a strong rhythm like this.”

MotoGP 2022
Qualifying Round 18   Australia

Australian Grand Prix - Qualifying Results

Track Temp
Air Temp
Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Martin Jorge 89 SPA Pramac Racing Ducati 1'27.767
2 Marquez Marc 93 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 0.013
3 Bagnaia Francesco 62 ITA Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 0.186
4 Espargaro Aleix 41 SPA Aprilia Racing Aprilia 0.190
5 Quartararo Fabio 20 FRA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 0.206
6 Zarco Johann 5 FRA Pramac Racing Ducati 0.240
7 Marini Luca 10 ITA Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 0.262
8 Miller Jack 43 AUS Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 0.349
9 Bezzecchi Marco 73 ITA Mooney VR46 Racing Team Ducati 0.418
10 Rins Alex 42 SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 0.774
11 Marquez Alex 73 SPA LCR Honda Honda 0.966
12 Vinales Maverick 12 SPA Aprilia Racing Aprilia 0.998
13 Espargaro Pol 44 SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 0.260 Q1
14 Mir Joan 36 SPA Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 0.360
15 Bastianini Enea 23 ITA Team Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 0.515
16 Binder Brad 33 RSA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 0.520
17 Crutchlow Cal 35 GBR WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 0.545
18 Binder Darryn 40 RSA WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Yamaha 0.628
19 Gardner Remy AUS 0.688
20 Di Giannantonio Fabio 49 ITA Team Gresini Racing MotoGP Ducati 0.698
21 Oliveira Miguel 88 POR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 0.727
22 Fernandez Raul SPA 0.834
23 Morbidelli Franco 21 ITA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1.014
24 Nagashima Tetsuta 45 JPN LCR Honda Honda 1..492
Location Information

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.

Length 4.448 kilometres / 2.764 miles
Width 13 metres
Left corners 7
Right corners 5
Longest straight 0.900 kilometres / 0.559 miles
Constructed 1956
Modified 1988

Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, Phillip Island, Ventnor, Victoria, Australia - View in Google Maps


Pole Position 1m 27.246s (183.5 km/h) Jorge Martin (Ducati, 2023)
Race Lap 1m 28.108s (181.7 km/h) Marc Marquez (Honda, 2013)
Race Time 40m 33.849s (177.6 km/h) Marc Marquez (Honda, 2015)
2023 Race Winner Johann Zarco (Ducati)