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Oct 19, 2013

Lorenzo Breaks Lap Record, Takes MotoGP Pole Position At Phillip Island

eni MotoGP World Championship: Jorge Lorenzo is on pole for the race at Phillip Island.
FIM MotoGP World Championship
Phillip Island, Australia
October 19, 2013
Qualifying Results (all on Bridgestone tires):

Qualifying Session One Results (top two advance to Qualifying Two):

1. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Italy (DUCATI), 1:29.999
2. Andrea IANNONE, Italy (DUCATI), 1:30.023
3. Aleix ESPARGARO, Spain (ART-Aprilia), 1:30.081
4. Claudio CORTI, Italy (FTR-Kawasaki), 1:30.530
5. Yonny HERNANDEZ, Colombia (DUCATI), 1:30.641
6. Hiroshi AOYAMA, Japan (FTR-Kawasaki), 1:30.733
7. Danilo PETRUCCI, Italy (IODA/SUTER-BMW), 1:30.894
8. Michael LAVERTY, UK (ART-Aprilia), 1:30.979
9. Hector BARBERA, Spain (FTR-Kawasaki), 1:31.061
10. Luca SCASSA, Italy (ART-Aprilia), 1:31.093
11. Bryan STARING, Australia (FTR-Honda), 1:31.775
12. Lukas PESEK, Czech Republic (IODA/SUTER-BMW), 1:32.474
13. Damian CUDLIN, Australia (PBM-Aprilia), 1:33.007


Qualifying Session One:

1. Jorge LORENZO, Spain (YAMAHA), 1:27.899
2. Marc MARQUEZ, Spain (HONDA), 1:28.120
3. Valentino ROSSI, Italy (YAMAHA), 1:28.647
4. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Spain (HONDA), 1:28.713
5. Dani PEDROSA, Spain (HONDA), 1:28.748
6. Cal CRUTCHLOW, UK (YAMAHA), 1:28.809
7. Bradley SMITH, UK (YAMAHA), 1:28.941
8. Nicky HAYDEN, USA (DUCATI), 1:29.295
9. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Italy (DUCATI), 1:29.660
10. Andrea IANNONE, Italy (DUCATI), 1:29.756
11. Colin EDWARDS, USA (FTR-Kawasaki), 1:30.264
12. Randy DE PUNIET, France (ART-Aprilia), 1:30.735


Combined Qualifying Results:
1. Jorge LORENZO, Spain (YAMAHA), 1:27.899
2. Marc MARQUEZ, Spain (HONDA), 1:28.120
3. Valentino ROSSI, Italy (YAMAHA), 1:28.647
4. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Spain (HONDA), 1:28.713
5. Dani PEDROSA, Spain (HONDA), 1:28.748
6. Cal CRUTCHLOW, UK (YAMAHA), 1:28.809
7. Bradley SMITH, UK (YAMAHA), 1:28.941
8. Nicky HAYDEN, USA (DUCATI), 1:29.295
9. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Italy (DUCATI), 1:29.660
10. Andrea IANNONE, Italy (DUCATI), 1:29.756
11. Colin EDWARDS, USA (FTR-Kawasaki), 1:30.264
12. Randy DE PUNIET, France (ART-Aprilia), 1:30.735
13. Aleix ESPARGARO, Spain (ART-Aprilia), 1:30.081
14. Claudio CORTI, Italy (FTR-Kawasaki), 1:30.530
15. Yonny HERNANDEZ, Colombia (DUCATI), 1:30.641
16. Hiroshi AOYAMA, Japan (FTR-Kawasaki), 1:30.733
17. Danilo PETRUCCI, Italy (IODA/SUTER-BMW), 1:30.894
18. Michael LAVERTY, UK (ART-Aprilia), 1:30.979
19. Hector BARBERA, Spain (FTR-Kawasaki), 1:31.061
20. Luca SCASSA, Italy (ART-Aprilia), 1:31.093
21. Bryan STARING, Australia (FTR-Honda), 1:31.775
22. Lukas PESEK, Czech Republic (IODA/SUTER-BMW), 1:32.474
23. Damian CUDLIN, Australia (PBM-Aprilia), 1:33.007




More, from a press release issued by Yamaha Factory MotoGP Team:

Lorenzo Flies to Record Breaking Phillip Island Pole

Phillip Island (Australia), 19th october 2013

Defending world champion Jorge Lorenzo became the fastest motorcycle rider ever around the Phillip Island circuit today, taking pole position for tomorrow’s Australian Grand Prix. The 15-minute qualifying heat began in normal fashion with Lorenzo the first man out on track. Drama immediately unfolded as he collided with a seagull coming over Lukey Heights.

The uninvited passenger did nothing to slow Lorenzo down as he stormed to a provisional pole time of 1’28.681, breaking the pole record set by Casey Stoner in 2008. Rival Marc Marquez was quick to take back the top spot, leaving Lorenzo in second position as he headed back in for the first tyre change with eight minutes remaining of the session.

After allowing most of the pack to enter the track, Lorenzo was back out with four minutes left on the clock. With no seagull to slow him down the Mallorcan was unflappable, dropping under the 1’28 mark with one minute to go and storming to an incredible 1’27.899 second lap for pole position. The time sets a new record as the fastest ever lap by a motorcycle on the Phillip Island circuit.

Valentino Rossi enjoyed another successful qualifying session, delivering his second consecutive front row start with third on the grid for tomorrow’s race. The Italian nine-time world champion was the last rider to leave the pits at the start of the session, waiting to find some clear track for his qualifying efforts. His first laps with the soft tyre were enough to put him in fourth position, 0.817 from provisional pole.

He then returned to the pits with eight minutes remaining for a quick tyre change and was quickly back out with over six minutes left on the clock. Rossi then put the hammer down and dramatically picked up his pace to put in a 1’28.647 to move up a position and take third on the grid for tomorrow’s race.

Jorge Lorenzo
1st / 1'27.899 / 7 laps
“I had an impact with a bird on the first few laps on the bike, luckily we could take it off and I could make a second attempt without a passenger, maybe because of this I went a little bit faster and was able to make pole position. I’m very happy because I pushed to the limit to make the lap and I made a very good time. We have some problems with the tyre because the new asphalt makes a lot of graining; we’ll see if there are decisions from Dorna or Bridgestone tomorrow for the race. If we can make a good start we will try to get away at the beginning.”

Valentino Rossi
3rd / 1'28.647 / 9 laps

“Coming back in Phillip Island with the new surface is fantastic, especially with this weather and this temperature to be back on the M1 is a great pleasure. To be able to push 100% on the soft front tyre is a fantastic feeling. I’m so happy with this position, it's the second first row in a row. It looks like in the last races we have found a better solution for qualifying because at the beginning of the season I struggled a lot. I know the race is tomorrow and especially Marc and Jorge and Dani will be very hard to beat. I have to give the maximum, find a good setting and tyre and try to fight for the podium.”

Yamaha Factory Racing Wilco Zeelenberg
Team Manager
“A fantastic qualifying and an unbelievable lap so we are very happy with that. Tomorrow of course is the race and it looks like we have different issues than just one fast lap, we are struggling to decide which tyre we are able to use and get approval to use. This is still in our mind and also in our rider’s. Set up wise we are very pleased and ready to go.”

Yamaha Factory Racing Massimo Meregalli
Team Director
“A really great qualifying result, having both riders on the front row is a great opportunity to start well for the race. We’ve done a great job, the bike has been competitive from the beginning and we have been able to make it even better for qualifying. We had an issue with the tyre so we are now waiting for a decision and we will see how move forward form there.”




More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:

Marquez takes eleventh front row start with Pedrosa on second row

MotoGP Rookie of the Year, Marc Marquez, has taken his eleventh front row start for tomorrow's Australian GP with Repsol Honda teammate, Dani Pedrosa, starting from the second row in 5th after another dramatic day in Phillip Island.

Marc, who had a small crash in turn ten in this morning's FP3 session on his first exit with the hard rear tyre, recorded his fastest lap on his second run in qualifying - on lap 6 of 8 with a 1'28.120, claiming 2nd spot on the grid. Dani pushed and took his fastest lap on his final of 9 with a 1'28.748 placing him 5th.

With this 2nd position, Marc has now sealed the BMW M Award for Best Qualifier in 2013. His total of 322 points puts him out of reach from second place Lorenzo on 266, with just 50 points left to take in Japan and Valencia.

Today's hot topic has been tyre degradation as it has emerged that b oth harder option tyres are suffering badly on this new asphalt. The Moto2 class are also experiencing problems and Race Direction have decreased the number of race laps to thirteen in order to allow for this issue. For the MotoGP class, the race has been shortened to 26 laps with a restriction limiting no more than 14 consecutive laps - for the first time a flag-to-flag race under dry conditions, with riders changing the bike at least once to align with Race Direction's decision.

Marc Marquez 2nd 1'28.120
“The goal today was to get a front row start for tomorrow, and we achieved it. We knew that Jorge and Valentino would be very fast over a single lap with the new soft tyre compound, something that they showed today. Jorge, Dani and Valentino have a great pace, but I think I can stick with them. After the issues with tyres the race will now be a flag-to-flag, which for me is the first time so it will be interesting - even if I would have preferred a shorter race but this is the decision from Race Direction. We shall see if in the warmup we can try out some last minute things and then we will give 100%, as always"

Dani Pedrosa 5th 1'28.748
“I'll make no excuses; Qualifying didn't go well for us and I was not able to go fast. However, the practice sessions have been positive for us. Now we have been told that Race Direction have taken a decision to make the race 26 laps with a flag-to-flag. I don't think this is the best option but this is the scenario so we will do our best to prepare for it"




More, from a press release issued by Monster Yamaha Tech 3:

Crutchlow sixth, Smith seventh in breathtaking Phillip Island qualifying

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team riders Cal Crutchlow and Bradley Smith will start tomorrow’s Tissot Australian Grand Prix from sixth and seventh respectively after both mounted a strong challenge for the front row in a record-breaking qualifying session.

Crutchlow was less than 0.2s away from registering his eighth front row start in 2013, while teammate Smith was only 0.132s further behind in seventh position on a challenging day at the spectacular Phillip Island track.

Lap records might have been smashed across the board thanks to impressive grip levels from new asphalt at the coastal venue, but concerns have emerged over excessive rear tyre wear from the allocation made available by official tyre supplier Bridgestone.

Crutchlow and Smith were both able to lap just a fraction outside of Casey Stoner’s 2008 pole position benchmark in a record-breaking session that saw factory Yamaha rider, Jorge Lorenzo, obliterate the outright record with a sensational lap of 1.27.899.

Crutchlow’s best lap of 1.28.809 was only 0.061s behind Sepang winner Dani Pedrosa and Smith set a 1.28.941, but unusually high temperatures for the Australian Grand Prix and high grip levels from the new Phillip Island track surface resulted in endurance issues being encountered with all tyre options.
Crutchlow and Smith will now consult with their Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew and Bridgestone technicians over the best selection for tomorrow’s race, which is currently scheduled to run over 27-laps.

Tomorrow’s race is the 16th of this year’s World Championship and is the middle of a flyaway triple-header that started in Malaysia last weekend and concludes in Japan next Sunday.

Cal Crutchlow 6th 1.28.809 – 9 laps:
“I am pretty disappointed with today’s result because I expected to be higher up than sixth. I wasn’t far off the front row and was pretty close to Valentino in third but the gap to Jorge in pole position is really big and I thought I’d be much closer. I’ve not had enough rear grip and I was lacking confidence to push. I think we can clearly improve the bike and myself. In FP4 I did the whole session on the extra hard tyre on the recommendation of Bridgestone but we know there is a question mark for the race tomorrow. We need to listen to Bridgestone’s advice on what tyre will be raced but I am sure my pace is better than sixth.”

Bradley Smith 7th 1.28.491 – 9 laps:
“It has obviously been quite a confusing day with the soft tyre not being an option for the race tomorrow, but at least we could use it in practice and qualifying. I have been happy with the bike today. It has felt much better and I like how it was reacting. I really concentrated on making sure my first flying lap was a good one and at the end I am really happy to finish with a 28.9 because yesterday I wasn’t even sure if I could get into the 29s. I am not far off the front row at all and we have done a good job. Now we have got to wait and see what happens with the tyre situation for tomorrow’s race because it seems there is a lot of uncertainty around. I am looking forward to the race and my target will be to battle with Cal and Bautista.”




More, from a press release issued by NGM Mobile Forward Racing:

Edwards qualifies as best CRT at Phillip Island

NGM Mobile Forward Racing rider Colin Edwards qualifies as best CRT at Phillip Island. Teammate Claudio Corti will start from the 14th position on the starting grid for the Tissot Australian Grand Prix.

The American rider had been very fast all day today starting in this morning’s FP3 recording an excellent lap time of 1´29.827 allowing him to qualify for Q2. Unfortunately he was not able to repeat his best time due to a crash during his second lap at the very beginning of the session. Edwards was still able to qualify as best CRT finishing the session ahead of Randy De Puniet with a lap time of 1´30.264.

Claudio Corti will start tomorrow’s race from the 5th row of the grid after recording a very impressive lap time of 1´30.530 during Q1. The Italian rider was unable to beat the Ducati´s of Dovizioso and Iannone or fellow CRT rider Espargaro but still managed to be the second best FTR in qualifying today.

The NGM riders have a good race pace and remain confident for the race.


Colin Edwards

“I love this track, it’s one of my favorite tracks. To be here and have the weather that we’ve had the last couple of days it’s been awesome. My team has done an awesome job; they have put a good package together, played a little bit with some settings this weekend and made the bike better, obviously we have a little issue, as everybody is aware of the tire situation. I did 16 laps today on our hard tire and we have an issue and we don’t seem to be the only ones so we will have to wait and see what race decision is but I’m ready to race tomorrow, feeling good. About the crash, I did my first lap and felt pretty good and on the second lap coming around on turn 11 I had it set on traction control and it was making a noise, it seemed like it timed out or something and gave me power when I did´t want power and it kind of came around and spit me off, but I’m ok, so no problem.”


Claudio Corti

“The day went well today, this morning we found a few things that work really well for us, we have not been able to make Colin’s lap times, we seem to miss a bit of traction in going out of the corners. We improved the race pace so overall its gone good. I was expecting to do a little bit better and on the last lap I was improving when I found Cudlin, causing me to lose a few tenths but in any case those tenths would have not changed my position on the grid. We will work on improving the traction during the morning for the race and we have yet to understand what will happen with the tires. Nothing is set, anything can happen.”


Sergio Verbena, MotoGP Technical Director

“For the fourth time this year we have qualified as best CRT. Colin has done a great job today, even if we had some problems with the tires making us start out from scratch with the hard tire today, both this morning and this afternoon he was very fast. This morning changing to the soft tire at the very end of the session we have been able to make it into the Top10 qualifying directly for Q2. Unfortunately Colin crashed during qualifying, if he had been able to repeat this morning’s lap times we could have aimed to start from the 3rd row of the grid tomorrow. Claudio has also done an excellent job and will start from the 14th place, both have a good race pace and we have yet to understand what the situation will be with the tires because there seems to be a problem. Colin has a neck pain andhe is not related to today’s crash, he is currently in the Clinica Mobile getting a massage and hopefully he will be in perfect condition for tomorrow’s race.”




More, from a press release issued by Ducati Corse:

Row three for Ducati Team at Phillip Island

Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso took advantage of nearly ideal weather conditions today at Phillip Island Circuit to both qualify their Desmosedici GP13 race machines on row three for tomorrow’s Australian Grand Prix.

The American in particular had a good pace throughout the day, and his best lap earned him the eighth spot on the grid. Dovizioso didn’t manage to post a great time in the free-practice sessions and thus had to participate in Q1, but his time in Q2 was good enough to put him one spot behind his teammate.

Due to unexpectedly high rates of tyre wear on the new track surface, tomorrow’s race has been shortened by one lap to twenty-six, and a mandatory pit stop will be implemented so that riders can change bikes. Use of the hard rear tyre is obligatory for MotoGP entrants, and riders may go a maximum of fourteen laps per tyre.

Nicky Hayden - Ducati Team, 8th (1:29.295)
“We’ve certainly been a lot closer than usual today, but I was definitely hoping to go faster than that in qualifying. I thought I might be able to get in the 28s, and I really should have, but I didn’t get in a great lap. I made a couple mistakes on my best lap, and Iannone stood me up in one corner and cost us both time. I think using the ‘flag-to-flag’ format is the right choice for tomorrow. Safety is of the utmost importance, but we’ve also got a responsibility to put on a show for the fans.”

Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati Team, 9th (1:29.660)
“The gap is large but considering that we had to do Q1, I’m happy with how we managed the situation. I was able to transfer using the only tyre I had left and then to improve my time in Q2. There was a bit less wind today and riding was easier. We have the same gap as usual, but I’m pleased to have done those times. I could’ve more or less matched Nicky’s time, but I lost the rear in the last corner and nearly high-sided. I had to close the gas and lost at least three tenths. Tomorrow will be an unusual race. It will be the first time we do a ‘flag-to-flag’ format in dry conditions, but it’s the same for everyone. It’s not a problem for me, and I think it will be fun. Let’s hope the weather conditions are good.”




More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing:

Beautiful sunshine and warm spring temperatures accompanied the second day of the Australian GP, which featured free practice and qualifying sessions.

After settling for thirteenth place in FP3, Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team rider Andrea Iannone was forced to take part in both qualifying sessions scheduled for this sixteenth round of the MotoGP World Championship. He finished second in hard-fought Q1, earning a spot in the decisive second session. His fastest time of the weekend, a 1’29.756, was recorded on the penultimate lap of Q2, earning him tenth place.

Tomorrow, as decided by the Race Directions, in order to ensure safety on track, due to a strange decline of the tyres, the race laps will be limited to 26 and the riders will be forced to use the hard rear tyre with which they cannot make more than 14 laps and they’ll then be obliged to return to the pits to change bikes within that period.

"We have been notified by Bridgestone that they are unable to guarantee safety of their rear slick tyres beyond 14 laps. It has therefore been decided to make the following changes to the MotoGP class race in the interests of the safety of the riders.

1. The race distance will be 26 laps.

2. Every rider will be required to enter the pits and change to his second machine with fresh tyres at least once during the race.

3. No rider is permitted to make more than 14 laps on any one slick rear tyre.This means that a bike/tyre change before lap 12 will require a second bike/tyre change to finish the race.

4. Riders using “Factory” and “Satellite” machines will be required to use the “hard” option tyre (B51DR). Extra quantity will be allocated by Bridgestone.

5. Riders using CRT machines will be required to use CRT “hard” option tyre (B50DR). Extra quantity will be allocated by Bridgestone.

6. The pit lane speed limit zone will be extended both on entry and exit, and the exit route to rejoin the track will be marked by a white line in the runoff area. Crossing this line whilst rejoining the track from pit lane will result in a penalty."

Andrea Iannone – Energy T.I. Pramac Racing Team
“Today was better than yesterday, and we improved again. It was very important to get into Q2, and we did, and Q1 also went well, so I'm happy. I am satisfied with the results we’re getting, we improved steadily during each round and my confidence with the bike also increased. Unfortunately, during Q2 I went long in a corner on my best lap, but that's okay. I had no tyre problems today. I managed to ride well throughout the day. The new asphalt has really changed the track, and riding here now is much more fun.”




More, from another press release issued by Pramac Racing:

Yonny Hernandez concluded a warm spring day of free practice and qualifying at the Australian GP, which takes place tomorrow at the 4.448 km (2.764 miles) Phillip Island Circuit, by conquering a place on row 5 of the grid, after a Q1 session in which he was fifth quickest.

The Australian circuit, however, was a tough test for the Colombian rider. After crashing during the third and final free practice session of the morning, he then high-sided on the exit of turn 2 while taking part in FP4, suffering a minor fracture in his left hand, which partly compromised the outcome of the session.

Nevertheless, the Ignite Pramac Racing Team rider is confident for tomorrow's race and is determined to further improve his feeling with the bikeYonny Hernandez - Ignite Pramac Racing Team.

Due to a problem with some riders’ rear tyres blistering during the practice sessions, Race Direction has decided that the race will be shortened to 26 laps, one less than planned, and a “flag-to-flag” format will be used. The official press release follows:

"We have been notified by Bridgestone that they are unable to guarantee safety of their rear slick tyres beyond 14 laps. It has therefore been decided to make the following changes to the MotoGP class race in the interests of the safety of the riders.

1. The race distance will be 26 laps.

2. Every rider will be required to enter the pits and change to his second machine with fresh tyres at least once during the race.

3. No rider is permitted to make more than 14 laps on any one slick rear tyre.This means that a bike/tyre change before lap 12 will require a second bike/tyre change to finish the race.

4. Riders using “Factory” and “Satellite” machines will be required to use the “hard” option tyre (B51DR). Extra quantity will be allocated by Bridgestone.

5. Riders using CRT machines will be required to use CRT “hard” option tyre (B50DR). Extra quantity will be allocated by Bridgestone.

6. The pit lane speed limit zone will be extended both on entry and exit, and the exit route to rejoin the track will be marked by a white line in the runoff area. Crossing this line whilst rejoining the track from pit lane will result in a penalty."

Yonny Hernandez - Ignite Pramac Racing Team
“Today was difficult. I didn’t feel comfortable with the hard tyre and in fact I lost the rear in Turn 2 and fell. I didn’t immediately understand what happened, and when I realized, I was already falling. After that it wasn’t easy to pick up the pace again. During the qualifying session, I had a little bit of pain in my hands, and I couldn’t push as hard as I wanted. For sure I’ll go to the Clinica Mobile tomorrow before the race to get some injections, but I hope to get a good result anyway.”




More, from a press release issued by Dorna Communications:

Jorge Lorenzo has clinched pole position for the Tissot Australian Grand Prix, beating Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi to the top spot in a highly dramatic shootout at Phillip Island.

With only three rounds remaining in the 2013 MotoGP™ season and Marquez able to clinch an historic premier class title win this weekend, the qualifying session at Phillip Island would prove to be one of the most incident-packed of the year. Ultimately, Lorenzo clinched his third pole of the campaign – his first since Jerez in May – courtesy of a best lap of 1’27.899, but this was only after the reigning World Champion’s Yamaha Factory Racing bike clipped a seagull. The margin at the front would be two tenths of a second, with Marquez able to secure the world crown on Sunday if he ends the race with a points-advantage of 51 or more.

In third place, Rossi – who on only three occasions in his career has failed to finish on the podium at Phillip Island – will start on the front row for the second consecutive race, ahead of GO&FUN Honda Gresini’s Alvaro Bautista who qualified fourth but went off-track at the end of qualifying. Fifth will be Sepang winner Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) - who is the only rider other than Marquez and Lorenzo who retains a mathematical possibility of winning the championship - from Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Cal Crutchlow, who will start sixth. Row 3 will be occupied by Tech3’s Bradley Smith plus Ducati Team pairing Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso.

Tenth on the grid will be Energy T.I. Pramac Racing’s Andrea Iannone, who entered the Q2 shootout from Q1, as was also the case with Dovizioso. It was towards the end of Q1 when Iannone was involved in an on-track disagreement with Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro, who failed to feature in Q2 for only the fourth time this in 2013. In the meantime, Colin Edwards set the CRT pace as he qualified 11th for NGM Mobile Forward Racing, one position in front of Randy de Puniet while the Frenchman’s teammate Espargaro will be 13th on the grid; both de Puniet and Edwards suffered incidents in the Q2 shootout.

LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl has taken no further part in the weekend since attempting to ride in opening practice, having fractured his right ankle at Sepang one week ago; the German hopes to return at Motegi next weekend. Australian Bryan Staring will start his home race 21st on the Gresini CRT bike, with fellow countryman Damian Cudlin having qualified 23rd for PBM on his 31st birthday.

In a separate twist, Bridgestone have announced that they are unable to guarantee safety of their rear slick tyres beyond 14 laps, and it has therefore been decided that every rider will be required to enter the pits and change to his second machine with fresh tyres at least once during the race. No rider is permitted to make more than 14 laps on any one slick rear tyre. This means that a bike/tyre change before lap 12 will require a second bike/tyre change to finish the race. Prototypes will have to use the hard-, and CRTs the medium spec tyre.

And to mark the occasion of the Australian race, it was a fitting that Casey Stoner was inducted as a MotoGP™ Legend at Phillip Island on Saturday. The World Champion of 2007 and 2011 becomes the 20th MotoGP™ Legend, joining riders such as compatriots Wayne Gardner and Mick Doohan.


Moto2

Pol Espargaro will start from his fifth pole position of the Moto2™ season at the Tissot Australian Grand Prix, whilst championship leader Scott Redding has been ruled out of the race after fracturing his left wrist in a crash. The race will take place over the shortened distance of 13 laps.

A dramatic day of qualifying at Phillip Island drew to a close with the intermediate category, with the session being interrupted with red flags following a crash for Thai Honda PTT Gresini Moto2’s Thitipong Warokorn. As the Thai rider was transported away for medical check-ups and soon diagnosed with a fracture to his right scapula, ruling him out of action for the rest of the race event, whilst Esteve Rabat, who also crashed, was effectively given extra time for bike repairs as he made his way back to the Tuenti HP 40 garage.

No sooner had Rabat re-joined the session than the Spaniard crashed once again, having by this point lost provisional pole to teammate Espargaro who will start in front thanks to his leading lap time of 1’32.530. Rabat missed out by just one hundredth of a second, while there were identical times for Jordi Torres and Alex de Angelis; the former (Aspar Team Moto2) will start third by virtue of his quicker second best lap time, leaving the NGM Mobile Forward Racing rider fourth.

Tom Luthi rounds out the top five for Interwetten Paddock Moto2 Racing, while Mika Kallio will be the leading Marc VDS Racing Team rider in sixth; however, the Finn suffered a sizeable accident in the Hay Shed section. Just moments later, teammate Redding crashed at the end of the lap and was duly taken to the Medical Centre where the Englishman complained of pain with his left wrist. Having already posted his 1’32.962 lap time, Redding sank to tenth position in the results and soon headed towards Melbourne to operate on the left wrist fracture.

More drama came at the end of the session, with reigning Moto3™ World Champion Sandro Cortese being the last to suffer an incident. The Dynavolt Intact GP rider will start seventh on the grid behind Kallio, while Aspar’s Nico Terol and NGM Mobile Racing’s Mattia Pasini fill positions eight and nine ahead of the unfortunate Redding.


Moto3

Moto3™ championship leader Luis Salom will start from pole position for the Tissot Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island. Joining the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider on the front row will be Jonas Folger and Efren Vazquez, with Salom’s championship rivals Maverick Viñales and Alex Rins fourth and fifth.

Pole for Salom is his fourth of the season and second in succession, ending of run of four different pole-sitters from the previous four events. It came in the form of 1’36.890, serving as a huge confidence boost as the Mallorcan already carries a 14-point lead over Rins and a 26-point margin over Viñales.

Despite being injured in a highside crash in the San Marino Grand Prix in mid-September, Folger continues to deliver solid performances and the Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3 rider will be lining up on the front row for the fourth time in 2013, whereas Mahindra Racing’s Vazquez went third on his final lap, just as teammate Miguel Oliveira crashed out of the session. On Row 2, Viñales (Team Calvo) and Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0) may be required to work together should they hope to overhaul Salom at the forefront of the race.

In fact, Rins is sandwiched by the Viñales name on the second row, as Maverick’s elder cousin Isaac (Ongetta-Centro Seta) will line up sixth. Celebrating a career-best qualifying result, Team Calvo’s Ana Carrasco achieved seventh position to make it six Spaniards in the top seven places, joined on Row 3 by the crashed Oliveira and Ajo’s Zulfahmi Khairuddin, who escaped both a fall and a lurid off-track moment on the exit of the final corner. Leading Australian representative Jack Miller will start tenth for Caretta Technology – RTG, with compatriot Arthur Sissis 16th for Ajo.