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Marquez draws level with Stoner

Marc Marquez

Phillip Island, October 27: Phillip Island is a place for the brave in any weather, with some of the fastest corners on the calendar.

In the qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix that was even more true, as cool and windy conditions - and the threat of rain - made it a who dares wins and newly-crowned champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) played his cards to perfection, pushing early and then managing the risk to take his fifth pole in a row at the track.

That equals Australian and MotoGP legend Casey Stoner, who was the last man to take five in a row at the fabled circuit.

Can Marquez add another win on Sunday to start to threaten Stoner's victory count?

Tough opposition

Tough opposition

Standing in his way is some tough opposition. Maverick Vinales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) starts second and has shown top pace all weekend, with French fighter Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) completing the front row.

But when asked in the press conference who was the biggest threat for the win, the hot pick was in fact the man who heads up Row 2 - Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar).

Key threat

Key threat

The 'Maniac' has been on top of or close to the top of the timesheets all weekend and looks a key threat on race day.

Iannone had taken provisional pole part-way through the session but he was then quickly ousted by Zarco as P1 chopped and changed.

Enthralling session

Enthralling session

An enthralling session ended with Marquez, Vinales and Zarco on that front row, with Iannone missing out by just 0.007 seconds.

Fellow Team Suzuki Ecstar rider Alex Rins will start from P5, with Miller grabbing P6 in front of his home fans.

Third row

Third row

Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) will aim to challenge for a podium from seventh on the grid as he leads an all-Italian third row, with the 'Doctor' having been on the podium in the premier class at Phillip Island 15 times out of 18.

He's joined on the row by Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing) who was top Ducati, and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) in P9 after 'DesmoDovi' took his worst qualifying result of the season.

The title is done, the pressure is off and Phillip Island creates some of the greatest racing in the world.

The front row think it will be another incredible Island battle, so don't miss out - tune in from 4pm local time (IST 10.30am) for the Australian MotoGP.

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    Story first published: Saturday, October 27, 2018, 18:02 [IST]
    Other articles published on Oct 27, 2018
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