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MOTOGP AUSTRALIAN GP MARQUEZ TAKES BACK TOP SPOT

PRESS RELEASE/MotoGP – Photo: supplied

It’s now time for the business end of proceedings at the Michelin® Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix 2018 at Phillip Island.

With qualifying done and dusted in all three world championship classes, it will now all come down to the skill and endeavour of the riders on race day.

As it stands in MotoGP™ all the big guns of the class are on the front three rows for tomorrow’s 27-lap race, save for the struggling Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) and the injured Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda Castrol). 

The MotoGP™ race is shaping as a fascinating affair, with Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) to lead the field away at Phillip Island for the fifth successive year. Maverick Vinales (Movistar Yamaha) and Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) will be alongside him.

Then it’s Suzuki Ecstar pair Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins and Aussie Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Ducati), followed by Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha), Danilo Petrucci  (Alma Pramac Ducati) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team).

How will it play out? With Phillip Island notoriously hard on rubber, tyre conservation will undoubtedly play its part before the shackles are removed about five or six laps from home. Marquez will certainly be in the mix (when is he not?), Iannone and Zarco are hard-chargers of the highest order, Rins continues to improve at a rapid rate, and Rossi is rarely off the podium in Australia.

And what of Miller? Qualifying didn’t quite come together for the 23-year-old, but buoyed by a home crowd he will be giving it everything he has got – and a second MotoGP™ win won’t be beyond him.

And let’s not forget that Mike Jones (Angel Nieto Ducati) will also be upholding Aussie pride in the MotoGP™ race as he continues his one-off subbing role this weekend.

Preceding the much-anticipated MotoGP™ shootout at 4:00pm AEDT will be the Moto3™ and Moto2™ races at 1:00pm AEDT (23 laps) and 2:20pm AEDT (25 laps) respectively.

Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Honda) is in an ideal position to extend his 1pt lead in the Moto3™ title with main rival Marco Bezzecchi (Redox PreustelGP KTM) qualifying way back in 15th, and in Moto2™ Italian Mattia Pasini (Italtrans Racing Team) will lead the field away with Dynavolt Intact GP-backed duo Marcel Schrotter and Xavi Vierge next to him.

Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46) can win the Moto2™ title tomorrow, depending on he and main rival Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Ajo) fare.

The national supports will kickstrart the on-track action on Sunday, following rousing races in both the Superbike and Supersport 300 categories today.

Glenn Allerton (BMW), Troy Bayliss (Ducati) and Troy Herfoss (Honda) are likely to be main protagonists in Superbike, while Supersport 300 is anyone’s guess – it all depends on who gets the best in the cut-throat slipstreaming battles down Gardner Straight! Seth Crump was that rider today, who knows tomorrow…


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