For the first time in three years, the Australian Grand Prix will go out on Phillip Island.
Jorge Martin, who has never ridden a circuit in the MotoGP class before this season, will start from pole for Pramac ahead of veteran Marco Marquez, whose recovery from a broken arm is on the fast track.
But the real battle will come with the third, fourth and fifth.
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Zarco dominates the opening | 04:42
Our championship protagonists are coincidentally lined up with each other on the grid, with Francesco Bagnaia leading Aleix Espargaro and points leader Fabio Quartararo.
In what is expected to be a tense and strategic race where victory will depend on mind and control, the trio of title contenders will need to use all their abilities to pull ahead and secure valuable points with three rounds to go.
Australian Grand Prix grid
1. Jorge Martin (Pramac), 2. Marc Marquez (Honda), 3. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati)
4. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia), 5. Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha), 6. Johann Zarka (Pramac)
7. Luca Marini (VR46), 8. Jack Miller (Ducati), 9. Marco Bacecki (VR46)
10. Alex Rins (Suzuki), 11. Alex Marquez (LCR), 12. Maverick Viñales (Aprilia)
13. Paul Espargaro (Honda), 14. Joan Mir (Suzuki), 15. Enea Bastianini (Gresini)
16. Brad Binder (KTM), 17. Cal Crutchlow (RNF), 18. Darrin Binder (RNF)
19. Remy Gardner (Tech3), 20. Fabio di Giannantonio (Gresini), 21. Raul Fernandez (Tech3)
22. Franco Morbidelli (Yamaha), 23. Tetsuta Nagashima (LCR), 24. Miguel Oliveira (KTM)
OLIVEIRA FINALIZED AFTER TAKING OUTSIDER’S TITLE
At the end of the first quarter, Miguel Oliveira made a costly miscalculation that turned an already bad day for the KTM rider into a painful one.
The Portuguese rider dropped championship challenger Enea Bastianini at Luckey Heights after a comedy of errors after the flag fell in qualifying.
This prevented Bastianini from advancing to Q2. The Gresini pilot had just set the red second sector and was on his way to take second place from Alex Rins when he ran into the slow KTM machine. He missed that goal by just 0.04 seconds.
Ironically, that lap was subsequently removed for speeding in a yellow flag zone, those yellow flags being waved due to Oliveira’s practice start, which saw Bastianini fall back to 15th after the session.
Oliveira was not going to interfere with the Italian. He assumed that all the riders had completed their final flying lap and started the practice start when Bastianini, last on the line, suddenly roared at him from behind.
However, the stewards took a dim view of him, penalizing him three places to last on the grid and giving him a long lap penalty.
Bastianini hoped that his yellow-damaged laps would be restored, although the stewards did not seem to rule in his favour.
NAMES TO CAPTURE
Six titles across all three classes are up for grabs at Phillip Island today in the penultimate round of the 2022 campaign.
MotoGP Team Championship
Ducati leads Aprilia by 75 points. To claim the crown, she must lead by 90 points leaving Australia. It’s not on track to claim the crown based on grid position; it will leave with a margin of 86 points.
MotoGP Rookie of the Year
Marco Beceki is 57 points ahead of Fabio di Gianantonio. He should lead by 50 at the end of the weekend. He is on track based on his net position.
MotoGP Independent Rider of the Year
Enea Bastianini is 29 points ahead of Johann Zark and needs to lead by 50 points. Zarco is on track to close that gap to 20 points depending on grid position.
MotoGP Independent Team of the Year
Pramac leads Gresini by 75 points and should lead by 91 points at the end of the weekend. He is on track to leave the island with a 109-point advantage based on grid position.
Moto3 rider champion
Izan Guevara leads Dennis Foggi by 49 points and needs to lead by 51 points at the end of the weekend to win the lightweight championship. He is on track to claim it based on net position.
Moto3 Team Championship
Aspar leads Leopard by 130 points and needs to lead by 90 points to clinch the championship – meaning Leopard needs to lead Aspar by 41 points to retain the title. Aspar is on his way to a championship based on grid position.
HOW CAN I WATCH THIS?
Every practice, qualifying and race of the 2022 Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix is broadcast live and without commercial breaks during the races on Kayo and Fox Sports 506.
Sunday — live from the paddock at 8:45
Moto3 warm-up: 9am (AEDT)
Moto2 warm-up: 9:20am
Warm-up in MotoGP: 9:40
Moto3 Race: 11am
Moto2 race: 12:20 p.m
MotoGP race: 2:00 p.m
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