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Jorge Martin wins pole for Australian MotoGP as all three divisions set new qualification records

Martin qualification Australian MotoGP

PHILLIP ISLAND, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 15: Jorge Martin of Spain and Pramac Racing at parc ferme after his pole position during the qualifying session of the MotoGP of Australia (Animoca Brands Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix) at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit on October 15, 2022 in Phillip Island, Australia. (Photo by Steve Wobser/Getty Images)

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With a lap of 1:27.767, Jorge Martin topped qualification in the senior division of the Australian MotoGP as records were also set in Moto2 and Moto3. All three previous records stood for eight or more years.

In his first attempt at Phillip Island, Martin eclipsed the record set in 2013 by Jorge Lorenzo. Second-place Marc Marquez also crossed under the checkers with a lap below the old record as the three principal championship contenders line up immediately behind them.

In the latest round of the MotoGP schedule in Thailand, Francesco Bagnaia closed to within two points of championship leader Fabio Quartararo. This week, he rolls off the grid two positions in front of his rival with the third-fastest lap of 1:27.953, which was .186 seconds off the pole. Quartararo starts fifth with Aleix Espargaro slotting in between.

Including Sunday’s Australian MotoGP, three rounds remain on the schedule, which means one of these points’ leaders has an opportunity to set themselves up as the frontrunner for the title.

In a spirited qualification session for the Australian MotoGP, Martin set the early pace in Q2 only to see Bagnaia eclipse him momentarily. Quartararo came close to insinuating himself into the pole mix before getting pushed back to fifth as the time ran off the clock.

In the 2019 edition of this race, the last time the race was run after being canceled by the COVID-19 pandemic, Bagnaia finished best in fourth. Espargaro finished 10th. Quartararo failed to complete a lap that season.

The Japanese MotoGP winner, Australian Jack Miller qualified among the top 10 in front of his countrymen.

Additionally, Fermin Aldeguer posted a time of 1:32.233 in Moto 2 to beat that division’s previous qualification record for the Australian GP set in 2014 as Ayumu Sasaki circled the track at 1:35.854 to better Moto3’s previous record set that same year.

Moto2 points leader, Augusto Fernandez was only .073 second off Aldeguer’s time to start second.

Cameron Beaubier was 11th as the highest qualified American rider in the field. Joe Roberts will start 15th.