Marquez storms to pole, Dovizioso down in 11th
Australian Grand Prix - Qualifying

Marquez storms to pole, Dovizioso down in 11th

Marc Marquez stormed to MotoGP pole at Phillip Island, while title rival Andrea Dovizioso struggled to just 11th on the grid.

Maverick Vinales ended up second, ahead of Johann Zarco and Andrea Iannone.

Marquez was unstoppable across the 15-minute Q2 session, constantly bouncing back to the top with each run.

In the end, it was his 1m28.386s that bagged him a dominant pole - more than 0.3-seconds clear of the field.

Dovizoso went into qualifying on the back of a nasty fall at the Lukey Heights turn in FP4, and never looked like contending for a front-row start.

The Ducati rider couldn't even finish inside the top 10, ending up more than a second off the pace after failing to improve on his final run.

The early part of the session was dominated by a three-bike long train featuring Marquez, Iannone, and Jack Miller.

Running nose-to-tail, they broke into the 1m28s for the first time this weekend five minutes in, Marquez leading the way.

Those times lasted until the final runs, when Zarco jumped to the top with a 1m28.744s.

He was then beaten by Vinales' effort of 1m28.719s, before Marquez trumped them all at the flag.

Miller's best time left him an impressive fifth - a career best - ahead of Pol Espargaro, who also took KTM's best grid spot.

Valentino Rossi came through Q1 to qualify seventh, followed by Aleix Espargaro and another Q1 runner, Bradley Smith.

Cal Crutchlow had been sitting seventh before the final sprint at the end of the session, and was set to improve with a little under three minutes to go sa he went fastest through sector one.

But he went down at the Honda corner, his session effectively over on the spot, and he'll start the race in 10th place.

Dani Pedrosa finished at the back of the queue, and will start from 12th.

Rossi topped the 15-minute Q1 segment of qualifying, while Smith secured passage to Q2 for the second time in as many rounds with second.

That meant Jorge Lorenzo missed out on a Q2 spot, going just sixth quickest in the wake of his FP3 crash, which left him with a suspected sprained ankle.

The Ducati rider will start the race from 16th.

Rossi went quick enough to top Q1 before the final flurry at the end of the session with a time of 1m20.665s set five minutes into the session, but still improved on his final run to put progression beyond doubt.

It wasn't quite as comfortable for Smith, but the KTM driver jumped from fifth to second on his final run to secure his third Q1 spot for the season, and second in succession.

Smith's late lap knocked Alex Rins out of Q1, the Suzuki rider falling just over a tenth short of progression.

Australian rider Broc Parkes, standing in for the ill Jonas Folger, did an impressive job on an unfamiliar Tech 3 Yamaha, out-pacing Alvaro Bautista and Sam Lowes to qualify 21st.

Related news

Nico Hulkenberg quickest, but Ferrari finishes opening test on a high

Nico Hulkenberg quickest, but Ferrari finishes opening test on a high

Nico Hulkenberg finished the first test of 2019 at the top of the timesheets, but it is Ferrari who can leave with bragging rights after another impressive day at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Daniil Kvyat sets fastest time of F1 winter testing for Toro Rosso

Daniil Kvyat sets fastest time of F1 winter testing for Toro Rosso

Daniil Kvyat set the fastest time so far at this week's test on Wednesday, putting Toro Rosso at the top of the timesheets.

Charles Leclerc keeps Ferrari on top in testing

Charles Leclerc keeps Ferrari on top in testing

New recruit Charles Leclerc kept Ferrari on top of the timesheets, and did more laps than any other driver, on the second day of Formula One's pre-season testing in Spain on Tuesday.

Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari make strong start to 2019 by topping opening test

Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari make strong start to 2019 by topping opening test

Sebastian Vettel topped the first day of Formula One's preseason after Ferrari made an impressive start to testing.

Ott Tanak wins in Sweden to lead championship

Ott Tanak wins in Sweden to lead championship

Estonian Ott Tanak won Rally Sweden for Toyota on Sunday to take the lead in the world rally championship for the first time in his career.

Tanak leads Rally Sweden into final day

Tanak leads Rally Sweden into final day

Estonian Ott Tanak will lead Rally Sweden into the final day after finishing Saturday's penultimate leg nearly a minute clear.

Suninen shines on first day in Sweden

Suninen shines on first day in Sweden

Finnish driver Teemu Suninen led after the first day of Rally Sweden on Friday while championship leader Sebastien Ogier retired his Citroen after getting stuck in snow.

Ferrari unveil new Formula One car for new era

Ferrari unveil new Formula One car for new era

Ferrari has unveiled the car it hopes can halt Mercedes' recent dominance of Formula One and claim its first championship in over a decade.

Kimi Raikkonen drives 2019 Alfa Romeo F1 car in Valentine's Day livery

Kimi Raikkonen drives 2019 Alfa Romeo F1 car in Valentine's Day livery

Kimi Raikkonen clocked up his first 100 kilometres in the new Alfa Romeo Formula One car on Thursday, after completing 33 laps of Ferrari's Fiorano test track.

RELATED NEWS

Nico Hulkenberg quickest, but Ferrari finishes opening test on a high
Formula 1

Nico Hulkenberg quickest, but Ferrari finishes opening test on a high

Nico Hulkenberg finished the first test of 2019 at the top of the timesheets, but it is Ferrari who can leave with bragging rights after another impressive day at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Daniil Kvyat sets fastest time of F1 winter testing for Toro Rosso
Formula 1

Daniil Kvyat sets fastest time of F1 winter testing for Toro Rosso

Daniil Kvyat set the fastest time so far at this week's test on Wednesday, putting Toro Rosso at the top of the timesheets.

Charles Leclerc keeps Ferrari on top in testing
Formula 1

Charles Leclerc keeps Ferrari on top in testing

New recruit Charles Leclerc kept Ferrari on top of the timesheets, and did more laps than any other driver, on the second day of Formula One's pre-season testing in Spain on Tuesday.

Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari make strong start to 2019 by topping opening test
Formula 1

Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari make strong start to 2019 by topping opening test

Sebastian Vettel topped the first day of Formula One's preseason after Ferrari made an impressive start to testing.

Ott Tanak wins in Sweden to lead championship
WRC Rally Sweden

Ott Tanak wins in Sweden to lead championship

Estonian Ott Tanak won Rally Sweden for Toyota on Sunday to take the lead in the world rally championship for the first time in his career.

Tanak leads Rally Sweden into final day
WRC Rally Sweden

Tanak leads Rally Sweden into final day

Estonian Ott Tanak will lead Rally Sweden into the final day after finishing Saturday's penultimate leg nearly a minute clear.

Suninen shines on first day in Sweden
WRC Rally Sweden

Suninen shines on first day in Sweden

Finnish driver Teemu Suninen led after the first day of Rally Sweden on Friday while championship leader Sebastien Ogier retired his Citroen after getting stuck in snow.

Ferrari unveil new Formula One car for new era
Formula 1

Ferrari unveil new Formula One car for new era

Ferrari has unveiled the car it hopes can halt Mercedes' recent dominance of Formula One and claim its first championship in over a decade.

Kimi Raikkonen drives 2019 Alfa Romeo F1 car in Valentine's Day livery
Formula 1

Kimi Raikkonen drives 2019 Alfa Romeo F1 car in Valentine's Day livery

Kimi Raikkonen clocked up his first 100 kilometres in the new Alfa Romeo Formula One car on Thursday, after completing 33 laps of Ferrari's Fiorano test track.