Moto GP Champion Marc Marquez was fastest in the warm-up session for the Australian MotoGP, stamping his authority on the proceedings just hours before the race.
The 23-year-old Spaniard, who sealed his third Moto GP championship in Japan last week, clocked 1:29.897 at Phillip Island in the 35-minute warm-up session and will start in pole position after topping his rivals in qualifying on Saturday.
Italy’s Valentino Rossi was second fastest in the morning session, trailing Marquez by just 0.09 seconds, while Suzuki rider Maverick Vinales came in third, a further 0.072 behind.
— Marc Márquez (@marcmarquez93) October 22, 2016
Rossi will be hoping to take his warm-up form into the race after a disappointing qualifying session meant he will start in 15th place on the grid.
LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow was fourth fastest while Jorge Lorenzo came in fifth on his Yamaha.
Australia’s Jack Miller, who secured a career-best fifth place on the grid in qualifying was eighth fastest in the morning session, finishing 1.01 seconds behind Marquez.
Saturday’s pole position was Marquez’s 65th of his career so far and his 37th pole in Moto GP. It was also his seventh pole of the 2016 season, meaning that he has already won the BMW M Award for the best qualifying rider.