RIVALS’ VIEW OF MARQUEZ: MotoGP champion Marc Marquez has set another biking record: his pole for the 2014 Australian MotoGP - his 12th of 2014 - is the most yet achieved in one season by any rider. Image: AFP / Peter Parks
PHILLIP ISLAND, Australia – 2014 MotoGP champion Marc Marquez underlined his dominance of MotoGP today when he swept to a record-equaling 12th pole position of the season on a good day for Spain ahead of the Australian challenge.
The 21-year-old Honda rider, who had sealed a second consecutive title in Japan a week earlier, matched the feat of Australian greats Mick Doohan and Casey Stoner when he scorched around the track in 1min28.408 in qualifying.
Briton Cal Crutchlow (1min28.642) was second fastest to put Ducati on the front row of the grid for the first time this year and Spain's Jorge Lorenzo (1min28.650) was third for Yamaha.
BOET LOOKING GOOD, TOO
Marquez told Speed TV: "I'm really happy because we didn't start the weekend very well. We will try to enjoy the race because this is our time to enjoy."
Marquez's brother Alex boosted his chances of taking another step towards his first world title when he clinched pole for Sunday's Moto3 race while Australian Jack Miller, behind the Honda rider by 25 points, could only manage eighth on his KTM.
Tito Rabat could secure another world title for Spain first, though, and he took pole in the Moto2 race, where a win with anything worse than third for team mate Mika Kallio would make him champion.
Finn Kallio will start third.
Top qualifying times for the 2014 Australian MotoGP
1 Marc Marquez (Spain) Honda 1mn28.408
2 Cal Crutchlow (Britain) Ducati 1mn28.642
3 Jorge Lorenzo (Spain) Yamaha 1mn28.650
4 Bradley Smith (Britain) Yamaha 1mn28.656
5 Dani Pedrosa (Spain) Honda 1mn28.675
6 Aleix Espargaro (Spain) Yamaha 1mn28.866
7 Andrea Iannone (Italy) Ducati 1mn28.887
8 Valentino Rossi (Italy) Yamaha 1mn28.956
9 Pol Espargaro (Spain) Yamaha 1mn28.968
10 Andrea Dovizioso (Italy) Ducati 1mn29.088
Esteve Rabat (Spain) Kalex 1min32.470
Johann Zarco (France) Caterham Suter 1min32.485
Mika Kallio (Finland) Kalex 1min32.698
Maverick Vinales (Spain) Kalex 1min32.712
Thomas Luethi (Switzerland) Suter 1min32.757
Sandro Cortese (Germany) Kalex 1min32.824
Sam Lowes (Britain) Speed up 1min32.938
Jordi Torres (Spain) Suter 1min32.941
Xavier Simeon (Belgium) Suter 1min32.960
Marcel Schroetter (Germany) Tech 3 1min32.964
Moto3 qualifyingStay with Wheels24 for the 2014 MotoGP season – fresh reports every day.
1 Alex Marquez (Spain) Honda 1min36.050
2 Alex Rins (Spain) Honda 1min36.064
3 Juanfran Guevara (Spain) Kalex 1min36.389
4 Danny Kent (Britain) Husqvarna 1min36.419
5 John McPhee (Britain) Honda 1min36.521
6 Efren Vazquez (Spain) Honda 1min36.572
7 Jasper Iwema (Netherlands) Mahindra 1min36.640
8 Jack Miller (Australia) KTM 1min36.672
9 Alexis Masbou (France) Honda 1min36.688
10 Romano Fenati (Italy) KTM 1min36.692