Lorenzo grabs Phillip Island pole
19 October 2013 – Jorge Lorenzo has clinched pole position for the Australian Grand Prix, beating Marc Márquez and Valentino Rossi to the top spot in a highly dramatic shootout at Phillip Island.
With only three rounds remaining and Márquez able to clinch an historic premier class title win this weekend, the qualifying session at Phillip Island would prove to be one of the most incident-packed of the year.
Ultimately, Lorenzo clinched his third pole of the campaign – his first since Jerez in May – courtesy of a best lap of 1.27.899, but this was only after the reigning World Champion's Yamaha bike clipped a seagull. The margin at the front would be two tenths of a second, with Márquez able to secure the world crown on Sunday if he ends the race with a points advantage of 51 or more. The 20-year-old newcomer has now also amassed a points margin large enough to become unassailable in the BMW M Award, successfully winning the prize on his first attempt.
In third place, Rossi – who on only three occasions in his career has failed to finish on the podium at Phillip Island – will start on the front row for the second consecutive race, ahead of Honda Gresini's Alvaro Bautista who qualified fourth but went off-track at the end of qualifying. Fifth will be Sepang winner Dani Pedrosa - who is the only rider other than Marquez and Lorenzo who retains a mathematical possibility of winning the championship - from Tech 3's Cal Crutchlow, who will start sixth. Row 3 will be occupied by Tech 3's Bradley Smith plus Ducati pairing Nicky Hayden and Andrea Dovizioso.