Marquez qualifies on pole for Australian MotoGP

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — World championship leader Marc Marquez will start from pole position in Sunday’s Australian MotoGP after setting the fastest time in qualifying at the Phillip Island circuit Saturday.

Rain Saturday morning gave way to sunny, dry conditions for afternoon qualifying. Spain’s Marquez, on a Honda, set the pace with a best lap of 1 minute, 28.386 seconds, 0.333 seconds ahead of compatriot Maverick Vinales, riding a Yamaha. It will be his seventh pole of the season.

Johan Zarco of France qualified third on a Yamaha, 0.358 seconds behind Marquez, while Andrea Iannone of Italy, on a Suzuki, edged Australia’s Jack Miller out of fourth place.

Italy’s Valentino Rossi will start seventh after setting the pace in the first qualifying session.

Marquez leads the championship by 11 points from Andrea Dovizioso who qualified 11th.

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