Less than a second split the top 17 as Friday in Phillip Island came to a close, Marc Marquez and Joan Mir preparing themselves for a clash of the titans alongside a number of big names in Q1. Due to extreme weather, the Australian Grand Prix will be moved to Saturday.
The Australian Grand Prix started with near ideal conditions as calm, sunny skies remaining throughout the opening day of practice – a situation which is predicted to dramatically change in just a matter of hours. Conditions meant every team had plenty of track time and in turn saw the 22 premier class riders lapping within just 1.965 seconds of each other and the top ten all within a mere half a second.
It was an ultimately frustrating day for Marc Marquez who fell twice at Turn 10, almost saving his crash in the afternoon as in 2019 and 2022. Unharmed in the falls, Marquez and his team will spend the evening working on improving the front end feel of the Repsol Honda Team RC213V. A best time of 1’28.790 saw the eight-time World Champion miss a spot in the top ten by three tenths and end the day down in 16th spot.
Joan Mir and his team spent the day hunting improvements around the unique layout of Phillip Island, ending just over one second behind Brad Binder – the fastest rider of the day. Frequent changes to the bike meant Mir was unable to fully find his rhythm. Setting a fastest time of 1’29.007 had the #36 in 18th place, about half a second from the combined top ten. Sunday will be a busy day for Mir as he works to get through Q1 and prepare for the main race.
Ferocious weather predicted on Sunday has seen a revised schedule introduced and will have the full-distance Australian Grand Prix take place on Saturday with the Sprint Race moved to Sunday, scheduled to run should the weather be less than predicted. This will be the first Grand Prix to take place on Saturday since the Dutch TT in 2015.