With a lap of 1:27.767, Jorge Martin topped qualification in the senior division of the Australian MotoGP as records were also set in Moto2 and Moto3. All three previous records stood for eight or more years.
In his first attempt at Phillip Island, Martin eclipsed the record set in 2013 by Jorge Lorenzo. Second-place Marc Marquez also crossed under the checkers with a lap below the old record as the three principal championship contenders line up immediately behind them.
In the latest round of the MotoGP schedule in Thailand, Francesco Bagnaia closed to within two points of championship leader Fabio Quartararo. This week, he rolls off the grid two positions in front of his rival with the third-fastest lap of 1:27.953, which was .186 seconds off the pole. Quartararo starts fifth with Aleix Espargaro slotting in between.
Including Sunday’s Australian MotoGP, three rounds remain on the schedule, which means one of these points’ leaders has an opportunity to set themselves up as the frontrunner for the title.
Until today @lorenzo99 had been the fastest-ever rider on Phillip Island 💨
But thanks to a stunning 1:27.767 @88jorgemartin has broken the oldest all-time lap record in #MotoGP and both Jorges have talked about it 👇#AustralianGP 🇦🇺 | 🎥https://t.co/bYlzyzhAFp
— MotoGP™🏁 (@MotoGP) October 15, 2022
In a spirited qualification session for the Australian MotoGP, Martin set the early pace in Q2 only to see Bagnaia eclipse him momentarily. Quartararo came close to insinuating himself into the pole mix before getting pushed back to fifth as the time ran off the clock.
In the 2019 edition of this race, the last time the race was run after being canceled by the COVID-19 pandemic, Bagnaia finished best in fourth. Espargaro finished 10th. Quartararo failed to complete a lap that season.
The Japanese MotoGP winner, Australian Jack Miller qualified among the top 10 in front of his countrymen.
Additionally, Fermin Aldeguer posted a time of 1:32.233 in Moto 2 to beat that division’s previous qualification record for the Australian GP set in 2014 as Ayumu Sasaki circled the track at 1:35.854 to better Moto3’s previous record set that same year.
Moto2 points leader, Augusto Fernandez was only .073 second off Aldeguer’s time to start second.
Cameron Beaubier was 11th as the highest qualified American rider in the field. Joe Roberts will start 15th.
LAS VEGAS — The owner of Haas F1 said Mick Schumacher must score some points over the final four races of the season to show he deserves a third season in that seat for 2023.
Gene Haas said Sunday at the NASCAR race in Las Vegas that the F1 organization has spoken to other drivers about next season, but that “Mick’s future is going to be decided by Mick.”
Schumacher is the son of seven-time F1 champion Michael Schumacher. He’s scored 12 points through 18 races with F1 next Sunday scheduled to race at Circuit of the Americas in Texas. There are four races remaining on the F1 schedule.
“We’re just waiting. We need Mick to bring some points and we’re trying to give him as much time as possible to see what he can do,” Haas told The Associated Press. “If he wants to stay with us, he’s got to show us that he can score some more points. That’s what we are waiting for.”
The 23-year-old Schumacher is ranked 16th in the standings out of 20 full-time F1 drivers and has one less race this season than the rest of the field. He missed the second race of the season after a crash in qualifying at Saudi Arabia required a short hospital stay for the German driver.
Kevin Magnussen, who was brought back to Haas this season after his 2021 firing and a year spent racing in the United States, has 22 points and is ranked 14th in the standings.
“We started off the year with resounding success, and I think the middle season wasn’t too good, and we just seem to fall back into our usual way of running,” Haas, the American who also co-owns a NASCAR team with Tony Stewart, told the AP. “We’ve just got to get out of that. And Formula One is so tough. When I started, there was 6 seconds between the leaders and the backend and you had a 107% rule. Now we’re all within 2 seconds, so it’s gotten a lot tougher and there are no bad teams anymore.”
Schumacher’s crashes have tested the patience of Haas and the team leadership.
“In this sport, being kind of a rookie driver, the sport just doesn’t allow it – it’s just too expensive,” Haas said. “If you make any mistakes in driver selection, or strategy, or tire selection, it is costing you millions of dollars.
“I think Mick has got a lot of potential, but you know he costs a fortune and he’s wrecked a lot of cars that have cost us a lot of money that we just don’t have. Now, if you bring us some points, and you are (Max) Verstappen and you wreck cars, we’ll deal with it. But when you are in the back and you wreck cars, that’s very difficult.”
Asked if Schumacher has the full final four races to prove himself to Haas, the team owner said: “Well, if he wins the next one, he’s in. Somewhere in between there is a gray area.”
The drivers being mentioned to replace Schumacher include Antonio Giovinazzi and, more recently, Nico Hulkenberg, who made two starts this season as a substitute driver for Aston Martin.