We may have seen the moment that lost Andrea Dovizioso his chance of the world championship. in. FP4 this afternoon Dovi came over Luke’s Heights and got on the brakes for the downhill MG Corner. The front locked immediately, Andrea executed a face-plant and slid inelegantly into the grass. His bike was too damaged to be ready for qualifying so he had to use his number-two machine, with predictable results. He crashed in a straight line on the medium front tyre four laps into his run. The team said it was nowhere near up to temperature. Andrea will start from eleventh on the grid while Marc Marquez, who leads the championship by eleven points, will start from his seventh pole position of the season. He had to deal with a bit of harassment from a feisty Andrea Iannone both on track and in pit lane before pulling clear of the Yamahas of Vinales and Zarco on his second run.
A round of applause for Jack Miller who equalled his career best qualifying position with fifth – set here in Australia last year. This time he did it twenty-two days after having a load of metalwork put in his right leg, that’s one day quicker than Valentino in case you were wondering, but then he is much younger.
Is there hope for Dovi? Yes of course, but he will probably need rain tomorrow and of course the always changeable Phillip Island weather is going to deliver it. The question is, when?