October 27, 2019 / 1:05 AM / 17 days ago

Yamaha's Vinales takes pole in Australia

FILE PHOTO: Motorcycling - MotoGP - Thailand Grand Prix - Chang International Circuit, Buriram, Thailand - October 5, 2019 Second placed Monster Energy Yamaha's Maverick Vinales celebrates after qualifying REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Yamaha rider Maverick Vinales claimed his third pole position of the MotoGP season ahead of the Australian Grand Prix later on Sunday.

Vinales lapped the Phillip Island circuit in one minute 28.492 seconds, 0.551 seconds faster than second-placed Fabio Quartararo.

MotoGP world champion Marc Marquez, who sewed up his sixth MotoGP title and fourth in a row in Thailand three weeks ago, was third and unable to improve on his time (1:29.216) after taking a skid into the grass during his final flying lap.

Valentino Rossi qualified fourth in his 400th race weekend.

Qualifying was delayed to race-day on Sunday on safety grounds after Portuguese KTM rider Miguel Oliveira crashed heavily when his bike was blown off the track by high winds during practice on Saturday.

The Australian Grand Prix starts at 3 p.m. local time (0400 GMT)

Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Marguerita Choy

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