Phillip Island polesitter Marc Marquez comfortably topped a wet warm-up session ahead of today’s Australian GP.
The session started in full wet conditions, the times languishing in the 1m42s early on as Aleix Espargaro led the way.
A little over five minutes in conditions began to improve with the sun making a rare appearance, the times instantly tumbling with Jack Miller jumping to the top with a 1m40.616s.
He was swiftly replaced by Marquez, who took over with a 1m39.864s. Vinales then joined Marquez in the 39s with a 1m39.940s right at the midway point of the session.
That kick-started a brief battle between Marquez and fellow front-row starter Vinales. The Yamaha rider improved to a 1m39.478s on his next lap to knock Marquez off top spot, Marquez hitting back immediately with a 1m39.337s.
Vinales made a small improvement to close down the gap to just over a tenth with five minutes to go, before Marquez landed the hammer blow – a 1m39.085s – next time around.
That proved unbeatable, Vinales only managing a 1m39.322s before the rain returned inside the last two minutes.
Dani Pedrosa made a surprise wet weather appearance in the top three, jumping to third with a 1m39.512s right before the conditions worsened at the end of the session.
Miller kept his impressive weekend going with P4 thanks to a 1m39.975s, while Pol Espargaro likewise kept his front-running form up with fifth.
Title hopeful Andrea Dovizioso was sixth quickest, just over a second off Marquez, while Danilo Petrucci showed his first sign of decent speed all weekend in seventh.
Sam Lowes was eighth quickest, ahead of Hector Barbera and Valentino Rossi.
Despite the wet conditions, it was a mostly clean session. Cal Cructhlow was the only noteworthy crash, the LCR Honda rider able to get going again after dropping his bike at Turn 6. He finished the session 13th.
Jorge Lorenzo stayed on his Ducati, but was only 15th quickest, the best part of two seconds off Marquez.