Marquez wins thrilling Australian MotoGP

Marc Marquez pic: MotoGP

Marc Marquez has won a thrilling Australian MotoGP at Phillip Island after an action-packed lead battle dominated the race.

The Honda rider held his nerve in the early stages, keeping himself towards the front of the race in an eight-rider leading pack before sprinting clear with six laps remaining.

With his chasers busy fighting among themselves, Marquez extended his lead at the front of the race to break the tow with four laps remaining, going on to win by more than 1.5s.

A lightning start from Jack Miller saw the Australian move into the lead at the Southern Loop on the opening lap, holding a small advantage until being mugged by both Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi after four laps.

Miller valiantly held on for the first two-thirds of the race until his rear tyre gave up and could do little more than hold on to the coat tails of those ahead.

An early mistake from Andrea Dovizioso saw the Ducati rider drop to 20th at the start of lap two, and while he had the pace of the leaders throughout the race the early damage proved too much.

The Italian spent much of the race battling with Dani Pedrosa for 11th place, before trailing home a lowly 13th after dropping two places within sight of the flag, and important championship points to Marquez.

The Spaniard only hit the front of the race with seven laps to run, prompting Rossi to immediately put a move on Vinales for second as he tried to stay in touch with the championship leader.

Vinales lost another spot when Zarco rode around the outside of the Yamaha at the first corner on the following lap, dropping Vinales to seventh and allowing the front four to inch their way clear of fifth-placed Miller.

An aggressive Andrea Iannone further slowed the battle for second, allowing Vinales and Cal Crutchlow to rejoin.

Rossi clung on for second while Vinales won the drag race to the line for third over Zarco with Crutchlow fifth.

Jack Miller hung on to seventh behind Iannone while Australian substitute Broc Parkes took the flag in 22nd.

His sixth win of the year, victory moves Marquez 33-points clear of Dovizioso with two rounds remaining, and could wrap up the title next weekend at the Malaysian MotoGP at Sepang.

Race results: Australian Grand Prix

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time/Gap
1 93 Marc MARQUEZ SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda 40’49.772
2 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +1.799
3 25 Maverick VIÑALES SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +1.826
4 5 Johann ZARCO FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha +1.842
5 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR LCR Honda Honda +3.845
6 29 Andrea IANNONE ITA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +3.871
7 43 Jack MILLER AUS EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda +5.619
8 42 Alex RINS SPA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +12.208
9 44 Pol ESPARGARO SPA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +16.251
10 38 Bradley SMITH GBR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +16.262
11 45 Scott REDDING GBR OCTO Pramac Racing Ducati +21.652
12 26 Dani PEDROSA SPA Repsol Honda Team Honda +21.668
13 04 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati +21.692
14 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Pull&Bear Aspar Team Ducati +26.110
15 99 Jorge LORENZO SPA Ducati Team Ducati +26.168
16 53 Tito RABAT SPA EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda +26.252
17 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA Pull&Bear Aspar Team Ducati +36.377
18 76 Loris BAZ FRA Reale Avintia Racing Ducati +39.654
19 22 Sam LOWES GBR Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +40.400
20 8 Hector BARBERA SPA Reale Avintia Racing Ducati +45.901
21 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA OCTO Pramac Racing Ducati +48.768
22 23 Broc PARKES AUS Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha +57.711
DNF 41 Aleix ESPARGARO SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 20 Laps

Championship points: After Round 16

Pos Rider Nat Pts
1 Marc MARQUEZ SPA 269
2 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA 236
3 Maverick VIÑALES SPA 219
4 Valentino ROSSI ITA 188
5 Dani PEDROSA SPA 174
6 Johann ZARCO FRA 138
7 Jorge LORENZO SPA 117
8 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA 111
10 Jonas FOLGER GER 84
11 Alvaro BAUTISTA SPA 70
12 Jack MILLER AUS 65
14 Scott REDDING GBR 61
15 Andrea IANNONE ITA 60
17 Alex RINS SPA 46
18 Loris BAZ FRA 45
19 Karel ABRAHAM CZE 30
20 Tito RABAT SPA 29
21 Hector BARBERA SPA 25
22 Bradley SMITH GBR 20
23 Michele PIRRO ITA 18
24 Mika KALLIO FIN 11
25 Sam LOWES GBR 5
26 Katsuyuki NAKASUGA JPN 4
27 Sylvain GUINTOLI FRA 1
28 Takuya TSUDA JPN 0
29 Hiroshi AOYAMA JPN 0
30 Broc PARKES AUS 0

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