Marquez wins with Miller in third at Australian MotoGP

Marc Marquez

Marc Marquez has scored a dramatic victory at the Pramac Generac Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix with a Maverick Viñales crash on the final lap elevating Jack Miller to third place.

After dominating the weekend, Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha) led Marquez (Repsol Honda) heading into the final lap at Phillip Island.

The world champion made his move ahead of Doohan Corner and when Viñales tried to come back at Lukey Heights, he lost the rear of his Yamaha and crashed.

The result means Marquez now has 55 premier class race wins, one ahead of Mick Doohan, and now trails only Valentino Rossi’s 89 and Giacomo Agostini’s 68 all-time victories.

“The most difficult point for me was when Viñales first pushed after getting the lead,” said Marquez.

“But I didn’t give up and stayed with him for four or five laps.

“The weekend was crazy with wet and mixed conditions, but all the Repsol Honda Team did an incredible job.

“We chose a gamble with the soft rear and although it was destroyed, we were able to win the race.”

Cal Crutchlow (Castrol LCR Honda), who led early, came home a distant second with Miller holding off his Pramac Ducati team-mate Francesco ‘Pecco’ Bagnaia at the flag.

A dramatic start saw ‘400’ race-man Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha) taking the lead into Doohan Corner.

Behind, Danilo Petrucci (Ducati Team) high-sided at Southern Loop and flew off his bike, taking out Fabio Quartararo (Petronas SRT Yamaha) in the process.

Crutchlow moved into the lead on Lap 3 as the front nine of the field were covered by nine seconds.

Viñales had dropped outside the top five off the start, but by Lap 6 took the lead at Honda Corner with Marquez following into second ahead of Crutchlow at the approach to Lukey Heights.

The top two then moved away from Crutchlow as the rest of the pack started a non-stop battle.

The group included the likes of the Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso and Gresini Aprilia duo Andrea Iannone and Aleix Espargaro.

Miller was as far back as ninth after starting on both hard front and rear Michelin tyres. He picked riders off one by one, with his biggest challenge coming from Bagnaia, who at one stage got in front of the Australian.

“I saw those three bolt, especially Marc and Maverick, as I knew on the grid they were on the softs,” said Miller.

“So, I just managed the race. Tried not to push too early like I have in the past. Then I got to fourth in the end there and thought that was a good result.

“Then to my surprise on the last lap I came around there and just saw dust off the top of Lukey Heights. I saw it was Maverick and I thought ‘holy… I’m in third now’.

“It’s amazing. We have done a lot of work and a big shout out to the team who got a great base setting with not much track time. They worked overtime and changed the livery and whatnot.

“It has been a great day. It’s not a win but it certainly feels like it.”

The victory to Marquez was his 11th of the season from 17 races and his fifth in succession. In fact, outside a failure to finish at the US Grand Prix, Marquez has finished no lower than second place this year.

As good as it has been for the world champion, the same can’t be said for Repsol Honda team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, who finish 16th and the last rider running. It means Ducati is still in the fight for Manufacturers’ title.

MotoGP packs down tonight and races again next weekend at Sepang in Malaysia.

Race results: Australian MotoGP

Pos Num Rider Nat Team Bike Time/Gap
1 93 Marc MARQUEZ ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda 40:43.729
2 35 Cal CRUTCHLOW GBR LCR Honda CASTROL Honda +11.413
3 43 Jack MILLER AUS Pramac Racing Ducati +14.499
4 63 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA Pramac Racing Ducati +14.554
5 36 Joan MIR ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +14.817
6 29 Andrea IANNONE ITA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +15.280
7 04 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA Ducati Team Ducati +15.294
8 46 Valentino ROSSI ITA Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +15.841
9 42 Alex RINS ESP Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +16.032
10 41 Aleix ESPARGARO ESP Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +16.590
11 21 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha +24.145
12 44 Pol ESPARGARO ESP Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM +26.654
13 5 Johann ZARCO FRA LCR Honda IDEMITSU Honda +26.758
14 17 Karel ABRAHAM CZE Reale Avintia Racing Ducati +44.912
15 55 Hafizh SYAHRIN MAL Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM +44.968
16 99 Jorge LORENZO ESP Repsol Honda Team Honda +1:06.045
DNF 12 Maverick VIÑALES ESP Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1 Lap
DNF 82 Mika KALLIO FIN Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 3 Laps
DNF 53 Tito RABAT ESP Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 24 Laps
DNF 20 Fabio QUARTARARO FRA Petronas Yamaha SRT Yamaha
DNF 9 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA Ducati Team Ducati

Race winner: 27 laps

Championship points

Pos Rider Nat Pts
1 Marc MARQUEZ ESP 375
2 Andrea DOVIZIOSO ITA 240
3 Alex RINS ESP 183
4 Maverick VIÑALES ESP 176
5 Danilo PETRUCCI ITA 169
7 Valentino ROSSI ITA 153
8 Jack MILLER AUS 141
10 Franco MORBIDELLI ITA 105
12 Joan MIR ESP 77
13 Takaaki NAKAGAMI JPN 74
15 Francesco BAGNAIA ITA 50
16 Andrea IANNONE ITA 43
17 Miguel OLIVEIRA POR 33
18 Johann ZARCO FRA 30
19 Jorge LORENZO ESP 23
20 Tito RABAT ESP 18
21 Stefan BRADL GER 16
22 Michele PIRRO ITA 9
23 Hafizh SYAHRIN MAS 8
24 Sylvain GUINTOLI FRA 7
25 Karel ABRAHAM CZE 7
26 Mika KALLIO FIN 2
27 Bradley SMITH GBR  

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