MotoGP

Phillip Island MotoGP: Vinales crash on final lap gifts Marquez win

Reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez was victorious in the Australian Grand Prix as long-time race leader Maverick Vinales crashed out on the final lap.

Both Marquez and Vinales started from the front row but had slow getaways, meaning Valentino Rossi – making his 400th MotoGP start – held the lead, with Cal Crutchlow and Andrea Iannone completing an unusual early top three behind the Yamaha rider.

Fabio Quartararo’s attempts to score a maiden MotoGP victory ended after just two corners when he went wide at Southern Loop and found himself in exactly the wrong spot to be hit by the high-siding Danilo Petrucci behind him.

Rossi held the lead for three laps before Crutchlow passed him, and they Yamaha rider then lost several positions in quick succession, dropping as low as seventh.

Iannone put his Aprilia in the lead with a move at Turn 10, but Crutchlow slipstreamed back ahead of him on the main straight.

The Briton cemented his lead for the next few laps while Iannone duelled with Marquez before Vinales, recovering from a slow start, overtook both in quick succession, and then passed Crutchlow at Turn 4 on lap 10.

Marquez barged past Crutchlow at Lukey Heights in order to stay with Vinales, and from there the top two quickly pulled away from the chasing pack.

Marquez shadowed Vinales for the remaining 17 laps of the race, with the gap between the two less than a tenth each time they crossed the line in the final stages, before the Honda rider pounced on the final lap – slipstreaming past Vinales on the main straight then holding off the Yamaha rider at Turn 4.

Vinales lined up a move at Turn 10, where he had earlier passed Marquez, but he crashed as he exited Lukey Heights – leaving Marquez to take the chequered flag on his own.

That victory was his 11th of the season and his fifth in a row, while Marquez also surpassed 500cc legend Mick Doohan to become Honda’s most successful premier-class rider in terms of wins.

Crutchlow inherited second to complete a Honda 1-2, his best result of 2019, finishing 11.4 seconds behind Marquez.

Vinales’s crash gifted Jack Miller a podium finish on home soil as he beat his Pramac team-mate Francesco Bagnaia by half a tenth.

Bagnaia, like fellow rookie Joan Mir behind him, celebrated the best result of his rookie season.

Iannone faded after his early race heroics but still secured sixth, beating Andrea Dovizioso’s Ducati by just 0.014s, while Rossi ended up eighth.

Alex Rins was a disappointing ninth despite running fourth at one point, while the top 10 was completed by the second Aprilia of Aleix Espargaro.

Johann Zarco finished 13th on his first outing with the LCR Honda squad while Jorge Lorenzo finished dead last in 16th, more than a minute behind his team-mate Marquez.

Result – 27 laps

Pos Rider Team Bike Gap
1 Marc Marquez Honda Honda 40m43.729s
2 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda Honda 11.413s
3 Jack Miller Pramac Ducati Ducati 14.499s
4 Francesco Bagnaia Pramac Ducati Ducati 14.554s
5 Joan Mir Suzuki Suzuki 14.817s
6 Andrea Iannone Aprilia Aprilia 15.280s
7 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Ducati 15.294s
8 Valentino Rossi Yamaha Yamaha 15.841s
9 Alex Rins Suzuki Suzuki 16.032s
10 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia Aprilia 16.590s
11 Franco Morbidelli Petronas Yamaha Yamaha 24.145s
12 Pol Espargaro KTM KTM 26.654s
13 Johann Zarco LCR Honda Honda 26.758s
14 Karel Abraham Avintia Ducati Ducati 44.912s
15 Hafizh Syahrin Tech3 KTM KTM 44.968s
16 Jorge Lorenzo Honda Honda 1m06.045s
Maverick Vinales Yamaha Yamaha Retirement
Mika Kallio KTM KTM Retirement
Tito Rabat Avintia Ducati Ducati Retirement
Danilo Petrucci Ducati Ducati Retirement
Miguel Oliveira Tech3 KTM KTM Withdrawn
Fabio Quartararo Petronas Yamaha Yamaha Retirement

Riders’ standings

Pos Rider Points
1 Marc Marquez 375
2 Andrea Dovizioso 240
3 Alex Rins 183
4 Maverick Vinales 176
5 Danilo Petrucci 169
6 Fabio Quartararo 163
7 Valentino Rossi 153
8 Jack Miller 141
9 Cal Crutchlow 133
10 Franco Morbidelli 105

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