Phillip Island - World
champion Marc Marquez secured his 11th victory of the season at the
Australian MotoGP after disaster struck fellow Spaniard Maverick
Vinales, who crashed on the last lap.
The Monster Energy Yamaha rider had dominated all weekend at Phillip
Island and was leading for much of the race until Repsol Honda's Marquez
darted past in the dying stages.
In desperate bid to retake the lead, Vinales pushed too hard and
skidded out to hand his gifted rival, who clinched his sixth MotoGP
world title in Thailand this month, a fifth win in a row.
Britain's Cal Crutchlow, who suffered career-threatening injuries at
Phillip Island last year, came second on his LCR-Honda with Australian
Jack Miller third on a Ducati.
Italian veteran Valentino Rossi, racing in an amazing 400th Grand Prix, was eighth.
"It was an incredible, incredible victory because today we were not
the fastest on the racetrack," said Marquez, who became Honda's most
successful ever premier class rider with his 55th win surpassing
Australian great Mick Doohan.
"Maverick was fastest but I was waiting for him... and I did a strong move to pass, it was the only chance for me.
"The whole weekend has been crazy," he added, after qualifying was
called off on Saturday due to strong winds and instead run on Sunday
Asked about becoming Honda's most successful ever rider, he said:
"They are the biggest manufacturer in the world, so I'm happy and just
enjoying the dream."
It was a crushing loss for
Vinales, who won in Australia last year and started from pole, having
reigned supreme through practice and qualifying.
He had a terrible start, slipping to sixth as Rossi powered to the
lead before and disaster for exciting French rookie Fabio Quartararo in
an incident-packed first lap.
Quartararo, who was second to Marquez in Japan last weekend, and Danilo Petrucci collided, crashing out at turn two.
It was a sobering end for the 20-year-old, who was second on the grid
after having to go through preliminary qualifying (Q1) for the first
time following a nasty spill in Friday practice.
By lap four Crutchlow had moved into the lead, but Vinales and
Marquez were starting to apply pressure and by lap 10 Vinales was in
front with his rival stalking him.
They began to put the hammer down and pull clear of the field as it
turned into a two-horse race, leaving the rest in a dog fight for third.
Marquez was riding on the limit, giving everything he had to stay in
touch and finally edged past Vinales at the start of the final lap
before the late drama as drops of rain started to fall.
Crutchlow was ecstatic about making the podium after the horrors of
last year, when he fractured his ankle and had to undergo surgery.
"Crashes don't normally phase me but that one has haunted me all year," he said after his best result of 2019.
"I was not happy coming to this Grand Prix thinking about it, about
what could happen, so to have a podium back here is very, very special."
Results and standings after the Australian MotoGP at Phillip Island, the 17th of the 19-round world championship series, on Sunday:
1. Marc Marquez (ESP/Honda) 40min 43.729, 2. Cal Crutchlow (Honda-LCR) at 11.413sec, 3. Jack Miller (AUS/Ducati-Pramac) 14.499, 4. Francesco Bagnaia (ITA/Ducati-Pramac) 14.554, 5. Joan Mir (ESP/Suzuki) 14.817, 6. Andrea Iannone (ITA/Aprilia) 15.280, 7. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA/Ducati) 15.294, 8. Valentino Rossi (ITA/Yamaha) 15.841, 9. Alex Rins (ESP/Suzuki)16.032, 10. Alex Espargaro (ESP/Aprilla) 16.590
Did not finish: Fabio Quartararo (FRA/Yamaha-SRT), Maverick Vinales, Danilo Petrucci (ITA/Ducati), Mika Kallio (FIN/KTM), Tito Rabat (ESP/Avinta)
World championship standings:
1. Marc Marquez (ESP/Honda) 375pts, 2. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA/Ducati) 240, 3. Alex Rins (ESP/Suzuki) 183, 4. Maverick Vinales (ESP/Yamaha) 176, 5. Danilo Petrucci (ITA/Ducati) 169, 6. Fabio Quartararo (FRA/Yamaha-SRT) 163, 7. Valentino Rossi (ITA/Yamaha) 153, 8. Jack Miller (AUS/Ducati) 141, 9. Cal Crutchlow (GBR/Honda) 133, 10. Franco Morbidelli (ITA/Yamaha) 105.
1. Brad Binder (RSA/KTM) 38min 53.277, 2. Jorge Martin (ESP/KTM) at 1.968sec, 3. Thomas Luethi (SUI/Kalex) 6.021, 4. Jorge Navarro (ESP/Speed Up) 8.151, 5. Lorenzo Baldassarri (ITA/Kalex) 8.806
1. Alex Marquez (ESP/Kalex) 242 pts, 2. Thomas Luethi (SUI/Kalex) 214, 3. Brad Binder (AFS/KTM) 209, 4. Jorge Navarro (ESP/SpeedUp) 199, 5. Augusto Fernandez (ESP/Kalex) 192
1. Lorenzo Dalla Porta (ITA/Honda) 37min 45.817sec, 2. Marcus Ramirez (ESP/Honda) at 0.077sec, 3. Albert Arenas (ESP/KTM) 0.088, 4. Tatsuki Suzuki (JPN/Honda) 0.126, 5. John McPhee (GBR/Honda) 0.330
1. Lorenzo Dalla Porta (ITA/Honda) 254 pts, 2. Aron Canet (ESP/KTM) 182, 3. Tony Arbolino (ITA/Honda) 168, 4. Marcos Ramirez (ESP/Honda) 164, 5 John McPhee (GBR/Honda) 147.