Alex De Angelis outfought Stefan Bradl on the final lap at Phillip Island to claim his first victory of the year. Bradl had led, pretty much throughout, but saw the JIR rider storm past him in the closing stages and although he has regained the championship lead, his rival Marc Marquez will leave Melbourne the happier man.
De Angelis made a decent start from pole position with the main challenge coming from the second row as Scott Redding and Bradley Smith followed him through turn one. Redding didn't stay in second for too long though as he dived into the lead at turn two while Pol Espargaro also passed the polesitter after a cracking start from sixth on the grid.
The Spanish rookie sensed an opportunity to lead a Moto2 race for the first time and grabbed it on lap three, eventually making the move on Redding stick at the MG hairpin. Stefan Bradl and Mike Di Meglio were next up as both moved past De Angelis and Smith.
Perhaps the excitement of leading got too much for Espargaro as he ran wide at turn six on the fourth lap but Redding only inherited the lead for half a lap as Bradl breezed past him on the start/finish straight, bringing De Angelis with him. While the race for victory quickly turned into a head-to-head between Bradl and De Angelis, the championship leader was causing fireworks further back.
Having started last, Marquez was on a mission and scythed his way past 22 riders on the first lap alone. 16th became 14th at the end of the second lap and incredibly, the Spaniard was up into the top ten by lap six.
The unfortunate demise of Bradley Smith promoted him to seventh on lap eight, with the Briton sliding out of third place and with the second group of riders slowing each other, a podium finish was now a distinct possibility.
This group was still being led by Di Meglio but Italian rider Claudio Corti also had his eyes on a maiden rostrum and sneaked through at the Honda hairpin on lap nine. Marquez was gaining quickly though and having made his way past the likes of Andrea Iannone, Espargaro and Redding, the battle was on for third place.
With eight laps to go, Marquez made his move and slipped underneath Corti at Honda hairpin and although the Italtrans rider made a last ditch attempt to re-pass him in the closing stages, Marquez held on to the final podium position and 16 vital points.
Out in front, De Angelis shadowed Bradl before coming to life at the start of the final lap, diving up the inside of the Kalex into turn one. Bradl tried to fight back at the next corner but left his braking desperately late and made slight contact with the Motobi, De Angelis continued untroubled but Bradl lost ground, forcing him to settle for second.
Marquez now trails by three points in the title chase after finishing third while Corti followed him home in fourth. Pol Espargaro won a fierce battle for fifth ahead of Kenan Sofuoglu, Redding, Iannone and Di Meglio with Yuki Takahashi completing the top ten.
After his early fall, Bradley Smith showed strong pace in the latter stages of the race but could only make it up to 18th.