Marc Marquez set the fastest lap of the race on the final lap to overhaul Jorge Lorenzo in an Australian Grand Prix for the ages at Phillip Island. The Spanish duo were part of a thrilling four-way fight for victory with Andrea Iannone and Valentino Rossi and in the end, Marquez emerged as the winner after passing Lorenzo three corners from home.
The Grand Prix was littered with spectacular overtaking moves but initially, Lorenzo looked set for another lights-to-flag victory when he opened up a one second advantage on lap six, aided in part by a bizarre incident which saw Iannone strike a seagull that wandered into harm’s way. The break also came by virtue of the squabbling behind with Marquez, Rossi and Iannone all intent on leading the chase but once Marquez settled into second, the leading quarter soon telescoped together again.
With ten laps remaining, Marquez hit the front for the first time at Honda hairpin but Lorenzo’s greater corner speed in the middle sector enabled him to fight back at turn seven. Marc was unable to fight back this time and with Lorenzo easing away again, that appeared to be that, especially with Rossi now piling on the pressure for second.
The championship leader looked set to minimize the damage to his points advantage when he dived through at MG with three to go but as the two legends leaned on each other, Iannone sneaked through the back door to regain P2. At the start of the final lap, Marc finally edged ahead of the inspired Ducati rider but with 0.7s separating him from the leader, a first Phillip Island win looked beyond him.
Marquez had other ideas though and despite worn tyres and intense pressure from behind, the world champion produced the fastest lap of the Grand Prix, a lap that included a sublime move on Lorenzo under braking for MG, to claim a memorable win. Iannone and Rossi were also trading places on the last lap with the younger Italian resisting a desperate lunge at MG to hold off the second Yamaha for a superb podium.
Dani Pedrosa led the second group in fifth with Maverick Vinales enhancing his already impressive reputation by beating Cal Crutchlow to sixth. Pol Espargaro took eighth ahead of his brother Aleix while Bradley Smith rounded out the top ten, ensuring he will end the season as top satellite rider.
2015 PRAMAC AUSTRALIAN MOTORCYCLE GRAND PRIX: RACE RESULT
|1||93. Marc Marquez||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||40:33.849|
|2||99. Jorge Lorenzo||Yamaha||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||+0.249|
|3||29. Andrea Iannone||Ducati||Ducati Team||+0.930|
|4||46. Valentino Rossi||Yamaha||Movistar Yamaha MotoGP||+1.058|
|5||26. Dani Pedrosa||Honda||Repsol Honda Team||+5.062|
|6||25. Maverick Vinales||Suzuki||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||+6.800|
|7||35. Cal Crutchlow||Honda||LCR Honda||+9.375|
|8||44. Pol Espargaro||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||+18.401|
|9||41. Aleix Espargaro||Suzuki||Team SUZUKI ECSTAR||+20.039|
|10||38. Bradley Smith||Yamaha||Monster Yamaha Tech 3||+20.657|
|11||45. Scott Redding||Honda||Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS||+21.846|
|12||9. Danilo Petrucci||Ducati||Octo Pramac Racing||+22.840|
|13||4. Andrea Dovizioso||Ducati||Ducati Team||+29.168|
|14||19. Alvaro Bautista||Aprilia||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||+37.244|
|15||43. Jack Miller||Honda||LCR Honda||+40.192|
|16||8. Hector Barbera||Ducati||Avintia Racing||+48.263|
|17||68. Yonny Hernandez||Ducati||Octo Pramac Racing||+48.572|
|18||76. Loris Baz||Yamaha Forward||Forward Racing||+48.677|
|19||50. Eugene Laverty||Honda||Aspar MotoGP Team||+50.201|
|20||63. Mike Di Meglio||Ducati||Avintia Racing||+50.262|
|21||6. Stefan Bradl||Aprilia||Aprilia Racing Team Gresini||+50.277|
|22||24. Toni Elias||Yamaha Forward||Forward Racing||+1:20.942|
|23||13. Anthony West||Honda||AB Motoracing||+1:23.454|
|NC||69. Nicky Hayden||Honda||Aspar MotoGP Team||+18 Laps|
|NC||55. Damian Cudlin||ART||E-Motion IodaRacing Team||+18 Laps|