Crutchlow Wins in Australia after Marquez Crash

by Louis Suddaby

Cal Crutchlow became the first British rider to ever win a Grand Prix on Australian soil after a dramatic victory at Phillip Island. The LCR Honda rider took full advantage of a crash for newly crowned world champion Marc Marquez to lead home Valentino Rossi who stormed through from fifteenth on the grid to second.

With dry conditions finally prevailing for race day, Marquez raced into a comfortable early lead with a succession of fastest laps while Crutchlow became embroiled in a battle for second with Aleix Espargaro, a battle he won on lap five. By this point, Marc was over 2.5 seconds up the road and seemingly uncatchable but the race took a dramatic turn on lap ten.

Under braking for the Honda hairpin, Marquez lost the front end of his RC213V with his harder front tyre seemingly losing temperature. With his machine too badly damaged, the Spaniard was forced to deal with his first non-finish of the season while Crutchlow inherited a two-second lead.

The man now leading the chase was Rossi after a sensational recovery ride in the early stages, culminating with a pass of Espargaro’s Suzuki at the start of lap ten, but the late race charge towards the LCR Honda never materialised with an error at Honda hairpin costing any chance of a remarkable victory. Instead, that honour went to Crutchlow who eased his way to a second career win by 4.2 seconds.

The fight for the final rostrum spot looked by a straight head-to-head between Espargaro and Andrea Dovizioso’s Ducati but neither had bargained for a resurgent Maverick Vinales who caught them both from thirteenth on the grid. With his teammate crashing out five laps from home, Maverick only had the Ducati to deal with and he did just that, outbraking Dovizioso into MG.

Pol Espargaro, who led the race through turn one, finished an excellent fifth ahead of the off-colour Jorge Lorenzo while Pramac Ducati’s Scott Redding won a five-way scrap for seventh, just ahead of the heroic Bradley Smith who outdragged Danilo Petrucci and Jack Miller on the run to the finish line.


2016 Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix (Race Result)

135. Cal CRUTCHLOWHondaLCR Honda40:48.54325
246. Valentino ROSSIYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP+4.21820
325. Maverick VINALESSuzukiTeam SUZUKI ECSTAR+5.30916
44. Andrea DOVIZIOSODucatiDucati Team+9.15713
544. Pol ESPARGAROYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 3+14.29911
699. Jorge LORENZOYamahaMovistar Yamaha MotoGP+20.12510
745. Scott REDDINGDucatiOcto Pramac Yakhnich+28.3699
838. Bradley SMITHYamahaMonster Yamaha Tech 3+28.7818
99. Danilo PETRUCCIDucatiOcto Pramac Yakhnich+28.7927
1073. Jack MILLERHondaEG 0,0 Marc VDS+28.8156
116. Stefan BRADLApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini+31.8095
1219. Alvaro BAUTISTAApriliaAprilia Racing Team Gresini+47.7344
1368. Yonny HERNANDEZDucatiPull & Bear Aspar Ducati Team+47.7493
1450. Eugene LAVERTYDucatiPull & Bear Aspar Ducati Team+54.3112
157. Mike JONESDucatiAvintia Racing+55.8751
1653. Tito RABATHondaEG 0,0 Marc VDS+1:06.395
1769. Nicky HAYDENHondaRepsol Honda Team+1:22.604
NC8. Hector BARBERADucatiDucati Team+3 Laps
NC93. Marc MARQUEZHondaRepsol Honda Team+18 Laps
NC76. Loris BAZDucatiAvintia Racing+27 Laps

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