Joan Mir was declared the winner of the Australian Grand Prix after a rain shower seven laps from the finish, confirming the Spaniard as 2017 Moto3 champion. Mir led a Leopard Racing 1-2 from team-mate Livio Loi with his class-record ninth win of the season giving him an unassailable 70 points lead over Romano Fenati.
With the slipstream as powerful at Phillip Island as perhaps any other circuit on the calendar, the riders would often run four wide down the main straight with nobody able to break away from the leading group. In fact, the only riders to drop out of the pack were retirees with Fabio Di Giannantonio suffering a painful high-side at the Southern Loop while Aron Canet, another championship frontrunner, would tumble at the Honda hairpin.
Mir’s championship-winning campaign has been built on some exceptional tactical rides and with the drizzle starting to fall, the Spaniard recognising the need to lead over the finish line. Once the rain intensified shortly after two-thirds distance, race direction were left with no alternative but to halt proceedings although the riders had unanimously at up, effectively making the decision for them.
Crucially, Mir had indeed led over the line to complete lap sixteen and the subsequent victory saw him crowned world champion with two races to spare. Loi completed a dream day for Leopard with second from 21st on the grid while polesitter Jorge Martin edged out Gabriel Rodrigo for the final rostrum position. Enea Bastianini was fifth ahead of Romano Fenati who all-but clinched the championship runner-up spot courtesy of Canet’s crash.
Ayumu Sasaki was next up in a career-best seventh, moving him back ahead of Marco Bezzecchi in the Rookie of the Year battle, with Adam Norrodin finishing at the tail of the leading group in eighth. Tatsuki Suzuki was ninth while Lorenzo Dalla Porta secured his first top ten finish of 2017 aboard the Aspar Mahindra.
Moto3 Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix: Result
|1||36. Joan Mir||Honda||Leopard Racing||24:51.490||25|
|2||11. Livio Loi||Honda||Leopard Racing||+0.351||20|
|3||88. Jorge Martin||Honda||Del Conca Gresini Moto3||+0.359||16|
|4||19. Gabriel Rodrigo||KTM||RBA BOE Racing Team||+0.388||13|
|5||33. Enea Bastianini||Honda||Estrella Galicia 0,0||+0.408||11|
|6||5. Romano Fenati||Honda||Marinelli Rivacold Snipers||+0.808||10|
|7||71. Ayumu Sasaki||Honda||SIC Racing Team||+0.834||9|
|8||7. Adam Norrodin||Honda||SIC Racing Team||+1.291||8|
|9||24. Tatsuki Suzuki||Honda||SIC58 Squadra Corse||+3.648||7|
|10||48. Lorenzo Dalla Porta||Mahindra||Mahindra MRW Aspar Team||+4.005||6|
|11||8. Nicolo Bulega||KTM||Sky Racing Team VR46||+4.036||5|
|12||84. Jakub Kornfeil||Peugeot||Peugeot MC Saxoprint||+4.085||4|
|13||65. Philipp Oettl||KTM||Südmetall Schedl GP Racing||+4.251||3|
|14||16. Andrea Migno||KTM||Sky Racing Team VR46||+6.004||2|
|15||96. Manuel Pagliani||Mahindra||CIP||+6.540||1|
|16||64. Bo Bendsneyder||KTM||Red Bull KTM Ajo||+19.418|
|17||41. Nakarin Atiratphuvapat||Honda||Honda Team Asia||+25.293|
|18||14. Tony Arbolino||Honda||SIC58 Squadra Corse||+40.800|
|19||6. Maria Herrera||Mahindra||Mahindra MRW Aspar Team||+40.858|
|20||27. Kaito Toba||Honda||Honda Team Asia||+43.698|
|21||42. Marcos Ramirez||KTM||Platinum Bay Real Estate||+1:38.853|
|22||70. Tom Toparis||KTM||Cube Racing||+1 Lap|
|23||58. Juanfran Guevara||KTM||RBA BOE Racing Team||+1 Lap|
|24||40. Darryn Binder||KTM||Platinum Bay Real Estate||+3 Laps|
|NC||44. Aron Canet||Honda||Estrella Galicia 0,0||+5 Laps|
|NC||4. Patrik Pulkkinen||Peugeot||Peugeot MC Saxoprint||+6 Laps|
|NC||12. Marco Bezzecchi||Mahindra||CIP||+8 Laps|
|NC||95. Jules Danilo||Honda||Marinelli Rivacold Snipers||+10 Laps|
|NC||21. Fabio Di Giannantonio||Honda||Del Conca Gresini Moto3||+11 Laps|
|NC||23. Niccolo Antonelli||KTM||Red Bull KTM Ajo||+14 Laps|
|NC||17. John McPhee||Honda||British Talent Team||+16 Laps|