Miguel Oliveira claimed his first Moto2 victory at Phillip Island as KTM broke their duck in style with a magnificent 1-2 finish. The Portuguese rider led home team-mate Brad Binder with Franco Morbidelli taking a safe third, moving him to within touching distance of the 2017 world championship.
Oliveira hit the front immediately on the opening lap with polesitter Mattia Pasini taken out shortly afterwards following a high-side for Marcel Schrotter at the Southern Loop. With the group behind heavily delayed, the two KTMs had managed to break away along with Morbidelli while fourth-placed Thomas Luthi found himself the wrong side of the split.
Once Binder became embroiled in a battle with Morbidelli, Oliveira had a clear path to victory, eventually prevailing by just under three seconds despite a late rain shower. The fight for second was much less clear-cut though with Takaaki Nakagami jumping across the gap to the second-place scrap, only to lose the front end going through the Hayshed shortly after passing the championship leader.
As a result, Binder took second for his maiden Moto2 podium with Morbidelli settling for third spot and sixteen crucial points. The Interwetten rider in fourth wasn’t Luthi but the surprise package Jesko Raffin, edging out Xavi Vierge, while Luthi was shuffled all the way back to tenth in the closing laps by a group containing Alex Marquez, Simone Corsi, Dominique Aegerter and Sandro Cortese.
Moto2 Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix – Result
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