Marquez wins Australian MotoGP from Lorenzo
Oct. 18, 2015
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Reigning world champion Marc Marquez produced a sizzling final lap, snatching the lead from Jorge Lorenzo three corners from home Sunday to win a thrilling Australian MotoGP at Phillip Island.
The race featured repeated changes of placings among the leaders: Marquez, his Spanish compatriot Lorenzo, Italy's Andrea Iannone and overall championship leader Valentino Rossi.
Marquez, on a Honda, wrested the lead from Lorenzo with 10 laps remaining but Lorenzo, riding a Yamaha, reclaimed first place three laps later and seemed bound for a win which would have slashed Rossi's championship lead.
But Marquez ducked through on the inside at the bottom of Lukey Heights on the last of 27 laps and went on to win by 0.25 seconds from Lorenzo, Iannone and Rossi.
Marquez had struggled with an overheated front tire and had fallen almost a second behind Lorenzo at the start of the last lap. But the Spaniard, whose Repsol Honda had been fastest in all four practice and qualifying sessions leading into the Grand Prix, produced a track record 1 minute, 29.280 second final lap to charge into the lead.
Lorenzo held on for second, 0.7 seconds ahead of Ducati rider Iannone who produced the best race of his short career to keep Rossi off the podium. Rossi's overall championship lead was cut to 11 points with two races remaining, at Sepang, Malaysia next weekend and at Valencia, Spain on Nov. 8.
Marquez is a further 63 points behind Lorenzo in third place and may surrender his world title, though he was delighted to celebrate his first win in Australia.
"During the race I felt well but at the beginning there were many overtakes between me, Valentino, Andrea and Jorge who opened some gaps," Marquez said. "Then I pushed a little bit to catch Jorge and it looks like I overheated the front tire.
"I had a lot of movement when I tried to open a gap and I tried to cool down but it was not there. In the last lap I said 'okay, I will push'.
"Andrea did overtake me and then on the last lap I pushed 100 percent. I didn't expect to overtake Jorge but I'm really happy with this victory because we've pushed really hard and the races are not coming but this victory is really nice for us."
Lorenzo was struck by a seagull during the race but continued to push hard for the win.
"I spent some laps behind Marc and I saw he had some problems of traction in some areas," he said. "So I thought if I push very hard he might make a mistake.
"But he made an unbelievable last lap, he made a record of the track and I tried to close the door on the last braking but he was too good."
In Moto2, Spain's Alex Rins claimed the second win of his debut season, by six seconds from Briton Sam Lowes and Lorenzo Baldassarri whose third placing gave him the first podium of his career.
Rins, who started from pole position, moved up to second in the overall standings behind Johann Zarco, who sealed the world championshyip at last weekend's Japanese GP.
In Moto3, KTM rider Miguel Oliveira kept his championship hopes alive by winning while series leader Danny Kent crashed out in a four-bike incident with 10 laps to go.
Britain's Kent had the chance to clinch the world championship on Sunday, taking a 56 points lead into the race ahead of Italian Enea Bastinini who was knocked out of the race in the same incident.
Oliveira's win moved him into second in the championship standings, 40 points behind Kent with two races to go.