Marquez wins in Australia, Binder does it for South Africa

Marquez wins in Australia, Binder does it for South Africa

Image via Marc Marquez twitter: @marcmarquez93

Marc Marquez’s final lap pass on Maverick Vinales all but sealed the deal at the Australian MotoGP with the Honda rider handed an easy run to the line as his rival crashed.

It was Marquez’s fifth victory in a row with the Spaniard surpassing Mick Doohan to become Honda’s most successful premier-class rider.

Marquez made it work for it, at first

Marquez and Vinales started Sunday’s race from the front row of the Phillip Island grid but it was Valentino Rossi who made the better start.

The Italian shot through to lead the race while Fabio Quartararo, Marquez’s closest rival in recent races, suffered an early exit as he was taken out by Danilo Petrucci.

Rossi and Cal Crutchlow, who 12 months ago was lying in a hospital bed wondering if his career was over, took turns up at the front before Andrea Iannone brought his Aprilia into the fight.

All the while, Marquez and Vinales were doing the hard yards to recover from their poor starts.

Vinales stormed ahead on lap 10 to lead the race with Marquez following him through, the duo quickly making it a two-rider fight as they pulled away from the chasing pack.

Vinales led through to the final lap only to be passed by Marquez at Turn 1, the 2019 champion-elect using the slipstream to gain momentum.

Vinales’ challenge ended when, trying to fight back, he lost the rear end of his Yamaha at Lukey Heights, going down and out of the race.

Marquez crossed the line to claim his 11th win of this season and his fifth in a row.

“It was difficult when Vinales started to push very hard, very fast through the corners but I knew that if I didn’t give up it would be possible.

“The weekend was crazy; rain, mixed conditions, cold, wind.

“The team did a great job, they were incredible.

“We took a gamble with the soft rear and in the end it was completely destroyed but I was able to win the race.”

Local lad Jack Miller celebrates

Vinales’ crash elevated Cal Crutchlow to second but it was Australian lad Jack Miller who had the biggest grin of all as he went from fourth to third.

The Pramac Ducati rider spent much of the race involved in an eight-rider fight for third place but settled for fourth place as he struggled to stick with Crutchlow in the closing laps.

However, with Vinales going down, he found himself on the podium at his home race.

“I saw Marc and Maverick bolt so just managed my race,” he said.

“I got to fourth there and thought that was probably the best I could do so just defend the position.

“And then to my surprise on the last lap I just saw dust on the top of Lukey and thought ‘What was that?’.

“It was Maverick and I was ‘Holy, I’m in third now’

“It’s not a win but feels like it a little bit.”

Disappointment for MotoGP’s former champs

Although Rossi led for several laps in the early stages, the Italian began to lose ground midway through the race.

Embroiled in a fierce battle for third as he made his 400th MotoGP start, he lost several positions in quick succession and brought his Yamaha home in eighth place.

Jorge Lorenzo was dead last in 16th place, over a minute behind his team-mate Marquez.

The South African prospects

It was a fantastic day Down Under for South African brothers, Brad and Darryn Binder.

Brad, competing in his final season in Moto2 before stepping up to MotoGP with KTM, started second on the grid before racing his way to victory lane.

The former Moto3 champ crossed the line 1.9s ahead of Jorge Martin.

Darryn made it a double points-haul for the brothers as he finished P6 in the Moto3 race won by Lorenzo Dalla Porta.

MotoGP resultMarc Marquez – Honda – 40m43.729sCal Crutchlow – LCR Honda – 11.413sJack Miller – Pramac Ducati – 14.499sFrancesco Bagnaia – Pramac Ducati – 14.554sJoan Mir – Suzuki – 14.817sAndrea Iannone – Aprilia – 15.280sAndrea Dovizioso – Ducati – 15.294sValentino Rossi – Yamaha – 15.841sAlex Rins – Suzuki – 16.032sAleix Espargaro – Aprilia – 16.590sFranco Morbidelli – Petronas Yamaha – 24.145sPol Espargaro – KTM – 26.654sJohann Zarco – LCR Honda – 26.758sKarel Abraham – Avintia Ducati – 44.912sHafizh Syahrin – Tech3 KTM – 44.968sJorge Lorenzo – Honda – 1m06.045s

Did not finish

Maverick Vinales – YamahaMika Kallio – KTMTito Rabat – Avintia DucatiDanilo Petrucci – DucatiFabio Quartararo – Petronas YamahaHelp support journalists, the guardians of independent journalism, through our student media initiative that gives a voice to students and their generation! Find out more…Tags: MotoGP


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