Marc Marquez extends championship lead to 33 points
Rossi wins a last lap three-way battle for second
Dovizioso in doldrums at Phillip Island
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) took his sixth win of the year in a scintillating Phillip Island showdown, breaking away from an eight-rider fight for the win in the latter stages to take to the top step.
After a tough race for title rival Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) as the Italian suffered an early run-off and was only able to fight back to 13th, it leaves the rider from Cervera now 33 points clear in the standings.
Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) took second as he came out on top of a three-way fight for the podium, with teammate Maverick Viñales taking third.
Viñales is now out of the Championship fight, 50 points back with two rounds to go.
MotoGP 2017 – Round 16 – Phillip Island
It was Marquez who got the holeshot but he couldn’t hold it into Turn 2 as a stunner from Jack Miller (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) saw the Queenslander slice through into the lead – and then start pulling away.
Viñales was the man in third on the chase, as an incredible first lap then took another twist next time round into Turn 1, when Dovizioso went wide and dropped down to P20.
Then the race was on for the Italian, as a seven-rider train at the front closed in on Miller in the lead. Rossi and Viñales were the first to get through, and a lead group of Marquez, Viñales, Rossi, Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and Zarco began to fight it out.
Marquez vs Rossi, Zarco vs Rossi, Viñales vs Marquez, Iannone vs Zarco…in one of the most aggressive and hard-fought battles of the season, decade or more, the passes came thick and fast – including a move for Zarco around the outside of Doohan corner – as rubber was left on the road; a little on opponents’ leathers and a little paint was swapped in one of the most incredible fights in history.
Once Marquez was ahead, however, the reigning Champion was able to begin pulling a gap with five laps to go. Pulling the pin as the battle raged on behind him, the number 93 began to sprint away – and the fight to complete the podium was down to three by the final laps: Rossi vs Viñales vs Zarco.
With some of the tightest lines ever ridden around the Island at times on that final lap, Rossi was able to take it – but all three were almost neck and neck over the line. And over that line behind the nine-time World Champion, it was Viñales just edging ahead of the Tech 3 of the Frenchman – taking third for a return to the rostrum but a definite end to his chance at the title. Zarco’s fourth, however, confirmed him as Rookie of the Year.
After Iannone getting pushed back in the latter stages, Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda) took fifth ahead of the Italian, with Miller, Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and another double delight for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing completing the top ten; Espargaro just pipping Smith.
Dovizioso suffered late heartbreak after losing out on the drag to the line to both Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Racing) and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) and coming home 13th, with Karel Abraham (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) and Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) completing the top fifteen.
Sepang is now ready for business, with the next round soon on the horizon and 33 points swinging the pendulum in Marquez’ favour. But not everything goes to script, as Dovizioso found out at the Island – and the Italian won at Sepang last season. It’s time for a final stand.
MotoGP 2017 – Round 16 – Phillip Island – Race Results
- MARQUEZ Marc 93 SPA 25 Repsol Honda Team Honda 40’49.772
- ROSSI Valentino 46 ITA 20 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1.799
- VINALES Maverick 25 SPA 16 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 1.826
- ZARCO Johann 5 FRA 13 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 1.842
- CRUTCHLOW Cal 35 GBR 11 LCR Honda Honda 3.845
- IANNONE Andrea 29 ITA 10 Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 3.871
- MILLER Jack 43 AUS 9 EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 5.619
- RINS Alex 42 SPA 8 Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki 12.208
- ESPARGARO Pol 44 SPA 7 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 16.251
- SMITH Bradley 38 GBR 6 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM 16.262
- REDDING Scott 45 GBR 5 Octo Pramac Racing Ducati 21.652
- PEDROSA Dani 26 SPA 4 Repsol Honda Team Honda 21.668
- DOVIZIOSO Andrea 4 ITA 3 Ducati Team Ducati 21.692
- ABRAHAM Karel 17 CZE 2 Pull&Bear Aspar Team Ducati 26.110
- LORENZO Jorge 99 SPA 1 Ducati Team Ducati 26.168
- RABAT Tito 53 SPA 0 EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda 26.252
- BAUTISTA Alvaro 19 SPA 0 Pull&Bear Aspar Team Ducati 36.377
- BAZ Loris 76 FRA 0 Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 39.654
- LOWES Sam 22 GBR 0 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 40.400
- BARBERA Hector 8 SPA 0 Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 45.901
- PETRUCCI Danilo 9 ITA 0 Octo Pramac Racing Ducati 48.7682
- PARKES Broc 23 AUS 0 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 57.711
MotoGP Championship Points Standings
- MARQUEZ Marc 93 SPA 269 Repsol Honda Team Honda
- DOVIZIOSO Andrea 4 ITA 236 Ducati Team Ducati
- VINALES Maverick 25 SPA 219 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha
- ROSSI Valentino 46 ITA 188 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha
- PEDROSA Dani 26 SPA 174 Repsol Honda Team Honda
- ZARCO Johann 5 FRA 138 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha
- LORENZO Jorge 99 SPA 117 Ducati Team Ducati
- PETRUCCI Danilo 9 ITA 111 Octo Pramac Racing Ducati
- CRUTCHLOW Cal 35 GBR 103 LCR Honda Honda
- FOLGER Jonas 94 GER 84 Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha
- BAUTISTA Alvaro 19 SPA 70 Pull&Bear Aspar Team Ducati
- MILLER Jack 43 AUS 65 EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda
- ESPARGARO Aleix 41 SPA 62 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia
- REDDING Scott 45 GBR 61 Octo Pramac Racing Ducati
- IANNONE Andrea 29 ITA 60 Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki
- ESPARGARO Pol 44 SPA 49 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM
- RINS Alex 42 SPA 46 Team Suzuki Ecstar Suzuki
- BAZ Loris 76 FRA 45 Reale Avintia Racing Ducati
- ABRAHAM Karel 17 CZE 30 Pull&Bear Aspar Team Ducati
- RABAT Tito 53 SPA 29 EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda
- BARBERA Hector 8 SPA 25 Reale Avintia Racing Ducati
- SMITH Bradley 38 GBR 20 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM
- PIRRO Michele 51 ITA 18 Ducati Test Team Ducati
- KALLIO Mika 36 FIN 11 Red Bull KTM Factory Racing KTM
- LOWES Sam 22 GBR 5 Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia