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Old 10-18-2015, 04:00 PM   #1
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MotoGP: Phillip Island Thriller

Marc Marquez took top honors in what will surely go down as one of the best MotoGP races of this era. Photo Courtesy of Repsol Honda

You can attach many superlatives to this year’s Australian Grand Prix – epic, amazing, incredible. They all work and somehow come a bit short (maybe because they are often overused) to describe the battle that took place at Phillip Island. It was a four-way battle between Marc Marquez, Andrea Iannone, Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi. The man who won that knock down drag out fight was Marquez, the Repsol Honda rider passing Lorenzo on the last lap to end his string of bad luck at Phillip Island and take his first premier class win in Australia.

The drama-filled race included multiple lead changes, passes that looked impossible to stick, moments of contact and even a guess star – some poor Seagull that met its demise and nearly spelled disaster for Ducati’s Iannone. Heightening that drama was the title fight between the Movistar Yamaha’s Lorenzo and Rossi. A battle that intense can end up with someone on the ground and have a big impact on a championship, putting spectators further on the edge of their seat.

Marquez (93) made the pass for the win on Jorge Lorenzo (99) in the final moments of the race. Photo Courtesy of Repsol Honda

Amazingly everyone stayed on two wheels, Lorenzo gained a valuable seven points back on Rossi who finished behind Iannone in fourth, making it an 11-point gap with two rounds left.

It was an amazing spectacle for the fans, but the riders themselves appreciated it too.

“When I was looking at the Moto3 race I say I want to be there, because normally in MotoGP never happen,” Marquez said. “The race was one of the best in MotoGP race that I did in my career.”

Iannone concurred, even though he was not standing on the top spot of the podium.

“Is incredible,” Iannone said. “Is one of my best race in MotoGP class. Yes, sure, I don't win but was an amazing fight with the best riders – Jorge, Vale [Rossi] and Marc.”

For a moment it looked as though Lorenzo (99) was going to run away with it, but the others caught back up. Photo Courtesy of Movistar Yamaha

Lorenzo gave the race great praise, and added that it was one of the toughest races of his career.

“For sure for the people watching was the best of this year and probably in the last five to 10 years,” Lorenzo said. “For me, it was one of the hardest races of my life, especially in the beginning because Andrea always overtook me on the straight. I was trying everything that I have in the last sector to get a little advantage, but always he pass me. Was very difficult to be patient and to wait on the opportunity where he makes little mistakes on some corners to overtake him again.

“As with Marc, very hard to keep pace and on the last laps I gave everything that I have. Reminds me a little bit of the old times of 125, that I give everything I have in the last laps.”

Perhaps Lorenzo is less mad at Iannone (29) for tagging along yesterday in qualifying as the Italian held off Rossi (46) and gave Lorenzo some valuable points in the championship. Photo Courtesy of MotoGP

Marquez’ win helped lessen the damage of Rossi’s fourth place finish. If Lorenzo had won it would have been a six-point gap instead of 11 and at this stage the championship has more urgency.

“It's a shame to not stay on the podium especially today that I had a good pace, I had a good speed during the race. So arriving just four is a pity,” Rossi said. “We said that it [the championship] was very important already 10 races ago, but now it start to be important, important, important. It will be very tough the last two races.”

2015 MotoGP Phillip Island Results:
  1. Marc Marquez (SPA) Repsol Honda Team
  2. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Movistar Yamaha
  3. Andrea Iannone (ITA) Ducati Team
  4. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Movistar Yamaha
  5. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda
  6. Maverick Vinales (SPA) Team Suzuki Ecstar
  7. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) LCR Honda
  8. Pol Espargaro (SPA) Monster Yamaha Tech 3
  9. Aleix Espargaro (SPA) Team Suzuki Ecstar
  10. Bradley Smith (GBR) Monster Yamaha Tech 3
  11. Scott Redding (GBR) EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda
  12. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Octo Pramac Racing Ducati
  13. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Ducati Team
  14. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
  15. Jack Miller (AUS) LCR Honda
  16. Hector Barbera (SPA) Avintia Racing Ducati
  17. Yonny Hernandez (COL) Octo Pramac Racing Ducati
  18. Loris Baz (FRA) Forward Racing Yamaha
  19. Eugene Laverty (IRL) Aspar Honda
  20. Mike Di Meglio (FRA) Avintia Racing Ducati
  21. Stefan Bradl (GER) Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
  22. Toni Elias (SPA) Forward Racing Yamaha
  23. Anthony West (AUS) AB Motoracing Honda
DNF Nicky Hayden (USA) Aspar Honda

DNF Damo Cudlin (AUS) E-Motion IodaRacing Team

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