Phillip Island MotoGP: Marquez wins thriller as Lorenzo reels in Rossi

Marc Marquez came out on top of an epic four-way battle in the Australian Grand Prix with a last-lap pass on long-time leader Jorge Lorenzo. Valentino Rossi's points lead was reduced with a fourth place finish.

After a frantic series of laps at the start, Lorenzo managed to pull clear of the pack, dispatching early leader Andrea Iannone and looking on course to eat into Rossi's championship advantage.

As Iannone slipped backwards behind Marquez and then Rossi, Lorenzo managed to establish a lead of one second as the top quartet began to distance itself from the chasing pack of Dani Pedrosa, Cal Crutchlow and Maverick Vinales behind.

At mid-distance, Marquez was able to break clear of Rossi and Iannone and reel in Lorenzo, taking the lead for the first time at Honda corner with 10 laps to go.

But three laps later, Lorenzo snapped back at Lukey Heights, and with Rossi and Iannone closing in the defending champion found himself mired in a struggle for best of the rest.

Indeed, Lorenzo appeared to have the victory sealed with two laps to go, holding a 0.8s advantage over the battling trio of Iannone, Marquez and Rossi.

But Marquez forced his way past Iannone's Ducati at the Southern Loop at the start of the final tour, before going on to reduce Lorenzo's gap to nothing.

Marquez arrived on his compatriot's rear wheel going into Lukey Heights, slipping past with a perfectly executed block pass at MG corner to steal a fifth victory of the season by 0.2s, the 24th premier class triumph of his career and his 50th in Grand Prix racing.

"In the beginning, there were many overtakes between me and Valentino and Andrea, and Jorge opened a gap," said Marquez.

"I overheated my front tyre trying to catch him, and then cooled down, and on the last two laps, I said I would push. On the last lap I pushed 100 percent, but I never expected to catch Jorge."

"Marc made an unbelievable last lap, the track record, and I tried to close up on braking but he was a bit harder on the brakes so I couldn't win this race," said Lorenzo.

"I was lucky Andrea beat Valentino, otherwise I would have taken just four points."

Behind, Rossi managed to pass Iannone for third at the Honda hairpin, only to have the place taken off him at Lukey Heights.

"It was an amazing race, incredible. It was first race with a strong fight, and I was happy to fight with the best riders in MotoGP," said Iannone, who suffered the bizarre misfortune of running over a seagull at MG corner early on.

Rossi's fourth place finish means he takes an 11 point lead over Lorenzo at the head of the riders' standings with two races to go.

In the battle for fifth, Pedrosa, who briefly ran as high as third in the opening laps, was able to ease clear of Crutchlow and Vinales late on to seal fifth.

Suzuki rider Vinales was then able to overhaul a fading Crutchlow to match his best ever MotoGP result in sixth.

Pol Espargaro (Tech 3 Yamaha), Aleix Espargaro (Suzuki) and Bradley Smith (Tech 3 Yamaha) completed the top 10, as the second works Ducati of Andrea Dovizioso struggled to 13th.

Home hero Jack Miller meanwhile took Open class honours and the final point in 15th overall.

Race results:

PosRiderTeamBikeTime
1 Marc Marquez  Repsol Honda Team Honda RC213V 40:33.849
2 Jorge Lorenzo  Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha YZR-M1 +0.249
3 Andrea Iannone  Ducati Team Ducati Desmosedici GP15 +0.930
4 Valentino Rossi  Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha YZR-M1 +1.058
5 Dani Pedrosa  Repsol Honda Team Honda RC213V +5.062
6 Maverick Viñales  Team Suzuki ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-RR +6.800
7 Cal Crutchlow  CWM LCR Honda Honda RC213V +9.375
8 Pol Espargaro  Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha YZR-M1 +18.401
9 Aleix Espargaro  Team Suzuki ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-RR +20.039
10 Bradley Smith  Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha YZR-M1 +20.657
11 Scott Redding  Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda RC213V +21.846
12 Danilo Petrucci  Pramac Racing Ducati Desmosedici GP14 +22.840
13 Andrea Dovizioso  Ducati Team Ducati Desmosedici GP15 +29.168
14 Alvaro Bautista  Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia RS-GP +37.244
15 Jack Miller  CWM LCR Honda Honda +40.192
16 Hector Barbera  Avintia Racing Ducati Desmosedici GP14 +48.263
17 Yonny Hernandez  Pramac Racing Ducati Desmosedici GP14 +48.572
18 Loris Baz  Athinà Forward Racing Yamaha Forward +48.677
19 Eugene Laverty  Aspar MotoGP Team Honda RC213V-RS +50.201
20 Mike di Meglio  Avintia Racing Ducati Desmosedici GP14 +50.262
21 Stefan Bradl  Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia RS-GP +50.277
22 Toni Elias  Athinà Forward Racing Yamaha Forward +1:20.942
23 Anthony West  AB Motoracing Honda RC213V-RS +1:23.454
R Nicky Hayden  Aspar MotoGP Team Honda RC213V-RS  
R Damian Cudlin  E-Motion IodaRacing Team ART  

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Event Australian GP
Sub-event Sunday race
Track Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit
Drivers Valentino Rossi , Jorge Lorenzo , Dani Pedrosa , Marc Marquez , Andrea Iannone
Teams Yamaha Factory Racing , Repsol Honda Team , Ducati Team
Article type Race report