Sandro Cortese wins rain-shortened Australian 125cc Grand Prix
Sandro Cortese took his second 125cc World Championship victory with a dominant ride in a rain-shortened Australian Grand Prix
Rain on the Phillip Island grid forced a delayed start, but when things did get underway, Cortese asserted himself ahead of the other slick-shod runners while Adrian Martin - on wets - disappeared off into an eight-second lead after only two laps.
With conditions drying out, however, the Aspar Aprilia rider destroyed his tyres quickly and was reeled in by Cortese, the Racing Team Germany rider taking the lead on lap five at Lukey Heights and then quickly pulling away at the front himself.
Another burst of rain with 20 of the 23 planned laps gone brought out the red flags; race organisers declaring the result there and then.
After initial flurries from Caretta KTM racers Alexis Masbou - who led into the first corner - and Jack Miller - the battle for second became a two-horse race between polesitter Johann Zarco and Luis Salom.
The pair traded positions on a number of occasions, with Salom eventually making the critical move on lap 19; the RW Aprilia rider securing the best finish of his career in the process.
Zarco was also passed by his Ajo Derbi team-mate Efren Zarco on lap 21, but with the result declared after 20 laps, he was given back the final spot on the podium.
Alberto Moncayo was a fine fifth on his Andalucia Aprilia while championship leader Nico Terol - after dropping as low as 17th on the opening lap - hauled himself up to sixth by the chequered flag; a result that limited the damage done by Zarco in the battle for the title. Terol's series lead now stands at a reduced 22 points with two races remaining.
Terol's Aspar team-mate Hector Faubel was seventh, ahead of Maverick Vinales (Blusens Aprilia) and Louis Rossi (Matteoni Aprilia).
Britain's Danny Webb and his Mahindra team-mate Marcel Schrotter ran strongly in the top eight for most of the race, but slipped back to 10th and 11th by the finish.
Ajo Aprilia riders Danny Kent and Jonas Folger had terrible races. Kent crashed out of second after only a lap and a half - finishing only 22nd - while Folger failed to start after his engine blew in warm-up.
Pos Rider Team Time 1. Sandro Cortese Intact-Racing Team Germany 34m49.670s 2. Luis Salom RW Racing GP + 13.572s 3. Johann Zarco Avant-AirAsia-Ajo + 14.311s 4. Efren Vazquez Avant-AirAsia-Ajo + 14.926s 5. Alberto Moncayo Andalucia Banca Civica + 22.328s 6. Nicolas Terol Bankia Aspar Team 125cc + 26.689s 7. Hector Faubel Bankia Aspar Team 125cc + 28.887s 8. Maverick Viñales Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing + 35.635s 9. Louis Rossi Matteoni Racing + 36.553s 10. Danny Webb Mahindra Racing + 36.686s 11. Marcel Schrotter Mahindra Racing + 38.608s 12. Luigi Morciano Team Italia FMI + 41.697s 13. Jakub Kornfeil Ongetta-Centro Seta + 43.349s 14. Alexis Masbou Caretta Technology + 47.896s 15. Sturla Fagerhaug WTR-Ten10 Racing + 55.159s 16. Alessandro Tonucci Team Italia FMI + 56.909s 17. Josep Rodriguez Blusens by Paris Hilton Racing + 1m10.093s 18. Taylor Mackenzie Phonica Racing + 1m10.237s 19. Manuel Tatasciore Phonica Racing + 1m10.802s 20. Zulfahmi Khairuddin Airasia-Sic-Ajo + 1m10.844s 21. Brad Binder Andalucia Banca Civica + 1m27.965s 22. Danny Kent Red Bull Ajo MotorSport + 1m37.676s 23. Jack Miller Caretta Technology + 1m40.315s 24. Marco Colandrea WTR-Ten10 Racing + 1 lap 25. Giulian Pedone Phonica Racing + 1 lap 26. Joshua Hook Hook Racing.com + 1 lap 27. Adrian Martin Bankia Aspar Team 125cc + 1 lap
Retirements: Rider Team Laps Niklas AJO TT Motion Events Racing 1 lap Joan PERELLO Matteoni Racing 8 laps Jasper IWEMA Ongetta-Abbink Metaal 11 laps Nicky DILES Aprilia RSW Racing 14 laps
Johann Zarco on 125cc Australian GP pole, despite late crash
Nico Terol takes Sepang 125cc pole as title rival Johann Zarco struggles to 15th