Australian MotoGP: Crutchlow takes second win as Marquez crashes

Cal Crutchlow claimed his second career MotoGP victory in the Australian Grand Prix, as Marc Marquez crashed out of the lead and Valentino Rossi charged from 15th to second

Australian MotoGP: Crutchlow takes second win as Marquez crashes

The LCR Honda rider grabbed the lead when Marquez crashed at Phillip Island's Turn 4, and brought it home to win his second race in the last six, having ended a run of 35 years without a British winner at Brno in August.

Polesitter and newly-crowned champion Marquez looked to have the race in control, building gap nearing three seconds early.

Crutchlow eventually wrestled second place from Suzuki's Aleix Espargaro and Tech3 Yamaha's Pol Espargaro on lap six, and took 0.7s out of Marquez's lead over the next three laps.

The Spaniard responded with his personal best lap of the race, but then crashed at Turn 4, losing the front end of his Honda on lap 10 of the 28.

Seconds earlier, Rossi had taken second place from Aleix Espargaro at Turn 1 and, having started 15th, was 1.803s behind new leader Crutchlow.

From there, though, Crutchlow was untouchable.

He lapped relentlessly in the 1m29s barrier to gradually build a lead his lead over Rossi to more than three seconds for the first time with 12 laps remaining.

Crutchlow had 2014 crash flashbacks while leading

Crutchlow continued to extend his advantage and a mistake by Rossi at Turn 4 two laps later meant it became a seemingly-unassailable 5.589s.

There was no change at the front, and Crutchlow eventually won by 4.218s.

After recording his worst qualifying result in six years on Saturday, finishing second from 15th on the grid was a fine recovery for Rossi.

The Italian was 12th at the end of lap one, ninth on lap three and seventh on lap four, and continued his charge to take what became second from Aleix Espargaro moments before Marquez fell.

For the bulk of the race, it looked like Espargaro would complete the podium.

However he was reeled in by Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso, and having resisted that charge was then caught by his Suzuki team-mate Maverick Vinales, who had moved up the order from 13th.

Vinales moved past Dovizioso and looked set to fight for third, until Espargaro came unstuck at Turn 4 with five laps to go.

Behind Vinales and Dovizoso, who fell to 3.848s behind the Spaniard at the flag, Pol Espargaro was fifth.

Jorge Lorenzo made good progress early, jumping from 12th up to eighth on the first lap, but was passed by Rossi on lap four and his progress thereafter was non-existent.

The outgoing champion finished a lonely sixth, losing ground to his team-mate in their fight for second in the championship.

Scott Redding won what was a mammoth, seven-rider fight for seventh, on his Pramac Ducati.

In his second start after an injury layoff, Tech3 Yamaha's Bradley Smith snatched eighth over the line from Redding's team-mate Danilo Petrucci while local Jack Miller completed the top 10.

Miller clashed with Nicky Hayden at Turn 4 in the closing stages, after Ducati's Hector Barbera crashed out of the fight at Turn 6.

Hayden remounted and crossed the line in 17th, while Australian Mike Jones grabbed 15th and the final point in his second MotoGP start with Avintia Ducati.

RESULTS:

Pos Rider Team Laps Gap
1 Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda 27 40m48.543s
2 Valentino Rossi Yamaha 27 4.218s
3 Maverick Vinales Suzuki 27 5.309s
4 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati 27 9.157s
5 Pol Espargaro Tech3 Yamaha 27 14.299s
6 Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha 27 20.125s
7 Scott Redding Pramac Ducati 27 28.369s
8 Bradley Smith Tech3 Yamaha 27 28.781s
9 Danilo Petrucci Pramac Ducati 27 28.792s
10 Jack Miller Marc VDS Honda 27 28.815s
11 Stefan Bradl Aprilia 27 31.809s
12 Alvaro Bautista Aprilia 27 47.734s
13 Yonny Hernandez Aspar Ducati 27 47.749s
14 Eugene Laverty Aspar Ducati 27 54.311s
15 Mike Jones Avintia Ducati 27 55.875s
16 Tito Rabat Marc VDS Honda 27 1m06.395s
17 Nicky Hayden Honda 27 1m22.604s
- Hector Barbera Ducati 24 Retirement
- Aleix Espargaro Suzuki 22 Retirement
- Marc Marquez Honda 9 Retirement
- Loris Baz Avintia Ducati 0 Retirement

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:

Pos Rider Points
1 Marc Marquez 273
2 Valentino Rossi 216
3 Jorge Lorenzo 192
4 Maverick Vinales 181
5 Dani Pedrosa 155
6 Cal Crutchlow 141
7 Andrea Dovizioso 137
8 Pol Espargaro 117
9 Andrea Iannone 96
10 Hector Barbera 84
11 Aleix Espargaro 82
12 Eugene Laverty 73
13 Scott Redding 71
14 Alvaro Bautista 67
15 Danilo Petrucci 65
16 Stefan Bradl 60
17 Bradley Smith 53
18 Jack Miller 48
19 Michele Pirro 36
20 Tito Rabat 29
21 Loris Baz 24
22 Yonny Hernandez 20
23 Katsuyuki Nakasuga 5
24 Alex Lowes 3
25 Nicky Hayden 1
26 Mike Jones 1
27 Hiroshi Aoyama 1


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