Phillip Island MotoGP: Vinales ends Yamaha drought, Zarco/Marquez clash

Maverick Vinales broke Yamaha's 25-race MotoGP winless streak with a dominant performance at Phillip Island, as Johann Zarco was lucky to escape a nasty crash with Marc Marquez

Phillip Island MotoGP: Vinales ends Yamaha drought, Zarco/Marquez clash

The Yamaha rider broke away the pack quickly after taking the lead on lap six of 27, his advantage as big as four seconds for a while.

It was both Yamaha and Vinales' first triumph of the season, the team having been winless since Assen last June and the rider since the 2017 Le Mans race a month earlier.

The race also featured another massive shunt at Turn 1, Zarco slamming into the back of Marquez in the short braking zone.

The Tech3 rider was lucky to walk away from a wild ride through the gravel, while the world champion retired with damage to the back of his Honda.

Both Pramac Ducatis had a go at leading the race on lap one, Danilo Petrucci charging from the third row into the lead by the first corner, before sailing wide off the road at Southern Loop and dropping to the back of the field.

That opened the door for hometown hero Jack Miller to sweep into the lead, heading the field from Turn 4 until the start of the second lap.

At that point Marquez breezed into the lead, Andreas Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone following the champion through.

Running softs at both ends, Zarco quickly bought into the top-five battle as well.

As Dovizioso moved into the lead at the start of the fifth lap, the Frenchman found himself scrapping with Marquez as part of the slipstreaming lead pack.

That led to a frightening shunt at the fast first turn, Zarco and Marquez rubbing wheels as they approached the left-hander.

The contact sent Zarco flying dramatically through the gravel, while Marquez managed to hold on to his wounded bike.

Somehow Zarco managed to get straight back on his feet after coming to a stop, while Marquez cruised back to the pits, both their races done and dusted.

It was at that point that the Yamahas took control, Vinales and Valentino Rossi filtering into a reasonably comfortable one-two.

With a soft on the front, Vinales quickly pulled over a second clear of his team-mate as he made a break for clean air.

While Vinales maintained his lead, Rossi fell into the pack behind.

He, Iannone, Jorge Lorenzo's Ducati stand-in Alvaro Bautista, and Dovizioso traded spots behind the leading Yamaha, before Iannone momentarily took himself out of the battle by running wide at Turn 4 with 15 laps to go and dropping to fifth.

He was able to get back into the battle within four laps, helped by how hard Rossi and the factory Ducatis were squabbling.

The two Andreas ultimately pulled clear of what had been a six-way fight for second, initially inspired by Iannone make a brief run at Vinales with four laps to go.

Vinales allowed Iannone and Dovizioso to close back to within two seconds of him, but never seriously looked like surrendering his lead.

As Iannone's burst of pace wore off Dovizioso almost overhauled the Suzuki rider for second on the final lap, with Iannone just able to do enough to hold on to the spot.

Bautista finished up fourth in his role as Ducati supersub, followed by Alex Rins on the second Suzuki.

Rossi and Miller dropped back to sixth and seventh respectively.

Race result

Pos Rider Team Bike Laps Gap
1 Maverick Vinales Yamaha Yamaha 27 40m51.081s
2 Andrea Iannone Suzuki Suzuki 27 1.543s
3 Andrea Dovizioso Ducati Ducati 27 1.832s
4 Alvaro Bautista Ducati Ducati 27 4.072s
5 Alex Rins Suzuki Suzuki 27 5.017s
6 Valentino Rossi Yamaha Yamaha 27 5.132s
7 Jack Miller Pramac Ducati Ducati 27 6.756s
8 Franco Morbidelli MVDS Honda Honda 27 21.805s
9 Aleix Espargaro Aprilia Aprilia 27 22.904s
10 Bradley Smith KTM KTM 27 22.940s
11 Karel Abraham Aspar Ducati Ducati 27 34.386s
12 Danilo Petrucci Pramac Ducati Ducati 27 35.025s
13 Scott Redding Aprilia Aprilia 27 36.348s
14 Takaaki Nakagami LCR Honda Honda 27 36.389s
15 Xavier Simeon Avintia Ducati Ducati 27 44.214s
16 Thomas Luthi MVDS Honda Honda 27 48.226s
17 Jordi Torres Avintia Ducati Ducati 27 1m04.965s
18 Mike Jones Aspar Ducati Ducati 27 1m19.817s
- Pol Espargaro KTM KTM 22 Retirement
- Hafizh Syahrin Tech3 Yamaha Yamaha 18 Crash
- Dani Pedrosa Honda Honda 11 Crash
- Marc Marquez Honda Honda 5 Crash
- Johann Zarco Tech3 Yamaha Yamaha 5 Crash
- Cal Crutchlow LCR Honda Honda 0 Withdrawn

Riders' standings

Pos Rider Points
1 Marc Marquez 296
2 Andrea Dovizioso 210
3 Valentino Rossi 195
4 Maverick Vinales 180
5 Cal Crutchlow 148
6 Danilo Petrucci 137
7 Johann Zarco 133
8 Andrea Iannone 133
9 Jorge Lorenzo 130
10 Alex Rins 129
11 Alvaro Bautista 96
12 Dani Pedrosa 95
13 Jack Miller 83
14 Franco Morbidelli 46
15 Aleix Espargaro 39
16 Tito Rabat 35
17 Pol Espargaro 35
18 Hafizh Syahrin 34
19 Bradley Smith 29
20 Takaaki Nakagami 21
21 Scott Redding 15
22 Karel Abraham 10
23 Mika Kallio 6
24 Katsuyuki Nakasuga 2
25 Xavier Simeon 1
26 Michele Pirro 1
27 Thomas Luthi 0
28 Stefan Bradl 0
29 Jordi Torres 0
30 Mike Jones 0
31 Sylvain Guintoli 0
32 Christophe Ponsson 0


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About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Alex Marquez , Marc Marquez , Johann Zarco
Teams AB Motoracing
Author Andrew van Leeuwen
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