Maverick Vinales storms to victory at Phillip Island ahead of a mighty Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso. The Spaniard owes his victory partly to his winning tyre strategy, featuring the Soft rear, which allowed him to maintain a significant advantage on the pack. Marc Marquez ruled himself out of the race following a perilous incident with Johann Zarco at turn 1.
Petrucci managed to emerge on the lead out of the first corner, while Marquez lost his pole advantage. However, the Italian ran wide and missed the braking point one corner later, gifting his teammate Miller with P1. A very chaotic start characterised the race, with Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso mastering the track with a rocket start.
Marquez made his intentions clear from the first lap and started running away after he reclaimed the lead, ahead of Dovizioso and a fiery Iannone. Jack Miller stayed in the mix along with Zarco and Rossi, as Marquez did not successfully build a gap.
Dovizioso and Miller overtook Marquez a couple of laps later, but the unthinkable happened at turn 1. Zarco got the draft on Marquez and crashed into him at 185 mph: the Frenchman fell and hit the rear of the Honda with his Tech 3. The reigning world champion lost several positions and was later forced to head back to the pits due to the heavy damage on his bike.
In the meantime Maverick Vinales jumped to the lead, with Valentino Rossi charging to second, as Yamaha’s pace started coming alive. The Spaniard quickly built a thick gap on his teammate, who was being threatened by Iannone and Bautista.
As the race went on, the Ducati duo got rid of Valentino Rossi and moved up to P2 with Bautista. Andrea Iannone, who had ran off and lost 2 positions, was back in contention and pressured Rossi before gaining P4. A continuous exchange of positions took place within the group for P2, with Suzuki’s Alex Rins joining the party.
Iannone ramped up his effort and jumped to P2, while closing in on Maverick Vinales until the very last lap but in the end the Spaniard had build too great an advantage. Yamaha’s Spaniard conquered the Australian race, with Iannone and Dovizioso joining him on the podium.
Outstanding performance by Alvaro Bautista, who wore red this weekend, replacing injured Jorge Lorenzo. The Spaniard pushed his Ducati to P4, ahead of Alex Rins and Valentino Rossi. Miller led the race for a lap, but in the end he finished in P7, ahead of Franco Morbidelli, Aleix Espargaro and Bradley Smith, whereas Alma Pramac’s Danilo Petrucci crossed the line in P12.