Last lap heroics help Marquez clinch victory at Phillip Island
Marc Marquez won his first premier class race at Phillip Island after the Repsol Honda Team rode an astonishing final lap to snatch victory from Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Iannone who finished in second and third place respectively.
Today’s Australian Grand Prix turned into a four-way battle for the lead with Marquez, Lorenzo, Iannone and Valentino Rossi trading places throughout the twenty-seven lap contest. Such was the intensity of the fight for victory that Marquez’s finishing time beat the previous Australian Grand Prix record race time by thirteen seconds. Marquez’s final lap was completed in a time of 1’29.280 – the quickest lap of the race – during which time he managed to overtake Lorenzo at MG corner and power through the final two turns to take the checkered flag 0.249 seconds ahead of his compatriot. Ducati Team’s Andrea Iannone rode a brilliant race and after challenging for victory, managed to resist the attention of Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider Rossi on the final lap to take the final podium spot by just one tenth of a second ahead of his fellow Italian.
The Australian Grand Prix took place in fine weather conditions with the track temperature peaking at 38°C at the start of the race and only dropping by a couple of degrees by the final lap. The conditions were almost a carbon-copy of what they were during Free Practice 4 and qualifying yesterday and so tire choice for the race mimicked that of yesterday’s sessions. The newly-developed asymmetric front slick was the unanimous choice for the race, with all twenty-five participants selecting it for its balance of warm-up performance, braking feel and cornering stability. For the rear tire, sixteen riders — including all the factory Ducati, Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha entrants — selected the medium compound rear slick for the race, with the remaining nine riders opting for the soft compound rear slick. tire performance during the race was quick and consistent, highlighted by the top seven riders completing the lap in quicker time than the previous overall race time record.
Lorenzo’s second place in Phillip Island helps him close the points gap to the current championship leader, Valentino Rossi to just eleven points with two rounds remaining. Marquez’s win sees him consolidate third place on the points table, a further 63 points behind Lorenzo.
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle tire Development Department
“Congratulations to Marc and Honda on a well-deserved victory in Australia, Marc’s final lap was outstanding and was a strong reminder of his championship-winning skills. I am pleased that we had fine weather conditions for today’s race as it meant the riders could ride at one-hundred percent for the whole race and the record pace we saw today was proof of how hard the riders at the front of the race were pushing each other. Our new asymmetric front slick was chosen by all riders for the race and performed very well, while our rear slicks showed consistent performance over a very demanding twenty-seven laps. The pace in all sessions was very quick and in MotoGP there was only one crash over the entire race weekend at what is the fastest circuit on the calendar and it this result which pleases me the most. This was a productive weekend for Bridgestone, but now our attention turns to the Malaysian Grand Prix next weekend, where we are looking forward to the challenge of providing tires that can deal with the high speeds and hot temperatures of the Sepang International Circuit.”
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team – Race Winner
“During the race I felt good and in the opening laps there were many overtakes between me, Andrea and Valentino but that meant Jorge was able to pull a gap. Later in the race I was getting some movement from my front tire, so I decided to back off a little and save my tires until the last three laps and then I could make an unbelievable final lap and catch Jorge. We have been working hard to improve our results, so I am really happy that we were able to take the victory today.”