MotoGP™: Marc Márquez (Repsol Honda Team / Michelin) seals 2018 title with Japan win
Marc Márquez (Repsol Honda Team / Michelin) won the Motul Grand Prix of Japan, Round 16 of the 2018 MotoGPTM World Championship, to make sure of his fifth cr...
The thrilling 2018 Michelin® Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix (Round 17 of the MotoGPTM World Championship) was won by Maverick Viñales. The Yamaha rider was joined on the Phillip Island podium by Andrea Iannone (Ecstar Suzuki Team/Michelin) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team/Michelin) who made it three different bikemakers in the top three.
Viñales, who qualified second on the grid, chose soft and hard MICHELIN Power Slicks front and rear for the race but completed the first of the afternoon’s 27 laps down in eighth place. However, an absorbing fightback saw the factory Yamaha rider ease into the lead on Lap 8 before a sequence of quick laps – including the fastest of the race (1m29.632s) on Lap 10 – enabled him to pull out a decent gap over his chasers. With 10 laps remaining, he was more than three seconds clear and he went on to beat second-placed Iannone over the line by 1.5s.
It was the Spaniard’s first victory since last season’s French GP and his fifth in motorcycle racing’s premier series. It was also Yamaha’s first success since Valentino Rossi’s win at Assen in 2017.
Spectators were kept on their toes by a superb scrap for second place involving Iannone, Dovizioso, Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP/Michelin), Alvaro Bautista (Jorge Lorenzo’s stand-in at Ducati), Alex Rins (Ecstar Suzuki Team/Michelin) and Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing/Michelin) who completed the first lap of his home race at the front of the field.
Rossi, Bautista, Dovizioso and Iannone took turns to appear in second spot, but it was Iannone who finally secured the position for good on Lap 23 to finish ahead of Dovizioso.
Bautista was fourth, while Rins stole fifth place from Rossi on the last lap.
Jack Miller ended up as the best-placed independent team rider in seventh place, ahead of Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS/Michelin), Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini/Michelin) and Bradly Smith (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing/Michelin).
The newly-crowned world champion Marc Márquez (Repsol Honda Team/Michelin) claimed his fifth straight pole position at Phillip Island but was eliminated on Lap 6 after a high-speed tangle with Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3/ Michelin) which also brought down the Frenchman.
Four of the six available MICHELIN Power Slick options were raced in Australia, with only the hard front and medium rear failing to be selected.
Dovizioso’s result has strengthened his grasp on second place in the provisional Riders’ standings in which he is now 15 points clear of third-placed Rossi.
Next race: Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix (November 2-4).