LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow got his second MotoGP victory of the season when he held off Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi and Suzuki’s Maverick Vinales, in third, to comfortably win the Australian MotoGP at Phillip Island on Sunday.
Newly-crowned world champion Marc Marquez, who started the race in pole position, had comfortably led but crashed out on Lap 10 to hand the lead to Crutchlow after dropping the front of his Honda at Turn 4, crashing into the gravel and flying through the air for his first DNF of the season.
Lo siento equipo, hoy el error ha sido mio! La proxima mas y mejor!
Sorry team! Today was my mistake!! In Malaysia more!! pic.twitter.com/8m8sqpqH0T
— Marc Márquez (@marcmarquez93) October 23, 2016
Crutchlow then led Rossi by 1.9s, which the Englishman would build to over five seconds. Rossi had started on the grid in 15th place, his worst qualifying spot in half a decade, and fought his way up to second place in just 10 laps.
But despite his run through the field, Rossi could not catch Crutchlow and five laps later the gap was 3.3s and in five more it was 5.6s. Crutchlow would end up finishing the race 4.2s clear of Rossi to secure his second career MotoGP win.
With Crutchlow dominating the race, interest shifted to the battle for third place in the second half of the race with Andrea Dovizioso’s Ducati battling it out with the two Suzuki’s of Maverick Viñales and Aleix Espargaro.
— MotoGP™ (@MotoGP) October 23, 2016
Vinales seemed to hold back and let Espargaro and Dovizioso battle it, then on Lap 23, Vinales made his move, and when challenging his teammate on the run to Turn 4, Espargaro dropped the front end to crash out ending his race.
Vinales then pulled away from Dovizioso to secure third place for Suzuki.
Dovizioso finished in fourth with Yamaha’s Pol Espargaro fifth, and Jorge Lorenzo on his Yamaha finished sixth, never having looked like troubling those above him.
Australian MotoGP results:
1. Cal Crutchlow GBR LCR Honda (RC213V) 40m 48.543s
2. Valentino Rossi ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 40m 52.761s
3. Maverick Viñales ESP Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) 40m 53.852s
4. Andrea Dovizioso ITA Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP) 40m 57.700s
5. Pol Espargaro ESP Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 41m 2.842s
6. Jorge Lorenzo ESP Movistar Yamaha MotoGP (YZR-M1) 41m 8.668s
7. Scott Redding GBR Octo Pramac Yakhnich (Desmosedici GP15) 41m 16.912s
8. Bradley Smith GBR Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (YZR-M1) 41m 17.324s
9. Danilo Petrucci ITA Octo Pramac Yakhnich (Desmosedici GP15) 41m 17.335s
10. Jack Miller AUS Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V) 41m 17.358s
11. Stefan Bradl GER Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 41m 20.352s
12. Alvaro Bautista ESP Factory Aprilia Gresini (RS-GP) 41m 36.277s
13. Yonny Hernandez COL Aspar MotoGP Team (Desmosedici GP14.2) 41m 36.292s
14. Eugene Laverty IRL Aspar MotoGP Team (Desmosedici GP14.2) 41m 42.854s
15. Mike Jones AUS Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP14.2) 41m 44.418s
16. Tito Rabat ESP Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS (RC213V)* 41m 54.938s
17. Nicky Hayden USA Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) 42m 11.147s
Hector Barbera ESP Ducati Team (Desmosedici GP) DNF
Aleix Espargaro ESP Team Suzuki Ecstar (GSX-RR) DNF
Marc Marquez ESP Repsol Honda Team (RC213V) DNF
Loris Baz FRA Avintia Racing (Desmosedici GP14.2) DNF