The Pramac Generac Australian GP was decided on the final lap of a sensational race when Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales crashed while trying to pass the eventual winner Marc Marquez, writes MAURICE MONTGOMERY.
It was a dramatic end to a fantastic race that no-one deserved to loose but in the end it was world champion, Marquez, on the Repsol Honda who clinched his 55th premier race win.
It was Valentino Rossi, making his 400th GP start, who led the field on the opening lap but the Italian’s lead only lasted until lap four when Cal Crutchlow on the LCR Honda took over at the front.
While all this was going on both Marquez and pole setter Vinales were on the move and by lap 10 it was the Monster Energy Yamaha rider, Vinales, who hit the front for the first time.
That was the signal for Marquez to make his move and he had no hesitation in forcing his way underneath Crutchlow at the top of Lukey Heights, a move that certainly was harsh on the British rider. Now began a high speed duel between Vinales and Marques.
The world champion shadowed Vinales until making his move going on to the final lap. It was the first time he had led the race and the question on everyone’s lips was where Vinales would retaliate.
It happened as the pair came over the crest of Lukey Heights. Vinales was right on the back of the Repsol Honda rider when suddenly the Yamaha was crossed up into the braking zone and the unlucky Spaniard’s race was over as he crashed through the gravel trap.
Crutchlow inherited a well deserved second place with home favourite Jack Miller bringing the Pramac Ducati home third.
Marquez said: “It has been a crazy weekend with the weather and everything. Maverick was very fast today, but I was able to follow him I knew that if I could stay with him for four or five laps then the victory was possible.
“I didn’t know he crashed but I think I would have had a second chance as I think I could have overtaken him before the finish line too.”