Deja Vu: Marquez Crashes, Rossi Cashes

story and photos courtesy of MotoGP

The MotoGP™ race at the Tissot Australian Grand Prix saw Valentino Rossi take his second win of 2014, with Jorge Lorenzo and Bradley Smith also on the podium. Marc Marquez crashed out of an incident packed race whilst leading and Dani Pedrosa was forced to retire after being clipped by Iannone.

Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) started from eighth on the grid in his 250th appearance in the premier class and was there to take advantage as Marquez crashed out of the race lead with 10 laps to go.

It is Rossi’s 108th career win and his 82nd in the top class of Grand Prix racing. The result is also the first all Yamaha podium since Le Mans 2008.

His teammate Lorenzo took second place even though his pace faded towards the end, with Cal Crutchlow crashing out ahead of him when in second on the last lap. Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Smith got his first MotoGP podium as nine riders either crashed or failed to finish, many of them frontrunners in the race.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) crossed the line fourth, with Hector Barbera (Avintia Racing) as high as fifth. In his 200th Grand Prix race Alvaro Bautista (GO&FUN Honda Gresini) was sixth and his teammate Scott Redding seventh.

Hiroshi Aoyama (Drive M7 Aspar), Alex de Angelis (NGM Forward Racing) and Nicky Hayden (Drive M7 Aspar) completed the top ten.

With the pressure off and the MotoGP™ title retained last weekend in Japan, Marquez had fired away at the front looking for a 12th win of the year and attempting to equal Mick Doohan’s record from 1997 for most premier-class GP wins in a single season. But Marquez’s race ended as he lost the front end coming out of Lukey Heights when he led by four seconds.

Karel Abraham (Cardion AB Motoracing) was an early faller. Also early on Iannone (Pramac Racing) came into contact with the rear of Pedrosa’s bike, ending his race. The contact resulted in Pedrosa entering the pits due to bike damage.

Stefan Bradl (LCR Honda MotoGP) clashed with the rear of Aleix Espargaro’s bike, causing the German to fall unhurt. Espargaro (NGM Forward Racing) was forced to stop off several corners later due to the damage to his bike. Broc Parks (Paul Bird Motorsport) entered the pits and retired at mid race distance.

Late on Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) lost the front at turn four while rapidly gaining on Lorenzo, attempting to claim his first MotoGP podium. With just half a lap to go Crutchlow (Ducati Team) fell from an almost guaranteed second place.

After the race Bradl was given one penalty point by Race Direction for his collision with Aleix Espargaro at Turn 4. Smith also receives a penalty point for overtaking under yellow flags in the wake of the Marquez incident. The collision between Iannone and Pedrosa will be reviewed by Race Direction in Sepang as Iannone is still undergoing treatment after his crash.

MotoGP™ Race Classification
1- Valentino Rossi ITA Yamaha 40’46.405
2- Jorge Lorenzo SPA Yamaha +10.836
3- Bradley Smith GBR Yamaha +12.294
1st OPEN
5- Hector Barbera SPA Ducati +30.089

The Moto2™ race at Phillip Island saw an intriguing battle at the front won by Maverick Viñales, with Tom Luthi and Tito Rabat also on the podium. The championship fight goes on to Sepang with Mika Kallio finishing fourth to deny Rabat the title for now.

It was another brilliant performance from Viñales who took his third win of an excellent rookie season in the intermediate class.

Rabat (Marc VDS Racing Team) took the holeshot from pole but an early mistake saw him drop to seventh with a group of five involving Rabat, Viñales (Paginas Amarillas HP 40), Luthi (Interwetten Sitag), Kallio (Marc VDS Racing Team) and Sam Lowes (Speed Up) emerging at the front.

Viñales managed the final stages of the race better than his rivals, crossing the line 1.329s ahead of Luthi, with Rabat 0.175s further back. With Kallio in fourth place, Rabat’s advantage at the head of the standings is 41 points with two races to go.

Lowes eventually crossed the line fifth, less than two seconds off the podium, with Sandro Cortese (Dynavolt Intact GP) over eight seconds behind the Englishman in sixth.

Marcel Schrotter (Tech 3), Dominique Aegerter (Technomag carXpert) , Xavier Simeon (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) and Jordi Torres (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto2) completed the top ten.

Mattia Pasini (NGM Forward Racing) fell after setting an early fastest lap, the Italian able to rejoin but eventually pitting. Thitpong Warokorn (APH PTT The Pizza GP) fell soon after but was unable to rejoin. Warokorn’s fellow Thai rider, Ratthapark Wilairot (AirAsia-Caterham) crashed out with 12 laps to go.

Johann Zarco (AirAsia-Caterham) fell several laps later, but was unhurt.

Moto2™ Race Classification
1- Maverick Viñales SPA Kalex 39’10.419
2- Thomas Luthi SWI Suter +1.329
3- Tito Rabat SPA Kalex +1.504

The Moto3™ race at the Tissot Australian Grand Prix was won by Jack Miller in front of an ecstatic home crowd, with Alex Marquez and Alex Rins also on the podium.

Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Miller rode brilliantly from eighth on the grid to cross the line 0.029s ahead of championship rival Marquez, with Rins just 0.003s behind his Estrella Galicia 0,0 colleague in third. With the victory Miller reduced the standings deficit to 20 points with two races to come at Sepang and Valencia.

The Australian fans were treated to another tense Moto3 contest with Miller, Marquez and Rins running in a large front group of nine and with the race lead changing constantly throughout the 23-lap battle.

Efren Vazquez (SaxoPrint-RTG) was part of that front group and he was unlucky to miss the podium, finishing just 0.012s behind Rins.

John McPhee (SaxoPrint-RTG) was less than a tenth of a second behind Vazquez in fifth, with Alexis Masbou (Ongetta-Rivacold) just 0.108s behind the Scotsman in sixth.

All the riders except Miguel Oliveira (Mahindra Racing) raced with medium front and rear tyres, Oliveira selecting a hard front and crossing the line seventh.

Jakub Kornfeil (Calvo Team), Niklas Ajo (Avant Tecno Husqvarna Ajo) and Niccolo Antonelli (Junior Team GO&FUN) completed the top ten.

Andrea Locatelli (San Carlo Team Italia) and Zulfahmi Khairrudin (Ongetta-AirAsia) both fell at the start of the second lap.

Juanfran Guevara (Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3) and Isaac Viñales (Calvo Team) came together while fighting with the front runners and they were both able to initially rejoin but Viñales ultimately could not finish. Enea Bastianini (Junior Team GO&FUN Gresini) pulled off whilst fighting for points with a technical problem at Lukey Heights.

The closing laps saw Romano Fenati (SKY Racing Team VR46) crash out, soon after Danny Kent (Red Bull Husqvarna Ajo) and Brad Binder (Ambrogio Racing) collided. Kent and Binder were able to rejoin, the latter gaining a single point in 15th.

Moto3™ Race Classification
1- Jack Miller AUS KTM 37’35.209
2- Alex Marquez SPA Honda +0.029
3- Alex Rins SPA Honda +0.032