He has speed, calm, reason and at the same time he is calculating. Marc Marquez had all of this and the win at Phillip Island is the exaltation of the pure state of number 93. On the Phillip Island track, the Honda rider was keen to reiterate his superiority and he did it with a race that is reminiscent of the one in 2015, managing his tyres for more than twenty laps and then attacking in the finale to create a gap: “It was a fantastic race – the Spaniard commented – Dovi had some problems, whereas I felt good. We saw a nice duel with all the riders and I am very excited.”
Marc mentions Dovizioso. A dark Sunday for the Italian who went wide on turn one on the second lap, thereby compromising his performance. The Borgo Panigale standard-bearer was therefore forced to settle for a thirteenth place finish that leaves a bitter taste in his mouth, even beaten out in the finale by Redding and Pedrosa on the centre straight. For the Ducati rider, now the gap in the standings behind the leader is a full 33 points and in Sepang Marquez could already cinch the title.
More than a MotoGP race, the Grand Prix of Australia seemed like a Moto3 race where the group stayed compact down to the last laps with overtaking and counter-overtaking characterising the show. The battle for the podium turned out to be a three-way scuffle between the Yamaha riders, Rossi, Viñales and Zarco. The Tech3 team rider made life difficult for the factory riders, but in the end was forced to settle for fourth by only 16 thousandths of a second.
So it was Valentino Rossi on the second step of the podium, the only rider who chose the medium tyre on the rear: “All the riders were more aggressive and in these cases you need to be more stupid than they are – number 46 commented – I am happy with the result and I want to thank the guys on the team for all their hard work.”
The Doctor finished ahead of Maverick Viñales: “I tried to manage the tyres – he commented –Then in the finale I tried to push. There was even contact with Iannone and Zarco, but I am happy with the result.”
Besides Marquez, among the Honda riders in the top positions was also Cal Crutchlow, fifth ahead of Andrea Iannone’s Suzuki, whereas Jack Miller and Alex Rins finished seventh and eighth respectively. There was also space in the top ten for the KTM machines ridden by Pol Espargaró and Bradley Smith. It was a race of anonymity in the Ducati camp for Lorenzo, finishing fifteenth behind Abraham. Petrucci finished twenty-first.