Repsol Honda rider Marc Marquez started on the pole at the Pramac Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix, marking his eighth time starting from the front of the field in 2015. He was joined on the front row by Andrea Iannone and Jorge Lorenzo.
Points leader Valentino Rossi started on the third row on his Movistar Yamaha, his worst start since Indianapolis. This race was The Doctor's 328th MotoGP start, tying Loris Capirossi record for most career starts in the premiere class.
The 16th race of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship was run under perfect weather conditions at Phillip Island, the fastest track on the circuit.
Iannone took the lead at the start but was passed by Lorenzo later in the opening lap. The Ducati Team rider reclaimed the lead but was struck in the face by a seagull which briefly slowed him.
Behind him, Rossi moved up to fourth place on Lap 3. Lorenzo got around Iannone for the lead while Marquez ran third until Rossi got around him with 23 laps remaining.
Marquez ran wide on Lap 5 and Rossi briefly got around him for second. The two traded second spot and battled with Iannone with 21 laps to go as Lorenzo pulled away. Marquez finally got the better of the two Italians and claimed second with Rossi on his rear wheel with 19 laps remaining.
Nicky Hayden retired from the race on Lap 10 whilst Rossi and Marquez continued to battle for second, edging closer and closer to leader Lorenzo. Iannone was immediately behind them in third and did not let them pull away. The Ducati was notably faster on the straightaway than Rossi's Yamaha, but The Doctor was able to hold onto third place as the laps wound down. Marquez set the fastest lap of the race on Lap 13 and was able to close up behind leader Lorenzo.
Further back in the pack, Dani Pedrosa, Cal Crutchlow and Maverick Vinales had a spirited battle for fifth place.
On Lap 15, Iannone again got around Rossi to take third place but could not pull away. With 10 laps remaining, Marquez had closed into Lorenzo by 0.3 seconds. The Honda rider finally got around Lorenzo on Lap 17, with Rossi desperately trying to get by fellow Italian rider Iannone.
On Lap 20, Lorenzo caught Marquez and got around him for the lead. Iannone was immediately behind them for third, with Rossi on his rear wheel. With six laps remaining, Inannone got around Marquez and set his sights on leader Lorenzo. The top four riders were running together in a battle for the lead, with Rossi and Iannone trading third place in several instances with four laps to go.
With three laps remaining, Lorenzo maintained the lead with Rossi closing on second place Marquez. Iannone got around both Marquez and Rossi at Turn 10 for second place with two laps remaining.
On the final lap of the race, Marquez got around Iannone for second and, quite amazingly, was able to catch and get past Lorenzo. Running the fastest lap of the race in the fina lap, Marquez stole the win away from fellow Spaniard and championship-contending Lorenzo. Iannone passed Rossi to claim the final spot on the podium.
Lorenzo's second-place finish cut Rossi's championship lead to 11 points with two races to go in the 2015 season. This was only the second race of the season in which Rossi finished off the podium.
Marquez's victory was the first of his MotoGP career at Phillip Island, while also being the first race in which he scored points at the circuit.
Alex Rins scored his second Moto2 victory of his rookie season and moved to second in the championship points with two rounds remaining. He won the race by a remarkable 6.663s over Sam Lowes of Speed Up Racing. Newly-crowned Moto2 champion Tito Rabat did not race after injuring his left arm in a crash in FP2. He will also miss the Malaysian Grand Prix as he recovers.
In Moto3 action, Miguel Oliveira won for the fourth time this year and keeps his title hopes alive. Points leader Danny Kent was taken out on Lap 14 from behind by Niccolo Antonelli at Turn 3. Enea Bastianini also crashed out of the race at the same corner. Kent has a 44-point lead over Oliveira heading into the next round at Malaysia.
Next up for the MotoGP World Championship is the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit.
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