With his 55th victory, the Spaniard is now the most successful Honda driver in MotoGP taking over from legendary Aussi Mike Doohan. Marquéz has also single-handedly propped Honda up to just one point from the lead of the team standings which currently belongs to Ducati. His teammate Jorge Lorenzo hasn’t been able to score any points once again but thanks to Marc’s extraordinary work, the coveted triple crown is within sight for Honda.
Speaking of Ducati, it’s head of ranks, Andrea Dovizioso, has secured the second place in the championship for the third season in a row, despite having finished in seventh place.The third place in the standings has now become the subject of a fierce battle between Rins and Viñales, currently seven points apart in the standings. The two rivals shouldn’t get overconfident and must keep a close eye on Petrucci and Quartararo closing in from behind.
Viñales is left behind at the start
Pole holder Maverick Viñales, in another of his trademark bad starts, lost his position to Valentino Rossi, second on the grid, just as the traffic lights of the Phillip Island Circuit swithched off. After the Italian came Crutchlow, Iannone, Petrucci, Márquez and Aleix Espargaro with Viñales all the way down to sixth. Soon after, Petrux went down as he was trying to overtake Marquez, taking Fabio Quartararo down with him.
The fans of #46 were rubbing their eyes in disbelief as they watched their hero leading the race. The mirage was short-lived, however, as Rossi was passed by Crutchlow, Iannone and Márquez on the fourth lap. Two laps after that and both the Hondas were leading the busy pack.
Further down, Viñales kept up his attempts to get close to the top but he couldn’t quite get over the wall of the Aprilia. It wouldn’t be until the ninth lap that the pilot from Rosas was able to get rid of Iannone. A lap after that and he took over Marc for second and on the eleventh lap, he finally passed Crutchlow for the lead.
Viñales and Márquez escape
It was then, halfway through the race, that the pack finally broke down. The two Catalan pilots escaped in their fight for the glory with just a few millimetres between them.
Meanwhile, Crutchlow was left to witness the Spanish pair getting a second off of him in the blink of an eye. Three seconds behind was the pilot from Tavullia leading a pack which included Dovizioso and Rins.
A very cunning Márquez, allowed Viñales to do all the dirty work and continue pulling ahead. The pilot on the RC213V, however, knew full well he had more rhythm than the one on the M1, and could, in fact, overtake him whenever he wanted. And so he did a little while later with an impeccable manoeuvre on the finish/start straight and just two laps before the end of the race.
Maverick ends up on the floor
The fight wasn’t over yet. The Yamaha #12 didn’t give up so easily and tried to recover his position, ending up on the floor as a result. Crutchlow thus inherited the second place ahead of Miller, sealing Honda’s 1-2. The Aussie took the bronze just 55 milliseconds before his Italian teammate Pecco Bagnaia.
Images of ‘Australian MotoGP 2019′: Repsol Honda Team & Marc Márquez Twitter.