MotoGP | Australia: Marquez storms to victory as Dovizioso falls behind

By H. Mayor – photo: | This very exciting edition of the Australian GP saw a quite a few riders fighting for victory right up to the very end, but Marc Marquez managed to come out on top in a colossal performance which virtually hands him the championship title. The Spaniard waited patiently only to deliver the final blow at the precise time. His time management was crucial in what was an extremely contested race until the very end. His excellent execution contrasted with Andrea Dovizioso’s  collapse as he struggled with the circuits’ layout after an appalling start. At 33 points ahead of his rival, the World Champion title is almost his already.

Whereas the outcome of the Australian race was not decided until the very end, that of the World Championship was largely established at the beginning. Dovizioso was under pressure to make up for the disappointing training sessions of the weekend as well as for his 11th starting position. He overdid it on the second lap with an exaggeratedly wide overtaking manoeuvre at the Stoner bend which saw him falling to the tail of the race. He seemed to be desperately trying to come back from then on in the knowledge that he was rapidly losing his title options, but all odds were stacked against him. He climbed up to 12th position where he came up against Pedrosa and almost got to 11th before giving in to exhaustion. He finally came in 13th and under the premonitory celebrations of his rival.

Last weekends’ race, with its constant shuffling of positions, its many riders alternating to take the lead and its considerable gridlock throughout (very much as in Moto3) has been one of the most disputed races this season. After containing Miller a the start, Marquez had to successively measure himself against Iannone, Zarco, Rossi, Viñales, Crutchlow and an outstanding Rins, the other great surprise of the day. He nearly fell on a couple of occasions and seemed overwhelmed at times.

Job done

And the plan did bare fruit at the end. Marc managed to hold his position and avoid burnout. Then, with just six laps to go, he stormed past his worn-out rivals. He slowly accrued the first seconds’ distance and steadily increased his margin up to his solo crossing of the finish line. Valentino Rossi played his cards well and came in second, a worthy reward for his efforts after such an early comeback from injury. Viñales, the other title rival, came in third while he witnessed his chances vanish before his very eyes. And a well deserved fourth position went to Johann Zarco, one of the revelation riders of the year, and who has been widely praised for his courage.

With just two races left, 33 points between Marquez and Dovizioso and only 50 points up for grabs, the numbers are overwhelmingly in favour of the Spaniard.

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