Cal Crutchlow vic­to­ri­ous, Mar­quez falls from the lead

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Cal Crutchlow be­came the first ever Bri­tish win­ner of the Aus­tralian Grand Prix with a dom­i­nant vic­tory at Phillip Is­land over Valentino Rossi.

The LCR Honda rider was left clear in front when race leader and world cham­pion Marc Mar­quez slid out of the race at Honda cor­ner and Crutchlow never put a foot wrong as he closed out his sec­ond ever premier class tri­umph.

Crutchlow, who won a Mo­toGP race for the first time ear­lier this sea­son at Brno, pulled away from Mo­vis­tar Yamaha rider Rossi in sec­ond place and won by more than four sec­onds at the fin­ish.

Rossi, who started from 15th place on the grid, scythed through the field to clinch an ex­cel­lent run­ner-up fin­ish as the Doc­tor in­creased his ad­van­tage to 24 points over team-mate Jorge Lorenzo in the stand­ings in their bat­tle for sec­ond po­si­tion.

The 37-year-old was joined on the ros­trum by Mav­er­ick Vi­nales, who put Suzuki back on the premier class podium at Phillip Is­land for the first time since Chris Vermeulen in 2006. Vi­nales also had to bat­tle his way through the pack af­ter qual­i­fy­ing in 13th on the GSX-RR.

The top six was com­pleted by An­drea Dovizioso on the fac­tory Du­cati GP16, Pol Es­par­garo (Mon­ster Yamaha Tech 3) and Lorenzo.

Amer­i­can rider Nicky Hay­den's Rep­sol Honda re­turn was marred fol­low­ing a col­li­sion with Aussie Jack Miller at Honda cor­ner, which left the 2006 world cham­pion in the gravel.

There was more mis­ery for Hec­tor Bar­bera, who suf­fered an­other fall on the fac­tory Du­cati as he re­placed the in­jury-hit An­drea Ian­none for the sec­ond race in suc­ces­sion.

Aleix Es­par­garo also fell af­ter com­ing un­der pres­sure from team-mate Vi­nales in a bat­tle for the fi­nal ros­trum place, which also in­volved Ital­ian rider Dovizioso.

Mon­ster Tech 3 Yamaha's Pol Es­par­garo got the jump on his ri­vals from third place on the front row to shoot into the lead, but Mar­quez soon forged his way to the front on lap one and quickly be­gan to out some day­light be­tween him­self and the chas­ing pack.

Crutchlow was bat­tling with Suzuki's Es­par­garo for third place and made a pass stick as he slot­ted into sec­ond place and be­gan his pur­suit of Mar­quez. How­ever, new world cham­pion Mar­quez crashed out on lap nine and Crutchlow sud­denly found him­self in the lead on the satel­lite Honda.

Main Photo: Marc Mar­quez falls from the lead of yes­ter­day’s GP In­set: Cal Crutchlow lifts his tro­phy af­ter win­ning yes­ter­day

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