Rins wins a Phillip Island epic as Quartararo crashes out


 Alex Rins has seized victory in an Animoca Brands Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix which will go down as one of the all-time great MotoGP™ races. Not only did the Spaniard perhaps give Team Suzuki Ecstar one last win before the Hamamatsu marque sadly leaves us at season’s end, a crash for Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™) gifted the World Championship leader to Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) with just two races left in 2022. Still, it could have been even worse for the Frenchman considering Bagnaia led a topsy-turvy encounter at the start of the final lap only to be passed by both Rins and Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), the latter of whom scored a 100th MotoGP™ podium by finishing second at Phillip Island.

Marquez passed Rins for second at Southern Loop on the penultimate lap but the Suzuki rider hit back straight away at Stoner Corner, and that was how they commenced Lap 27 of 27. Rins went a corner earlier this time with a move on Bagnaia at Southern Loop and Marquez followed, with those three covered by just 0.224 seconds when they took the chequered flag. Bezzecchi got home fourth and Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing MotoGP™), who had started only 15th, took fifth after a final-lap pass of Marini at Lukey Heights (Turn 9).

Marini was therefore sixth, ahead of Martin and Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing), while Aleix Espargaro faded to ninth and Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) rounded out the top 10. The rest of the top 15 was Pol Espargaro (Repsol Honda Team) from Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), Cal Crutchlow (WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP™), Darryn Binder (WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP™), and Remy Gardner (Tech3 KTM Factory Racing) – meaning a Championship point for the latter in his first premier class race on home soil. It was a double DNF for the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™ team after Franco Morbidelli crashed out late in the piece, making for four retirements in total.

In the World Championship, Bagnaia now leads by 14 points over Quartararo, with Aleix Espargaro another 13 back and Bastianini also still in contention at 42 points off the pace. Bagnaia has match point at the next round, the PETRONAS Grand Prix of Malaysia which takes place at the Sepang International Circuit on October 21-23.

MotoGP™ Race Top 10

1. Alex Rins (Team Suzuki Ecstar)

2. Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) + 0.186

3. Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) + 0.224

4. Marco Bezzecchi (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) + 0.534

5. Enea Bastianini (Gresini Racing MotoGP™) + 0.557

6. Luca Marini (Mooney VR46 Racing Team) + 0.688

7. Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) + 0.884

8. Johann Zarco (Prima Pramac Racing) + 3.141

9. Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing) + 4.548

10. Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) + 5.940

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