MotoGP™ descended on Phillip Island for the first time in three years as the Australian GP returned to the calendar, and what a return it was! An outstanding weekend saw some of the biggest names in the sport in attendance, and the fervour of the local fans was matched on track in a thrilling race that had seven riders cross the line within a second of each other.
Jorge Martin (Prima Pramac Racing) started on pole, and indeed led over the line for 13 laps, but that advantage was far from secure in what was a festival of overtaking off the coast of Melbourne. The lead switched hands on multiple occasions throughout the rest of the race, but it seemed that Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati Lenovo Team) was set to take the win as they began the last lap. However, by Turn 2 he was bunted back down to third as Suzuki’s Alex Rins, who started P10, and Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) came flying through, and that’s how it finished.
Rins was a shock winner, Marquez became a podium centurion and Pecco earned 16 pivotal Championship, and took the title initiative. Earlier in the day, Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha) went wide and dropped way down the pecking order before crashing out and collecting 0 points for his efforts. The other contender, Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro, finished ninth as his Championship hopes dissipated further after a disappointing run of form on the flyaways.
With two rounds to go, Bagnaia was now in control of the Championship heading into Sepang and the Malaysian GP.