MotoGP: Rossi marks 250th MotoGP race in style with Phillip Island win
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi raised the roof in Australia today, delivering a stunning race victory at Phillip Island for the Australian Grand Prix. Teammate Jorge Lorenzo claimed the second step of the rostrum as part of a full Yamaha podium with Bradley Smith in third.
The Doctor made a great start to his 250th Grand Prix race in MotoGP as he jumped two places to sixth on the opening laps. He fought off Dani Pedrosa as he continued to battle his way to the front of the field, passing Bradley Smith and Pol Espargarò for third place.
Starting from third on the grid Lorenzo was not shy in grabbing the hole shot into turn one. He initially led the race, before falling back behind rival Marc Marquez. Lorenzo pushed to the limit but was unable to match the race leader’s pace.
Meanwhile teammate Rossi gradually closed down the gap to reach the rear end of Lorenzo’s M1 on lap nine. What happened next was a flurry of activity. With 17 laps to go Rossi set a fastest lap of 1’29.605 and made his first overtaking move at the hairpin and then Lorenzo fought back and retook second place in the first corner of the following lap. Over the next seven laps the teammates continued to swap places, when suddenly race leader Marquez crashed out of the race on lap 18 and they were left fighting for first and second place.
Rossi then put the hammer down and created an unbridgeable gap, while Lorenzo’s front tyre started to drop dramatically, forcing him to hand over second place to Cal Crutchlow. He kept pushing in his efforts to manage the gap to the following riders. Drama then struck again as Crutchlow also crashed on the last lap, handing Lorenzo a lucky but well fought second place, his tenth podium finish of the season.
Oblivious to the drama behind him, Rossi had increased his lead to 10.836 seconds and took an amazing victory as he wheelied over the finish line to celebrate his 108th Grand Prix win in all classes. The stunning win cements Valentino Rossi’s reputation as one of the greatest riders to grace the Phillip Island circuit.
Thanks to this amazing result, Rossi stays in second place in the championship with a points total of 255. He thereby increases the advantage over his teammate Lorenzo to eight points, whose third place sees him rise to third in the championship with 247 points.