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Vinales wins on Phillip Island after Marquez seat breaks

Finally a win for Yamaha
Sunday, October 28, 2018


A happy Maverick Vinales
A happy Maverick Vinales

It took some luck that Marc Marquez would fall out, but that enabled Yamaha's Maverick Vinales to produce an exceptional ride to win the Australian MotoGP Grand Prix on Sunday.

Vinales was the strongest rider in the second half of the race and did enough to hold off Suzuki's Andrea Iannone to take Yamaha's first win for 25 races. Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso came home in third.

Recently crowned world champion Marc Marquez started on pole on Sunday but pulled out of the race after a high-speed incident with Johann Zarco. Vinales' Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi had to settle for sixth.

Following a frantic start, Jack Miller led the way at the end of the first lap, although Marquez remained in close proximity and was quick to restore his lead.

However, just as the world champion appeared to be finding his groove, his chances were dashed after a crash with Zarco. The latter's front tire and Marquez's rear tire came into contact, prompting Zarco to be thrown from his bike. The Honda man somehow stayed upright but had to retire in the pits not long afterwards.

As the action continued, Vinales assumed control of the race, as he cut through the field to take the lead.

On Lap 6 he moved to the front and didn't look back, with the likes of Rossi, Iannone, Dovizioso and Alvaro Bautista all jostling for second place. It allowed Vinales to build a buffer of around four seconds to the rest of the field.

While Iannone and Dovizioso did emerge from that group to put pressure on Vinales late on, the battling they had done for second meant that life had been taken from their tires. As such, they were never seriously in a position to challenge for the victory.

In the end, the Yamaha man was able to hold off a fast-finishing Iannone with relative ease to clinch his first win since Le Mans in 2017. The triumph was a long time coming for Yamaha too.

Michelin Summary

The whole weekend at the 4,448m circuit had been shaped by strong, gusting winds and cold track temperatures, which caused all the riders and manufacturers difficulties in set-up and choosing the best compound of Michelin Power Slick tires for today’s race.

Marquez out front and almost a sure winner until Zarco hit his rear wheel
Marquez out front and almost a sure winner until Zarco hit his rear wheel

As the start drew close, four of the six available compounds were chosen, with just the hard front and medium rear not making the grid. Pole-setter and World Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) went with a medium front and rear hard slick, but it was Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing) – soft front and hard rear – that got the holeshot and led into the first corner. After the first lap, local hero Jack Miller (Alma Pramac Racing) led the field over the line, before the race lead then changed hands several times over the ensuing laps.

Unfortunately, a collision between Marquez and Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) saw the champion retire and the Frenchman crash out, but that didn’t stop the excitement as the riders pushed their tires to the limit on the cold surface, with their Michelin Power Slicks giving them the confidence to drive their machines through Phillip Island’s fast corners.

Vinales took the lead on lap-eight and he controlled the attack on his Yamaha – shod with a soft front compound tire and hard rear – to perfection as he never came under threat from the chasing pack. His victory sealed Yamaha’s first win in MotoGP since June last year and saw Movistar Yamaha MotoGP close the gap on the Repsol Honda Team at the top of the Team Championship.

The intense battle for the remaining podium positions saw a five-way conflict, which eventually led to Andrea Iannone (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) taking second, with Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) in third, both using a medium front and hard rear configuration. Fourth went to Alvaro Bautista (Ducati Team), who was riding for the Factory Ducati team as a substitute for the injured Jorge Lorenzo.

Vinales leads
Vinales leads
Alex Rins (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) just edged out Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) to take fifth, with Miller securing seventh and the position of First Independent Rider. Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) scored his best result of the season so far to take eighth, with Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) in ninth. Bradley Smith (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing), finished tenth, meaning that all six manufacturers finished in the top-ten for the first time this season.

With high winds and cold track temperatures all weekend, along with a wet session on Friday, the Michelin Technicians had to work to the highest degree of their ability to get the optimum performance in the difficult and challenging conditions, Today’s race in-front of 36,600 fans at trackside demonstrated Michelin’s knowledge and understanding of the complexities of the conditions, the challenging Phillip Island circuit and the tires, all of which enabled them to give the best advice to all riders and teams, which facilitated towards the excitement at the Michelin® Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix.

Michelin and the MotoGP paddock now return to Asia for the final leg of the three-week fly-away tour, as the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia will play host to the penultimate round of the season on Sunday 4th November.


Maverick Vinales
"This is the best feeling ever, honestly! We've been in the dark all year, and suddenly we came into the light! I couldn't show my potential in the previous races, but today I could. Being first in Australia is always amazing! It's the best track ever, and I like to be at the front there. To win here and break this long none winning period of Yamaha is unbelievable! I was riding on the bike like I was in FP4. I got a really good feeling from the bike, so I knew I could maintain 1'29s. That's what I did for most of the middle of the race. I tried to escape as far as I could, because I knew my tire wasn't going to last until the end. I knew opening that gap would be difficult, I had some moments with some riders, and some shaking on the bike - I was struggling, but I still made it through anyway. It was amazing! I have to say 'thank you' to the team, because this weekend they worked for the win. We will try to be the best and we'll try to work in a good way. We don't want to lose the concentration, because we don't know what will happen in Malaysia, but for sure the level of motivation will be high after this weekend."

Marquez checks his broken seat
Marquez checks his broken seat

Marc Marquez
“At first I didn’t understand exactly what had happened, but I was angry because I felt the contact from the rear. I couldn’t continue the race because my seat was broken and moving around. It was impossible to ride. When I arrived in the garage and saw the video, I understood. It was just a race incident because at that point of the track, we arrive really fast, over 300 km/h. I was behind Jack Miller when I braked even a bit later than usual, and then I felt the impact. Zarco had taken the slipstreams from the two of us. You may think he could have considered that, but for me it’s just a race incident and I already spoke with him. What I can say is that today I feel really lucky, and the most important thing for me is that both me and Johann are okay. Today I was really focused, and the race was going as expected. I led for a couple of laps, and then I decided to stay in the group and wait a bit. I had the pace and I felt I was able to fight for the win. It’s unlucky that we got a zero here at Phillip Island, but if next year I can win the title in Japan again and have another DNF here, I’ll sign up for that! Now let’s focus on the next race.”

Race Classification

Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team Constructor Time/Gap
1Vinales Maverick25SPA25Movistar Yamaha MotoGPYamaha40'51.081
2Iannone Andrea29ITA20Team Suzuki EcstarSuzuki1.543
3Dovizioso Andrea4ITA16Ducati TeamDucati1.832
4Bautista Alvaro19SPA13Ducati TeamDucati4.072
5Rins Alex42SPA11Team Suzuki EcstarSuzuki5.017
6Rossi Valentino46ITA10Movistar Yamaha MotoGPYamaha5.132
7Miller Jack43AUS9Alma Pramac RacingDucati6.756
8Morbidelli Franco21ITA8EG 0,0 Marc VDSHonda21.805
9Espargaro Aleix41SPA7Aprilia Racing Team GresiniAprilia22.904
10Smith Bradley38GBR6Red Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM22.940
11Abraham Karel17CZE5Angel Nieto TeamDucati34.386
12Petrucci Danilo9ITA4Alma Pramac RacingDucati35.025
13Redding Scott45GBR3Aprilia Racing Team GresiniAprilia36.348
14Nakagami Takaaki30JPN2LCR HondaHonda36.389
15Simeon Xavier10BEL1Reale Avintia RacingDucati44.214
16Luthi Tom12SWI0EG 0,0 Marc VDSHonda48.226
17Torres Jordi81SPA0Reale Avintia RacingDucati1'04.965
18Jones Mike7AUS0Angel Nieto TeamDucati1'19.817
19Espargaro Pol44SPA0Red Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM5 laps
20Syahrin Hafizh55MAL0Monster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha9 laps
21Pedrosa Dani26SPA0Repsol Honda TeamHonda16 laps
22Marquez Marc93SPA0Repsol Honda TeamHonda22 laps
23Zarco Johann5FRA0Monster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha22 laps

Rider Standings

Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team Constructor
1Marquez Marc93SPA296Repsol Honda TeamHonda
2Dovizioso Andrea4ITA210Ducati TeamDucati
3Rossi Valentino46ITA195Movistar Yamaha MotoGPYamaha
4Vinales Maverick25SPA180Movistar Yamaha MotoGPYamaha
5Crutchlow Cal35GBR148LCR HondaHonda
6Petrucci Danilo9ITA137Alma Pramac RacingDucati
7Zarco Johann5FRA133Monster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha
8Iannone Andrea29ITA133Team Suzuki EcstarSuzuki
9Lorenzo Jorge99SPA130Ducati TeamDucati
10Rins Alex42SPA129Team Suzuki EcstarSuzuki
11Bautista Alvaro19SPA96Ducati TeamDucati
12Pedrosa Dani26SPA95Repsol Honda TeamHonda
13Miller Jack43AUS83Alma Pramac RacingDucati
14Morbidelli Franco21ITA46EG 0,0 Marc VDSHonda
15Espargaro Aleix41SPA39Aprilia Racing Team GresiniAprilia
16Rabat Tito53SPA35Reale Avintia RacingDucati
17Espargaro Pol44SPA35Red Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM
18Syahrin Hafizh55MAL34Monster Yamaha Tech 3Yamaha
19Smith Bradley38GBR29Red Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM
20Nakagami Takaaki30JPN21LCR HondaHonda
21Redding Scott45GBR15Aprilia Racing Team GresiniAprilia
22Abraham Karel17CZE10Angel Nieto TeamDucati
23Kallio Mika36FIN6Red Bull KTM Factory RacingKTM
24Nakasuga Katsuyuki15JPN2Yamalube Yamaha Factory RacingYamaha
25Simeon Xavier10BEL1Reale Avintia RacingDucati
26Pirro Michele51ITA1Ducati TeamDucati

Team Standings

Pos. Team Points
1Repsol Honda Team391
2Movistar Yamaha MotoGP375
3Ducati Team353
4Team Suzuki Ecstar262
5Alma Pramac Racing220
6LCR Honda169
7Monster Yamaha Tech 3167
8Angel Nieto Team93
9Red Bull KTM Factory Racing64
10Aprilia Racing Team Gresini54
11EG 0,0 Marc VDS46
12Reale Avintia Racing36

Constructor Standings

Pos. Team Points
1 Honda 339
2 Ducati 300
3 Yamaha 256
4 Suzuki 193
5 KTM 55
6 Aprilia 49

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