On his 250th premier class start, Valentino Rossi has won the Australian Grand Prix after pole sitter Marc Marquez crashed out of the race with ten laps remaining.
Rossi had started down in eighth at Phillip Island, but managed to pick off the riders ahead to inherit the lead from Marquez on lap 18 of the race.
The Italian has enjoyed a fantastic 2014 season after a few disappointing years with Ducati and Yamaha, winning two races and scoring a further nine podium finishes. He currently ranks second in the riders’ championship behind Marquez, who has already clinched the title.
Marquez was one of a number of lead runners to crash out of the race, with Dani Pedrosa, Andrea Iannone, Stefan Bradl and Aleix Espargaro all failing to finish. Ducati’s Cal Crutchlow had been on track to finish the race in second place behind Rossi, only to spin off on the final lap of the race.
This allowed Jorge Lorenzo to finish second behind his Yamaha teammate as British rider Bradley Smith completed the podium, marking his first top-three finish in the premier class. The result is also the first Yamaha one-two-three since 2008.
American rider Nicky Hayden benefitted from the high rate of attrition to finish 10th, with just 14 riders seeing the flag.
Just two races remain in the 2014 Moto GP season, with the final part of the triple-header coming next weekend in Sepang, Malaysia. The series will then take a two-week break before the final round of the year in Spain.