In one of the most remarkable MotoGP races of recent times, defending world champion Marc Marquez scored his fifth win of the 2015 season in Australia after jumping from third to first on the final lap.
Starting from pole at Phillip Island, Marquez made a poor start to hand the lead to Lorenzo as the two Spaniards battled closely with Ducati’s Andrea Iannone and championship leader Valentino Rossi.
Lorenzo managed to pull out a one-second lead over Marquez before being reeled in and passed on lap 18, but reclaimed first place three laps later to drop the Honda rider into the clutches of Iannone and Rossi behind.
After falling down to P4 following a remarkable double overtake from Iannone, Marquez picked his way past the duelling Italians before setting his sights on Lorenzo on the final lap of the race.
Lorenzo’s healthy advantage quickly diminished as Marquez gave his all before throwing his Honda bike down the inside at the hairpin and moving into the lead, setting the fastest lap of the race as he crossed the line.
The result marked Marquez’s 50th career grand prix win, and will undoubtedly go down as one of the most exciting races in the recent history of motorcycling racing.
“You know during the race I feel really strong but there were many passes between me, Valentino and Andrea and Jorge opened a gap,” Marquez said. “Then I pushed a little to catch Jorge but I overheated the front tire and I had a lot of movement when I tried to open a gap.
“I tried to slow down to cool it down but it wasn’t there. The last three laps I said ‘OK I will push’. Andrea and Valentino overtook me and then the last lap I pushed 100%. I didn’t expect to arrive to Jorge but really happy for the win.
“I don’t know where I pulled that time out from, but it was what made the difference for us! I want to thank all the team, Honda and all the fans. After a difficult season it’s always nice to finish the year with some victories! We worked really hard and the results weren’t coming but this result is really nice for us.”
Lorenzo finished second to cut Rossi’s championship lead down to 11 points with two races remaining as his Yamaha teammate was forced to settle for fourth at the flag, losing out to Iannone.
Iannone enjoyed the race of his life to finish third, less than one second behind Marquez, despite hitting a seagull with his bike in the early stages.
Dani Pedrosa won a close fight for fourth place ahead of Maverick Vinales and Cal Crutchlow, while American rider Nicky Hayden was forced to retire after nine laps.
The penultimate race of the 2015 season takes place at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia next weekend before the MotoGP finale and likely championship decider in Valencia on November 8.