What a race, WHAT a staggeringly incredible race. Philip Island as we discussed yesterday is the best circuit in the Moto GP calendar, and this circuit never dis appoints when it comes to the race day. After the last years tyre fiasco it was always going to be about the tyres this time around too. With weather playing around throughout the race weekend, the race was always to an interesting affair.
It was a crash fest , the race. With only 14 rider finishing the race out of 23 who started, meant everyone who finished scored a point. With, Cal Cruthlow and his Ducati starting from the front row along with the pole sitter Marq Marquez and Lorenzo on his Yamaha M1, the race start was always going to be interesting.
Crutchlow started of well, but soon Marquez , Smith and Lorenzo took over from him. Dani Pedrosa was already having a terrible weekend started his race from 5th on the grid, had fallen to 8 by the end of the first lap. Soon Marquez started getting into his form, and started overtaking towards lead one my one.
It was then, the tyres and over ambitious riding by the riders started to make the race interesting. Inanone crashed into the back of Pedrosa’s Honda, only to end up hard in the gravel while Pedrosa had to pit due to the damage done on his bike by Inanone’s Pramac Ducati , making his already bad weekend , a nasty one. On other part of the track Bradl crashed into elder Esparago’s Forward Yamaha with his LCR satellite Honda, as he tried to overtake Dovizioso’s factory Ducati 14.2 from the inside on a tight corner. The collision destroyed Alexi’s bikes rear end and his race ended abruptly. His anger was quiet evident when out of frustration he punched hi Yamaha’s windscreen shattering it into pieces, proving just how strong these men are physically.
The biggest surprise from the race came when, Marq Marquez while literally coasting towards the race win, what would have been his record breaking 12th in a season, lost his front end and crashed out of the race. This age Lead to Rossi, who had just managed a gap over Lorenzo coming behind him. The reason for Marquez crash could be due to a surprising drop in temperature throughout the circuit, making hid harder compound front tyre losing grip.
But, the king of the moment was Valentino Rossi, starting 8th from the grid he showed why he is considered with such high regards in the paddock. The 35 year old was in a lll his glory, braking late into the corners, overtaking his competition as he desired. His fight with Lorenzo was particularly interesting, where each gave equal blows in the fight for the good part of the race. Rossi eventually got control over Lorenzo, just before Marquez’s crash and was gifted the lead.
Crutchlow rode at a staggering pace where he caught up Lorenzo with in a lap while taking out almost 2 seconds from Lorenzo’s lead above him. After a torturous year at Ducati, which he leaves to ride for LCR next year, Cructhlow seemed to have found his rhythm. A shocking crash when he lost his front end a lap after Pol Espargaro’s crash in the same corner, destroyed Cal’s consecutive podium hopes. It was evident from the shear sadness from the Ducati pit just how shocked they all were to see, Cal crashing like that just 1 lap away from a famous podium.
All these crashes, meant Bradley Smith who rode a wonderful and calculated race, completed the Yamaha 1-2-3 bringing in his first eve podium in premier class. Dovisiozo came in 4th while Hector Barbera on hi open Avintia Racing Ducati GP 14 came in at an astonishing 5th place.
Philip Island, has always been hard on tyres and their selection on the race day, and it was no different this time around, when only the medium soft front seems to work, while almost every one on the harder compounds fell.
Todays win brings Rossi’s 6th win at Phillip Island, and is 82nd Premier Class victory in a record 250 race starts, and he also has reached to 2nd position in the Championship beating Lorenzo and Pedrosa while, the World Champion Marquez suffered his 3rd crash in last 4 races.
While back in Moto 2 Vinales won a brilliant race and in Moto 3 Jack Miller won at his home track in front of a big Australian crowd.