PHILLIP ISLAND: Cal Crutchlow seized on a blunder by new world champion Marc Marquez at Australia’s Phillip Island yesterday to win only his second MotoGP.
The Briton, who turns 31 next week and was competing in his 103rd MotoGP, capitalised when Marquez made a mistake and crashed out on lap 10 while holding a big lead.
Crutchlow maintained a solid race pace on his LCR Honda to beat Italian great Valentino Rossi on his Movistar Yamaha by 4.218sec, with Spain’s Maverick Vinales third on a Suzuki Ecstar.
The race turned dramatically when Marquez, who claimed his third premier-class world crown with victory in Japan last weekend, slid off his Repsol Honda into the gravel on Turn Four when in command.
Crutchlow swept to the front and held off the nine-time world champion Rossi until the chequered flag as Vinales and Andrea Dovizioso battled for third.
He became the first British winner of the Australian MotoGP.
Marquez acknowledged that he was to blame for the crash.
“It was completely my mistake. During the whole season I’ve been very careful on the braking points and this time I risked more so this crash has nothing to do with the Michelin tyres,” he admitted.
It was Crutchlow’s second victory in premier class after beating Rossi and Marquez in this season’s Czech MotoGP in August.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 24th, 2016.