Marquez and Crutchlow Score Honda One-Two in Australia
Marc Marquez and Cal Crutchlow scored a superb Honda one-two at Phillip Island, completing the most complicated weekend of the year in superb style.
Marquez and Crutchlow Score Honda One-Two in Australia
PHILLIP ISLAND CIRCUIT, Australia, October 27, 2019
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) and Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda CASTROL RC213V) scored a superb Honda one-two at Phillip Island today, completing the most complicated weekend of the year in superb style.
Cold, wet and windy early spring weather caused difficulties throughout the three days, with qualifying abandoned yesterday due to treacherous conditions. The Q1 and Q2 sessions were instead run this morning, just four hours before the race.
Magical Marquez's 11th victory of 2019 and his fifth in a row was also his 55th in MotoGP, which makes more history for the remarkable 26-year-old Spaniard, who is now the most successful Honda Grand Prix rider of all time. He took the record from Mick Doohan, who won 54 500cc Grands Prix between 1990 and 1998, and Dani Pedrosa, who won 54 races across the 125cc, 250cc and MotoGP classes between 2002 and 2017. Fittingly, Doohan was the first rider Marquez remembers watching on television when he was a young child!
Today's success also takes Marquez, Honda and the Repsol Honda Team one step closer to a third consecutive triple crown of the MotoGP Riders World Championship, MotoGP Constructors World Championship and MotoGP Teams World Championship, a truly remarkable performance from rider, team and Honda.
Honda's great day was completed by Italian youngster Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) who won the Moto3 race to secure the Moto3 Riders World Championship and help Honda take the Moto3 Constructors World Championship.
The MotoGP race was yet another thriller and anything but straightforward for Marquez and his rivals. Phillip island is one of MotoGP's fastest, most challenging tracks in ideal conditions, but today's cool track temperature and gusting winds made the 27 laps especially tricky. Thus fortune definitely favored the brave.
Marquez's victory rival was countryman Maverick Vinales. The pair set a blistering pace out front, pulling away from the rest of the pack, after Marquez had made contact with Crutchlow through one of Phillip Island's fast sweepers. From that point on this was a straight two-way duel, with both men riding as fast as they dared, while also working to save their tires for the vital last laps.
Once again, Marquez chose the perfect strategy. At Honda's home race last Sunday he opened a gap and managed his advantage. This time he followed Vinales for much of the race, finally taking the lead at the end of the penultimate lap, using his RC213V's amazing speed to power past Vinales on the start/finish straight.
During the final lap he braked super-late into every corner and used tight lines to defend his position, even though it started to rain! Vinales knew he had once chance to retake the lead – at Turn Ten, three corners before the checkered flag. But the 24-year-old lost control of his machine approaching the right-hander and fell, thankfully unharmed.
That promoted Crutchlow to second, the Briton crossing the finish line 11.4 seconds behind his fellow HRC rider and three seconds ahead of local hero Jack Miller.
This was the third time Marquez and Crutchlow have shared the podium in 2019 and this result was particularly special for Crutchlow, who was ruled out of last year's Australian GP by a high-speed crash during practice. The broken right ankle the three-times MotoGP winner suffered in that fall still affects him today, so he rode a hero's race, even taking the lead at one point.
The performance of both RC213V machines was perfect, a huge testament to the work of the Repsol Honda Team, the LCR Honda CASTROL team and HRC, who had little dry track time in which to find the best set-up for the race.
Johann Zarco (LCR Honda IDEMITSU RC213V) made his Honda MotoGP debut today, substituting for Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda IDEMITSU RC213V), who misses the last three races of 2019 after undergoing surgery on a troublesome shoulder injury last week. Zarco finished the race a very creditable 13th.
The ever-changing weather didn't make life easy for the 29-year-old Frenchman, who had to learn a new bike through the wind and rain that spoiled much of practice during Friday and Saturday. Nevertheless he kept his cool and worked steadily towards his goals of getting to grips with Nakagami's 2018-spec RC213V and scoring points.
Zarco was an impressive sixth fastest in yesterday afternoon's FP4 session, which was red-flagged due to winds gusting across the seaside circuit at 50km/h/30mph. That performance made him hopeful of a top-ten result in the race, but instead he had to be happy with 13th. He will hope for better weather at next weekend's Malaysian GP, where he will continue his adaptation to the RC213V.
Today's conditions were far from ideal for a rider working to recover confidence after a four-race midseason layoff due to injury. Jorge Lorenzo (Repsol Honda Team RC213V) finished the race in 16th position, one place outside the World Championship points. The three-times MotoGP king struggled to get enough feel from his tires in the poor weather, so he couldn't as hard as he wanted. He now looks forward to Sepang, where track temperatures will be higher.
Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM) rode to a start-to-finish Moto2 victory to reignite his World Championship hopes. The South African claimed his third victory of the year after a race-long duel with team-mate Jorge Martin (Red Bull KTM Ajo KTM).
Thomas Luthi (Dynavolt Intact GP Kalex) secured his second consecutive podium finish with a gutsy ride to third from tenth on the grid. The Swiss rider now stands 28 points behind series leader Alex Marquez (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Kalex), who could only finish eighth today, with two races remaining.
Last year's Moto3 champ Martin stalked his more experienced team-mate for 20 of the 24 laps, but in the end Binder was too fast for the rookie and came home a comfortable 1.9 seconds clear. Luthi finished six seconds behind Martin.
Jorge Navarro (Beta Tools Speed Up Speed Up) rode to a lonely fourth place, while Lorenzo Baldassarri (FLEXBOX HP 40 Kalex) won an entertaining eight-rider fight for fifth, just ahead of Remy Gardner (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team Kalex), son of Wayne Gardner, who won the inaugural Australian 500cc GP for Honda at Phillip Island in 1989.
Somkiat Chantra (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex) and Dimas Ekky Pratama (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia Kalex) had difficult a weekend, both riders making their first visit to Phillip Island. The unpredictable weather and lack of dry track time at this very demanding venue made their jobs especially complicated.
However, Chantra gave it his best in the race and was on course for a solid top-20 finish when the 20-year-old Thai rider fell while trying to overtake a rival. His DNF was a disappointment after great points-scoring at the last two races. Ekky Pratama finished the race in 26th place, after sliding off three times on Friday.
Dalla Porta secured the 2019 Moto3 World Championship in the best possible way with a brilliant victory at the end of the Moto3 race. The 22-year-old went into the 17th race of the year knowing that a win would be enough to put the title beyond doubt.
After his main championship rival Aron Canet crashed out on the second lap Dalla Porta had his sights firmly set on victory and rode like a champion. The race was a typical multi-rider battle at the front, with just nine tenths of a second covering the first 14 going into the final lap.
Dalla Porta was the dominant force, but then Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse Honda NSF250RW) sneaked ahead at turn four on the final lap, only for the Italian to retake the lead four corners later. He took the win by 0.077 seconds from team-mate and pole-sitter Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing Honda NSF250RW) who slipstreamed his way into second-place on the run to the finish line. Albert Arenas took third, with 0.088 seconds covering the top three!
Suzuki lost out in the final few meters to finish fourth, the 22-year-old from Chiba narrowly missing out on a podium finish for the second consecutive weekend. John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda NSF250RW) was fifth, Ayumu Sasaki (Petronas Sprinta Racing Honda NSF250RW) seventh and Tony Arbolino (VNE Snipers Honda NSF250RW) ninth, with 2.023 seconds covering the top ten.
Dalla Porta's title is the fifth Moto3 Riders World Championship for Honda riders in the eighth year of the Moto3 class, after Alex Marquez (2014), Danny Kent (2015), Joan Mir (2017) and Jorge Martin (2018). This is also the third straight year in which the brilliant NSF250RW has been the strongest bike in the class, with today's success the 12th Honda win from 17 races.
Ai Ogura (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) showed tremendous maturity to score points during his first visit to Phillip Island. The 18-year old from Tokyo had a complicated Saturday, qualifying 23rd and struggling to find the correct lines through Phillip Island's fast, sweeping corners. Ogura finally finished 14th, seven seconds behind the race winner.
Qatar GP winner Kaito Toba (Honda Team Asia Honda NSF250RW) once again showed his talent. The 19-year-old from Fukuoka briefly led the race and fought for victory until a clash with a rival caused him to crash with just three laps to go.
Teams now north to Kuala Lumpur for next weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang, the third MotoGP round in three weekends. The season concludes at Valencia, Spain, on November 17.
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team: 1st
"It has been a crazy weekend with the weather and everything. Maverick was very fast today, but I was able to follow him and start slowly cooking the victory. Vinales started to push very hard and very fast at the front, but I knew that if I could stay with him for four or five laps then the victory was possible. The Repsol Honda Team have done a great job with the limited track time we have had. We had to gamble a little bit with the soft rear tire and it was on the limit in the end, but we were able to win! It's really special to take this 55th win with Honda, I feel incredible with the Honda family and I'm excited to enjoy this moment with them and the team."
Cal Crutchlow, LCR Honda CASTROL: 2nd
"We're over the moon – the team did a great job building me a bike capable of being on the podium. I missed a little bit to go with front guts, because my rear tire was gone after a few hard laps behind the leaders. What a year it's been – to come to back after the injury and sit all winter getting the rehab going and now standing on the podium here! The crash has haunted me for a year, so it's nice to be on the podium. It was also nice to have the surgeon here that did the operation on my ankle, because he saved my career. The whole LCR CASTROL team deserved this today. We know we got lucky with second place, because Maverick deserved to be on the podium, but it's great to be up on the podium with my mate Jack [Miller]. I managed the situation as best as I could in the race. Marc and Maverick were fantastic and I think we rode well to get the podium – all credit to the team and to Honda."
Johann Zarco, LCR Honda IDEMITSU: 13th
"The race today was very interesting and finally I'm happy. It was my first race with Honda and the guy I had to fight for position was Pol Espargaro. He did a very nice race. From the beginning I overtook him many times, but he really fought to not let me go. He made many nice overtakes, which slowed us down. We had a group in front of us and step by step they went away – I think I could have stayed with them but for the fight with Pol. Anyway, I learned lot. Trying to learn the bike from Friday wasn't easy because the weather made it difficult just to do five laps, and I had to learn many things. Today I rode 27 laps in a correct way and I feel good physically. Thirteenth isn't a very nice position, but I need time to control a few more things on the bike. Cal did an amazing job and another Honda rider, Marc, won the race. I just have to learn and things will come."
Jorge Lorenzo, Repsol Honda Team: 16th
"I expected before we arrived that I would struggle here but you're always hopeful that things will change and you're able to be fast. From FP1 we struggled in the wind and the cold. It's the worst result since returning from the Assen injury, unfortunately this is reality. Malaysia in normal conditions will be better, it's a track that suits me more and I think we can return to a pace similar to what we had in Motegi."
Brad Binder, Red Bull KTM Ajo: 1st
"It's great to be on the podium again, but today wasn't an easy race. The gap to Jorge [Martin] was increasing and decreasing throughout the race, but I just never got away from him. I gave it my maximum, pushing from the first to the last lap and we kept up a good pace throughout the contest. I'm very happy to have contributed to the one-two for Red Bull KTM Ajo and, of course, it's always a very nice feeling to win in the World Championship."
Jorge Martin, Red Bull KTM Ajo: 2nd
"In these last three races I felt very good fighting in the lead group and I'm really happy about that. Today the race was a bit easier than in Japan, as taking off ahead is always a plus. I tried to follow Brad, but he was pushing really hard. The pace he showed was incredible, he was going so fast. In the end, second place is fine and Brad deserved the victory. I'm very satisfied with the result and for the team, as they deserve the double podium. I'm already looking forward to the next GP."
Thomas Luthi, Dynavolt Intact GP Kalex: 3rd
"I would like to thank my team because they gave me a really good bike today. We risked a lot today with the big change to the bike for the warm-up. It's nice that it worked. I found a very good rhythm and the feeling for the bike was as good as at Motegi. I had a good start into and was lucky to avoid a crash in front of me. Then I had a really good rhythm and was able to close the gap on Jorge Navarro, overtake him and open a gap. But both of the leading riders were not in reach for me today. We made the most of it and these points are very important for us. There are still two races and the championship is still open. I want to fight for the podium again in Malaysia. Everything is still possible."
Dimas Ekky Pratama, IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia: 26th
"At the beginning of the race, I felt better than the rest of the weekend. After some changes we did after the warm-up, I was following and overtaking some riders. But on the second part of the race, I struggled a lot with rear grip, and it was difficult to control it. I tried to stay on the bike and finish the race. Now I'm already 100 percent focused on Malaysian race."
Somkiat Chantra, IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia, Kalex: DNF
"I'm not happy with the final result, because today the wind was less strong than yesterday, and I was able to ride much faster. I started prudently, and little by little, I overtook riders to be close to the points positions, but then I crashed. I feel I've learned a lot this weekend, and now we go to Sepang, a circuit where I've ridden a lot and where I will try to achieve a good result."
Lorenzo Dalla Porta, Leopard Racing: 1st
"I have no words to describe the way I feel right now. I think I won't realize it until tomorrow and the only thing I can say is that I've waited so long to get to this day. My family has made a lot of efforts throughout the years and I can only say thank you for always being next to me. Many thanks to the team for always giving me the best bike, since last year we really understand each other and they always work so hard to give us the best. I couldn't get it without them. So I couldn't ask for more. I'm over the moon. My dream has come true."
Marcos Ramirez, Leopard Racing: 2nd
"I'm happy after the podium. The beginning of the race was difficult but I managed to place myself in the front group at the last stages of the race and I finally crossed the line the 2nd. Things this way, I'm ready to fight for the 2nd position of the Championship. Congrats to my teammate after an amazing job. See you in Malaysia."
Tatsuki Suzuki, Sic58 Squadra Corse: 4th
"It was very disappointing to lose the podium just a few meters from the finish, especially after I had worked so hard to get into the lead on the last lap. But we are happy that once again the bike was great and we were in the fight at the front, so we will work in the same way next weekend and try again to finish in the top three."
Ai Ogura, Honda Team Asia: 14th
"A difficult weekend but I learned a lot, mainly how to find the way to go fast in this fast track. In the race, even if I started from the back, I tried to be in the top group. There I learned some interesting things for next year. Now we go to Malaysia, a circuit I know from the Asia Talent Cup, which will be an advantage for me. I'm looking forward to being there."
Kaito Toba, Honda Team Asia: DNF
"I was feeling strong, always being on the top. But the final result is a disaster. A very unlucky race, some riders were doing dangerous things, and finally, some of them touched me, and I crashed. I had a real option to be on the podium. I will try again next week in Malaysia."
|1||Marc MÁRQUEZ (Repsol Honda Team)|
|2||Cal CRUTCHLOW (LCR Honda CASTROL)|
|3||Jack MILLER (Pramac Racing)|
|4||Francesco BAGNAIA (Pramac Racing)|
|5||Joan MIR (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR)|
|6||Andrea IANNONE (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini)|
|7||Andrea DOVIZIOSO (Ducati Team)|
|8||Valentino ROSSI (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP)|
|9||Alex RINS (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR)|
|10||Aleix ESPARGARO (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini)|
|11||Franco MORBIDELLI (Petronas Yamaha SRT)|
|12||Pol ESPARGARO (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)|
|13||Johann ZARCO (LCR Honda IDEMITSU)|
|14||Karel ABRAHAM (Reale Avintia Racing)|
|15||Hafizh SYAHRIN (Red Bull KTM Tech 3)|
|16||Jorge LORENZO (Repsol Honda Team)|
|17||Maverick VIÑALES (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP)|
|18||Mika KALLIO (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing)|
|19||Tito RABAT (Reale Avintia Racing)|
|20||Fabio QUARTARARO (Petronas Yamaha SRT)|
|21||Danilo PETRUCCI (Ducati Team)|
|1||Brad BINDER (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|2||Jorge MARTIN (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|3||Thomas LUTHI (Dynavolt Intact GP)|
|4||Jorge NAVARRO (Beta Tools Speed Up)|
|5||Lorenzo BALDASSARRI (Flexbox HP 40)|
|6||Remy GARDNER (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team)|
|7||Iker LECUONA (monday.com American Racing)|
|8||Alex MARQUEZ (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS)|
|9||Stefano MANZI (MV Agusta Temporary Forward)|
|10||Tetsuta NAGASHIMA (ONEXOX TKKR SAG Team)|
|11||Marcel SCHROTTER (Dynavolt Intact GP)|
|12||Nicolo BULEGA (SKY Racing Team VR46)|
|13||Jesko RAFFIN (NTS RW Racing GP)|
|14||Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO (Beta Tools Speed Up)|
|15||Bo BENDSNEYDER (NTS RW Racing GP)|
|16||Joe ROBERTS (monday.com American Racing)|
|17||Enea BASTIANINI (Italtrans Racing Team)|
|18||Andrea LOCATELLI (Italtrans Racing Team)|
|19||Augusto FERNANDEZ (Flexbox HP 40)|
|20||Sam LOWES (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2)|
|21||Jake DIXON (Gaviota Angel Nieto Team)|
|22||Philipp OETTL (Red Bull KTM Tech 3)|
|23||Adam NORRODIN (Petronas Sprinta Racing)|
|24||Lukas TULOVIC (Kiefer Racing)|
|25||Xavi CARDELUS (Gaviota Angel Nieto Team)|
|26||Dimas EKKY PRATAMA (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia)|
|27||Dominique AEGERTER (MV Agusta Temporary Forward)|
|RT||Somkiat CHANTRA (IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia)|
|RT||Xavi VIERGE (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS)|
|RT||Mattia PASINI (Tasca Racing Scuderia Moto2)|
|RT||Luca MARINI (SKY Racing Team VR46)|
|RT||Marco BEZZECCHI (Red Bull KTM Tech 3)|
|1||Lorenzo DALLA PORTA (Leopard Racing)|
|2||Marcos RAMIREZ (Leopard Racing)|
|3||Albert ARENAS (Gaviota Angel Nieto Team)|
|4||Tatsuki SUZUKI (SIC58 Squadra Corse)|
|5||John MCPHEE (Petronas Sprinta Racing)|
|6||Darryn BINDER (CIP Green Power)|
|7||Ayumu SASAKI (Petronas Sprinta Racing)|
|8||Tom BOOTH-AMOS (CIP Green Power)|
|9||Tony ARBOLINO (VNE Snipers)|
|10||Stefano NEPA (Reale Avintia Arizona 77)|
|11||Dennis FOGGIA (SKY Racing Team VR46)|
|12||Romano FENATI (VNE Snipers)|
|13||Alonso LOPEZ (Estrella Galicia 0,0)|
|14||Ai OGURA (Honda Team Asia)|
|15||Jakub KORNFEIL (Redox PruestelGP)|
|16||Can ONCU (Red Bull KTM Ajo)|
|17||Kazuki MASAKI (BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race)|
|18||Makar YURCHENKO (BOE Skull Rider Mugen Race)|
|19||Rogan CHANDLER (Double Six Motor Sport)|
|RT||Jaume MASIA (Mugen Race)|
|RT||Celestino Vietti (SKY Racing Team VR46)|
|RT||Kaito TOBA (Honda Team Asia)|
|RT||Andrea MIGNO (Mugen Race)|
|RT||Raul FERNANDEZ (Gaviota Angel Nieto Team)|
|RT||Filip SALAC (Redox PruestelGP)|
|RT||Gabriel RODRIGO (Kommerling Gresini Moto3)|
|RT||Sergio GARCIA (Estrella Galicia 0,0)|
|RT||Yanni SHAW (Double Six Motor Sport)|
|RT||Aron CANET (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team)|
|RT||Riccardo ROSSI (Kommerling Gresini Moto3)|