Moto3 started proceedings in Phillip Island with a battle so tense it needed a photo to confirm Alex Rins as the winner by just +0.003 from second placed Maverick Vinales.
There were six riders still in contention for the win on the final lap. Luis Salom’s excellent timing deserted him for a change leaving him to fill the final podium spot and cutting his championship lead to just five points.
|Espargaro:In front in the title hunt Photo:Pons Tuenti HP 40
Alex Marquez made great progress for fourth after qualifying down in 13th, especially after being hit by Miguel Oliveira on the opening lap.
Jack Miller gave the home crowd something to cheer with a fifth place finish, having been as high as second in the closing stages.
Jonas Folger was the last of the leaders, taking a sixth place finish for Aspar.
Efren Vazquez caught and passed Niccolo Antonelli aboard his Mahindra for seventh with the Italian crossing the line in eighth.
Ninth went to Niklas Ajo ahead of Alexia Masbou in tenth,
Zulfahmi Khairuddin returned to action on his 22nd birthday after ahving to sit out his home race in Sepang for a 11th place finish.
The remaining points went to Jakub Kornfeil in 12th, Isaac Vinales in 13th, Romano Fenati in 14th and Brad Binder in 15th.
Brit John McPhee finished the race in 17th.
Moto2 had been reduced to a thirteen lap sprint, which was won by Pol Espargaro in his fifth win from pole of the year.
The shortened distance meant he could not vanish into the distance as he did around the Island last season, but his win means he needs to only finish on the podium with Redding absent in Motegi to take the title after moving into the lead by 16 points.
Tom Luthi gave him his main opposition for the win but a mistake in the closing stages forced the Swiss rider to settle for second.
Jordi Torres completed the Podium in third after battling past Alex DeAngelis.
The rider from San Marino was also passed by Simone Corsi for fourth, eventually crossing the line fifth.
Sixth went to Dominique Aegerter, his 31st successive points finish with the lone Marc VDS machine of Mika Kallio in seventh.
An early mistake by Tito Rabat, running wide across the grass left him out of the battle for the win in ninth. Ant West came from 19th on the grid to take tenth.
Sandro Cortese finished 11thahead of Ricky Cardus in 12th. British riders Danny Kent and Gino Rea both found themselves in the points in 13thand 14th respectively.
The final point went to Doni Tata Pradita his first point in Moto2.
Moto3 Australian Grand Prix Top 15:
1. Alex Rins SPA Estrella Galicia 0,0 (KTM) 37m 40.375s
2. Maverick Viñales SPA Team Calvo (KTM) 37m 40.378s
3. Luis Salom SPA Red Bull KTM Ajo (KTM) 37m 40.553s
4. Alex Marquez SPA Estrella Galicia 0,0 (KTM) 37m 40.877s
5. Jack Miller AUS Caretta Technology – RTG (FTR Honda) 37m 40.976s
6. Jonas Folger GER Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3 (Kalex KTM) 37m 41.452s
7. Efren Vazquez SPA Mahindra Racing (Mahindra) 37m 41.479s
8. Niccolò Antonelli ITA GO&FUN Gresini Moto3 (FTR Honda) 37m 42.642s
9. Niklas Ajo FIN Avant Tecno (KTM) 37m 55.449s
10. Alexis Masbou FRA Ongetta-Rivacold (FTR Honda) 37m 56.335s
11. Zulfahmi Khairuddin MAL Red Bull KTM Ajo (KTM) 37m 56.349s
12. Jakub Kornfeil CZE Redox RW Racing GP (Kalex KTM) 37m 56.480s
13. Isaac Viñales SPA Ongetta-Centro Seta (FTR Honda) 37m 56.686s
14. Romano Fenati ITA San Carlo Team Italia (FTR Honda) 37m 56.907s
15. Brad Binder RSA Ambrogio Racing (Mahindra) 37m 57.004s
Moto2 Australian Grand Prix Top 15:
1. Pol Espargaro SPA Tuenti HP 40 (Kalex) 20m 19.219s
2. Thomas Luthi SWI Interwetten Paddock Moto2 (Suter) 20m 19.810s
3. Jordi Torres SPA Aspar Team Moto2 (Suter) 20m 19.898s
4. Simone Corsi ITA NGM Mobile Racing (Speed Up) 20m 20.112s
5. Alex De Angelis RSM NGM Mobile Forward Racing (Speed Up) 20m 20.330s
6. Dominique Aegerter SWI Technomag carXpert (Suter) 20m 22.292s
7. Mika Kallio FIN Marc VDS Racing Team (Kalex) 20m 22.453s
8. Esteve Rabat SPA Tuenti HP 40 (Kalex) 20m 22.874s
9. Nicolas Terol SPA Aspar Team Moto2 (Suter) 20m 29.401s
10. Anthony West AUS QMMF Racing Team (Speed Up) 20m 37.302s
11. Sandro Cortese GER Dynavolt Intact GP (Kalex) 20m 37.536s
12. Ricard Cardus SPA NGM Mobile Forward Racing (Speed Up) 20m 38.634s
13. Danny Kent GBR Tech 3 (Tech 3) 20m 51.413s
14. Gino Rea GBR Argiñano & Gines Racing (Speed Up) 20m 52.054s
15. Doni Tata Pradita INA Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 (Suter) 20m 54.807s