As the weather stayed warm for race day and the wind dropped Phillip Island was poised to present some epic race battles.
Moto3 saw almost half the grid fail to finish as Miguel Oliveira lead the last lap all the way to the line, keeping the title battle open for another week as Kent crashed out. Moto2 saw a dominant performance from Alex Rins as the highlight.
Opening the grand prix action at Phillip Island were the Moto3 class and they provided a crash-filled spectacular, with just nineteen finishers, some of whom had crashed and remounted.
| Rins riding Solo in Moto2 Photo:PonsRacing.com
The lead group were well clear after the crashes split the pack and it was a brave Miguel Oliveira who took his chances to led at the start of the final lap, pulling out enough of a gap to avoid his rivals slipstreams aboard his Red Bull KTM Ajo.
The best of those gaining an advantage was Efren Vazquez, who slipped his Leopard Racing bike into second, Brad Binder, Oliveira’s team-mate held the third and final podium spot.
The championship remains open heading to Sepang next weekend after Nico Antonelli and Danny Kent crashed while taking differing lines on the same section of track, collecting the Leopard man’s Gresini rival Enea Bastianini in the process.
Just off the podium was rookie Jorge Navarro who lost out in the slipstream battle despite a strong showing for Estrella Galicia on the last lap.
Jakub Kornfeil recovered from a run off track to get back to the leaders on his Drive M7 SIC machine and took sixth, Romano Fenati clipped the rear of the Czech rider, so the Italian Sky Racing VR46 rider could do no better than sixth.
The chasing group was lead by Philipp Oettl, who crossed the line seventh for Schedl GP Racing, with Isaac Vinales (RBA) and Alexis Masbou (SaxoPrint-RTG) not far behind in eight and ninth, Remy Gardner made an impression taking his first points with a top ten finish.
Maria Herrera recorded a best of eleventh as she took the flag for Laglisse,ahead of Zulfahmi Khairuddin (Drive M7 SIC) in twelfth, Manuel Pagliani (San Carlo Team Italia) foe his first points in 13th, Karel Hanika (Red Bull KTM Ajo) who remounted for 14th and Jorge Martin who did the same for Mahindra for 15th.
After Axel Pons lead before falling behind and then falling victim t a tough ride through penalty for a jump start, then Sam Lowes also had a turn at the front, it was pole man Alex Rins who made it stick at the front, carrying a over a six second at the chequered flag for the rookie’s second win of the season, also from pole.
The Paginas Amirillas HP 40 rider looked comfortable as he eased away with the field gapping Speed Up’s Lowes was equally comfortable in second and in turn once he gained third -his first podium finish – Lorenzo Baldassarri didn’t look back and was too clear.
Behind the rostrum men the battle for fourth was a more intense affair, with Idemitsu’s Taka Nakagami the winner and Gresini’s Xavier Simeon fifth.
The second Pons machine with Luis Salom on board took the flag sixth ahead of newly crowned Moto2 champion Johann Zarco who finished seventh for Ajo Motorsport.
Mika Kallio (QMMF) finished eighth, Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) ninth with Randy Krummenacher in the top ten again for JiR.
The remaining points went to Franco Morbidelli (Italtrans) in 11th, Marcel Schrotter (Tech 3) in 12th Simone Corsi (Forward Racing) in 13th, Ricky Cardus (JPMoto Malaysia) 14th and Tom Luthi, who rallied for a point for Interwetten after falling when running in the podium places.
For the full Moto3 result, click here
For the full Moto2 result, click here