Was it Moto3 or MotoGP? The bumping, barging, invasion of personal space and all-out action with a group of seven-eight riders gunning for spoils in the sixteenth and latest episode of Grand Prix was nothing short of spectacular at one of the most sumptuous racing courses in the world. The Michelin Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island was another one for the ages.
Ultimately World Champion Marc Marquez had enough grip and guile to pull free for his sixth victory of the year and to place one hand on a fourth MotoGP crown but the experienced calculating coolness of Valentino Rossi helped the Movistar Yamaha ace to his first podium finish since breaking his leg prior to Misano and teammate Maverick Viñales made it through the melee to deny Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Johann Zarco by just two hundredths of a second at the flag.
A day of sun then a day of rain down under but finally Sunday was chilly and dry for another spellbinding affair at ‘PI’ and in a 2017 campaign that has twisted and turned. Marquez, Rossi, Viñales, Zarco, Andrea Iannone, Jack Miller, Cal Crutchlow and Aleix Espargaro – prior to the Catalan’s crash – cut-and-thrust, jibbed and jibed and disputed leading positions in a 27 lap dash that saw five different riders hit the front at one stage or another.