From the Grand Prix Corporation:
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo won today’s Tissot Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix at Phillip Island in the most dramatic of circumstances – and kept his world championship hopes alive after countryman Marc Marquez was disqualified in the 19-lap race.
Concerns over tyre wear prompted a reduction from the scheduled 27 laps and meant each rider had to change bikes in a two-lap window after laps nine and 10.
Lorenzo’s Yamaha team rehearsed their change-over and it ran like clockwork; confusion reigned in Marquez’s garaqe over the lap countdown and the Spanish rookie came in too late.
The flag-to-flag format turned into a potentially damaging flag-to-black-flag afternoon for the 20-year-old Spaniard as he bids to be the first rookie World Champion in 35 years.
Far from wrapping up the title at the first time of asking, Marquez now leads Lorenzo by only 18 points with two races remaining.
Dani Pedrosa finished second for Honda while evergreen Valentino Rossi on the second factory Yamaha was thrilled to be back on the Phillip Island podium.
An estimated 31,500 fans enjoyed the drama-packed afternoon under sunny skies, with the Phillip Island circuit on show to the world in picture perfect weather for the third day straight. This took the three-day crowd figure to an estimated 77,200.
The Aussie fans were given a special treat with Australian legends Wayne Gardner, Mick Doohan and Casey Stoner uniting for a one off Champions Lap. Gardner also commemorated 25 years since his first win at Phillip Island with an emotional ride around the track with his teenage sons Remy and Luca.
Spain’s Pol Espargaro has one glove on the Moto2 World Championship after a brilliant victory. As fears of rain evaporated, so did the 22-year-old’s concerns about the title.
Espargaro took command of the shortened 13-lap race from his fifth pole position of the season, going on to claim his fifth win of 2013 on the Tuenti HP40 Kalex by just over half a second from Tom Luthi’s Interwetten Suter.
Spaniard Alex Rins made up three positions on the final lap to win a superb Moto3 race in a 23-lap thriller where Australian Jack Miller was as high as second in a no-holds-barred seven-bike battle.
Rins claimed the honours by the narrowest of margins – 0.003 seconds – over Maverick Vinales, with world title leader Luis Salom making it a Spanish and KTM trifecta on the podium.
A very proud Australian Grand Prix Corporation CEO, Andrew Westacott, was excited after such a thrilling weekend of racing.
“We have had it all this year, stunning weather, record lap times and dramatic racing – Phillip Island really turned it on,” he said.
“I would like to thank everyone from the riders and teams to the crowds and volunteers for making the 2013 Tissot Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix an unforgettable weekend.”