Island Magic for Maverick!

Viñales dominates his favourite track with ease, while Marquez was forced to retire from race

Maverick Viñales has finally delivered a long-awaited win for Yamaha, as he sailed across the finish line, well clear of his fellow racers.

The 23-yeard-old Spaniard notes Phillip Island as his absolute favourite track on the MotoGP calendar – and it showed today. He was virtually untouchable for much of the race, enjoying a sensational finish to a weekend of top form.

The occasion marks his 3rd consecutive podium finish at the Australian Grand Prix.

It wasn’t clear sailing for all riders, as Johann Zarco (#5) and 2018 Championship winner Marc Marquez (#93), suffered race-ending incidents in a dramatic crash at turn 1, lap 22 of the race. Zarco clipped the back of Marquez’ bike at an estimated 280km/h, flew off his Yamaha, sliding at high speed down the track. Luckily Marquez remained upright on his Honda, but it was evident there was significant damage to the bike seat and exhaust. Thankfully, Zarco walked away unscathed.

Valentino Rossi (#46) returned to the famed track for a 23rd time, boasting an impressive 15 past podiums from 18 starts at the Phillip Island circuit. Although looking promising for much of the race, he finished in 6th position.

Aussie rider Jack Miller had a good start, with a revised race strategy from the previous year. In his pre-race interview, he said he was ‘hoping for a good race’ to ‘save the tyres’, to be there for the last couple of laps to ‘duke it out with the boys.’ Miller held his position for most of the race, slipping back by just one place to finish seventh.

Italian riders Andrea Iannone (#29), and Andrea Dovizioso (#4) joined the podium in 2nd and 3rd places, respectively.

Malaysia MotoGP broadcast LIVE on TEN and streamed LIVE on tenplay from 4.30pm AEDT, Sunday 4th November 2018