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Thursday, February 2, 2023

MotoGP Australian GP: Alex Rins Comes Out on Top in Last-lap Thriller

Alex Rins wins thrilling Australian Grand Prix as Quartararo crashes out of title contention

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Aditya Saikrishna
Aditya Saikrishna
I am 21 years old and an avid Motorsports enthusiast.

AUSTRALIA: Alex Rins gave Suzuki one last win at the iconic Phillip Islands circuit before the Japanese teams’ exit from MotoGP. Suzuki made the shocking announcement of quitting MotoGP at the end of the 2022 season in May, a couple of years after they had won the World Championship with Joan Mir.

Alex Rins mounted a stunning comeback ride down from 10th on the starting grid as he beat Marc Marquez in a last-lap heroic effort to become the seventh different winner of the MotoGP 2022 season.

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Francesco Bagnaia now leads the MotoGP championship by 14 points after Fabio Quartararo endured a painstaking start, only to crash out of the race on lap 11 of 27. Pramac Ducati’s record-breaking rider Jorge Martin converted his pole from Saturday into the lead off the line as Marquez and Quartararo slotted behind.

Quartararo had an excellent launch from fifth on the grid and was up into 3rd position within the first two corners of the Australian GP. Bagnaia and Aleix Espargaro went past Quartararo as the Yamaha rider was demoted back to 5th. Home hero Jack Miller came charging through from 8th in his Ducati works team bike to take 5th place from Quartararo.

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This wasn’t the end of Quartararo’s woes as Luca Marini demoted him to 7th, as the GP22 of the VR46 team out-dragged the Frenchman into turn 1 of the 6th lap. Quartararo’s race transformed for the worse three corners later as he suffered a snap under braking into turn 4 and went off track, and dropped down to 22nd.

He managed to claw his way back into points in 15th over the next few laps, only to crash out at turn 2 on lap 11. Quartararo lost the championship lead for the first time since Portuguese GP after his 3rd nonscoring finish in four races.

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Up ahead, Alex Rins, who was in 3nd as he scythed through the order from 10th in the grid, was sneaking up on 2nd-placed Marc Marquez. Rins had overtaken Aleix Espargaro and Jack Miller at turn 2 in consecutive laps.

Alex Rins went past Marquez at turn 1 of lap 11 before overtaking Martins at turn 3 after 3 laps. Bagnaia came through to snatch the lead from Rins after he had passed the dueling duo of Martin and Marquez at turn 4 on the lap before.

On lap 20, Alex Rins briefly retook the lead from Bagnaia at turn 3, only to be overtaken again in the next lap. He lost out 2nd place as the VR46’s Marco Bezzechi passed him. Rins fought back to retake 2nd place on lap 25, as he fended off a Marquez in the following lap.

In the dramatic final lap of the race, Alex Rins took the lead of the race as he sneaked past Bagnaia at turn 4, with Marquez squeezing his Repsol Honda through the gap behind Rins. Marquez was unable to overtake Rins, who ran a defensive line into the final hard braking of turn 10.

Alex Rins stood firm to take the win by a margin of 0.186 seconds as Bagnaia narrowly missed out on a second-place finish to Marquez, who took his 100th MotoGP podium. Bagnaia came third, behind Marquez by just 0.038s at the finish line, and took a 14-point lead in the standings.

Earlier in the race, in a cruel twist of fate for the Australian racer Jack Miller, his race was cut short on lap 9 when he was wiped out by LCR Honda’s Alex Marquez at turn 4, which had been renamed Miller corner this weekend.

Also Read: Fabio Quartararo is the 2021 MotoGP™ World Champion and 1st MotoGP Champion of France

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