Motorsport: Crutchlow wins in Australia after Marquez crash

Cal Crutchlow during qualifying for the 2016 MotoGP of Australia. Photo / Getty Images
Cal Crutchlow during qualifying for the 2016 MotoGP of Australia. Photo / Getty Images

British star Cal Crutchlow romped to a big win at the Australian MotoGP at Phillip Island after a critical error from new world champion Marc Marquez.

The LCR Honda rider started the 27-lap race second behind pole-sitter Marquez, but took over the lead when the Spaniard crashed out with 18 laps to go and was never headed.

Nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha) was second and Maverick Vinales (Team Suzuki Ecstar) third.

Local hope Jack Miller (Marc VDS Honda) started from a career-best fifth position on the starting grid but quickly lost ground and finished 10th.

Australian wildcard Mike Jones impressed by claiming a championship point with a 15th-placed finish on his Avintia Racing Ducati.

The race largely took place in bright sunshine after the heavy rain and high winds that lashed the exposed coastal circuit on Friday and Saturday abated.

The win is the second of Crutchlow's career with his first coming this season at the Czech grand prix.

"Obviously I'm really pleased ... to come here and race in the conditions that we raced in over the weekend ... it was about keeping your head and doing a good job in the situation," Crutchlow said.

"I felt like my pace in the race was good ... I was pleased to be able to take advantage when I could.

"There's no doubt I'm in a good moment in my career."

Marquez sealed his third MotoGP world title with a win at last week's Japanese grand prix and was on track to record his sixth win of the season before he crashed at turn four.

"I have to apologise to my team because I did the mistake," Marquez said.

"I braked too late and a little bit wide.

"I'm happy because we've won the title but we want to win all races."

Rossi's podium finish tightened his grip on second place in the world championship standings and capped a brilliant piece of riding after he started the race down in 15th.

Movistar Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo also salvaged some championship points when he finished sixth after starting 12th.

Former world champion Nicky Hayden, who rode the second Repsol Honda in place of the injured Dani Pedrosa, finished last after he and Miller came together with two laps to go.

"I just put my bike underneath - I don't know if he saw me or not but he just kept turning," Miller said.

"It was a shame, I'm sorry to have hit him, but that's racing."

Swiss rider Thomas Luthi (Garage Plus Interwetten) scored a stunning last-gasp win in the Moto2 race, beating Italian Franco Morbidelli by one hundredth of a second.

New world champion Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM) won an incident-packed Moto3 grand prix that saw British rider John McPhee taken to hospital after a horror four- bike crash.

Teams now move on the penultimate race on the MotoGP calendar, the Malaysian grand prix at the Sepang circuit.

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