Fabio Quartararo didn’t have the Australian Grand Prix he was hoping for after a mistake at turn four saw him run off the circuit before ultimately tipping off his YZR-M1 at turn two. Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team-mate Franco Morbidelli also crashed out, while both WithU Yamaha MotoGP riders picked up points for 13th and 14th places respectively.
Following rainfall throughout the night, conditions dried up ahead of Sunday afternoon’s 27-lap affair, which would see Quartararo launch from the middle of row two. Making a strong start, the Frenchman tipped into turn one in third but slipped back to fifth in the opening couple of corners.
As always in Australia, tyre management would be key and knowing the leading battle would contain multiple riders, the 23-year-old immediately began to conserve his harder rear tyre. Dropping behind Jack Miller on lap three, Quartararo quickly found himself mired behind Luca Marini and Alex Marquez, but a costly error while trying to re-pass the Spanish Honda rider saw him unable to stop his machine into the turn four hairpin, running off the track and falling to 22nd.
Re-joining, ‘El Diablo’ got his head down, working his way passed Raul Fernandez followed by his fellow Yamahas and was back into the points. With a large gap to Pol Espargaro to bridge, the World Champion battled on, but lost the front at turn two, ending his race early.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Monster Energy Yamaha garage, Franco Morbidelli looked to make progress from a tricky qualifying. Ending the opening lap outside the top 20, the Italian pushed on but crashed out of the points battle on lap 22. The former Moto2 champion was perfectly OK but unable to rejoin.
WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team’s Cal Crutchlow and Darryn Binder both demonstrated strong race pace as they battled their way to a double-points finish.
Crutchlow, who qualified 17th, made a strong start and worked his way into the points by lap nine. Continuing his forward momentum, the British rider flew passed Remy Gardner and Joan Mir before Miguel Oliveira relegated him to 13th at the finish line.
Likewise, team-mate Darryn Binder made a strong start from 18th on the grid. The South African found himself on the cusp of the points in the early stages before working his way through the pack with team-mate Crutchlow, crossing the line 0.636 seconds behind his team-mate.
A non-finish for Quartararo means the Frenchman relinquishes his title lead for the first time since round five in Portimão and heads to Malaysia 14 points adrift of the championship leader Francesco Bagnaia.
MotoGP will be back in action next weekend as the series heads to the Sepang International Circuit for the penultimate round of the season across the 21-23rd October.
Australian Grand Prix Results
1. Alex Rins – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR
2. Marc Marquez – Repsol Honda Team +0.186
3. Francesco Bagnaia – Ducati Lenovo Team +0.224
4. Marco Bezzecchi – Mooney VR46 Racing Team +0.534
5. Enea Bastianini – Gresini Racing MotoGP +0.557
6. Luca Marini - Mooney VR46 Racing Team +0.688
7. Jorge Martin – Prima Pramac Racing +0.884
8. Johann Zarco – Prima Pramac Racing +3.141
9. Aleix Espargaro – Aprilia Racing +4.548
10. Brad Binder – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +5.940
11. Pol Espargaro – Repsol Honda Team +11.048
12. Miguel Oliveira – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +13.606
13. Cal Crutchlow – WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team +13.890
14. Darryn Binder - WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team +14.526
15. Remy Gardner – Tech3 KTM Factory Racing +19.470
16. Raul Fernandez - Tech3 KTM Factory Racing +20.645
17. Maverick Viñales – Aprilia Racing +22.167
18. Joan Mir – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR +23.489
19. Tetsuta Nagashima – LCR Honda IDEMITSU +39.618
20. Fabio Di Giannantonio – Gresini Racing +39.633
NC. Franco Morbidelli – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP +6 laps
NC. Fabio Quartararo – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP +17 laps
NC. Jack Miller – Ducati Lenovo Team +19 laps
NC. Alex Marquez – LCR Honda CASTROL +19 laps
2022 MotoGP World Championship Standings
1. Francesco Bagnaia - Ducati Lenovo Team 233 points
2. Fabio Quartararo – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 219 points
3. Aleix Espargaro – Aprilia Racing 206 points
4. Enea Bastianini – Gresini Racing MotoGP 191 points
5. Jack Miller – Ducati Lenovo Team 179 points
6. Brad Binder – Red Bull Factory KTM Racing 160 points
7. Johann Zarco – Prima Pramac Racing 159 points
8. Alex Rins – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 137 points
9. Jorge Martin – Prima Pramac Racing 136 points
10. Miguel Oliveira – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 135 points
11. Maverick Viñales – Aprilia Racing 122 points
12. Luca Marini – Mooney VR46 Racing Team 111 points
13. Marc Marquez – Repsol Honda Team 104 points
14. Marco Bezzecchi – Mooney VR46 Racing Team 93 points
15. Joan Mir – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 77 points
16. Pol Espargaro – Repsol Honda Team 54 points
17. Alex Marquez – LCR Honda CASTROL 50 points
18. Takaaki Nakagami – LCR Honda IDEMITSU – 46 points
19. Franco Morbidelli – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 31 points
20. Fabio Di Giannantionio – Gresini Racing 23 points
21. Andrea Dovizioso – WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team 15 points
22. Darryn Binder – WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team 12 points
23. Remy Gardner – Tech3 KTM Factory Racing 10 points
24. Raul Fernandez - Tech3 KTM Factory Racing 9 points
25. Cal Crutchlow - WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team 6 points
26. Stefan Bradl – Repsol Honda Team 0 points
27. Michele Pirro – Aruba.it Racing 0 points
28. Lorenzo Savadori – Aprilia Racing 0 points
29. Tetsuta Nagashima – LCR Honda IDEMITSU 0 points
30. Danilo Petrucci – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 0 points
31. Kazuki Watanabe - Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 0 points