Jorge Lorenzo hailed Sunday's epic Australian MotoGP as one of the best premier class races of the last decade.

Lorenzo, eventual winner Marc Marquez, Andrea Iannone and championship leader Valentino Rossi gave their all in a mesmerising four-way battle at Phillip Island that will live long in the memory, with runner-up Lorenzo revealing the final laps rekindled memories of the 'old times' when he competed in the 125cc class.

"For me, it was one of the hardest races in my life, especially at the beginning because Andrea always passed me on the straight; I was trying everything I have in the last sector to get a little advantage but always he passed me," he said.

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"I had to be patient and wait for the opportunity that he maybe make some mistake in some corners and also with Marc, on the last laps I gave everything I have and it reminds me a little bit like in old times in 125cc, when it was similar.

"For the people watching, it was the best this year and probably in the last five or ten years."

Marquez had earlier watched a thrilling Moto3 race with envy but was soon involved in an equally exhilarating showdown himself and admitted his first victory in the class at Phillip Island - his 50th GP career win - was one of his best.

"For me, when I was looking at the Moto3 race, I say, 'I want to be there' because normally in MotoGP this never happens, but this race was one of the best in MotoGP and in my career, especially because it is 27 laps and when I checked again my board said five laps," said Marquez.

"So the race went quick and that means that I enjoyed a lot."

Ducati star Iannone, who edged out Rossi to snatch third on the last lap, agreed it was his greatest MotoGP race ever, even if he recalls more intense battles with Marquez in Moto2 in 2011.

"With Marc, I remember a more strong battle especially from 2011, but I think in MotoGP class this is the best," said the Italian.

Lorenzo, meanwhile, joked that title rival and Yamaha team-mate Rossi 'deserved his salary' when asked in the post-race press conference how he felt when he realised that Rossi was running inside the top three at various points throughout the race, responding: "That he is making a good job; he deserves his salary a lot!"

Looking ahead to the final two world championship rounds at Sepang in Malaysia and Valencia in Spain, Lorenzo said it would be 'very difficult' to win both remaining races and expects Marquez to have a say in the outcome.

"I think for sure Marc is very strong so it is going to be difficult to win the two races, but I think we are making a good job," said the 28-year-old, who is 11 points behind Rossi in the standings after Phillip Island.

"On the weekends we have a lot of experience and we are making a very good bike, so we just want to keep like that and try to do the best possible, in the practice and in the race - it's the only way to have the most options to be champion."