By Lisa Lewis
Moto3 world champion Sandro Cortese took his fifth win of the season by 2.108s at Phillip Island on Sunday, marking his first ever back-to-back victories and equaling Maverick Vinales for race wins this year.
Hailing it “the best weekend of the whole year” Cortese also equals the record for the most lightweight podiums in a season (14) set by Alvaro Bautista in 2006 and also matched by Nico Terol in his 125cc championship runner-up year.
The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider timed his move to the front with perfection, with only Portuguese Suter Honda rider Miguel Oliveira to concern him over the closing stages, the Estrella Galicia rider eventually settling for second.
Oliveira said that he managed his best ever result even though he “couldn't get the grip he wanted” adding that the race had been “a lot of fun”.
The battle for the final podium spot came down to the line with third-to-sixth places within a tenth of each other.
Home rider and Cortese's team-mate Arthur Sissis snatched the position scoring a best ever result, the Australian saying in parc ferme that he was “really happy – I was screaming in my helmet”.
Crossing the line fourth was Oliveira's Spanish team-mate Alex Rins who increases his lead over Team Italia's Romano Fenati to five points in their battle for rookie of the year.
Fenati was just behind in sixth, with Danny Kent finishing between the rivals for the Red Bull KTM team.
The fabric of the race was changed early on when it was announced that Jonas Folger (Mapfre Aspar) Luis Salom (RW Racing GP) Alberto Moncayo (Andalucia JHK t-Shirt Laglisse) Louis Rossi (Racing Team Germany) and Jack Miller (Caretta Technology) had all been handed ride-through penalties for jump starts, Rossi then added to his woes by riding off track as the penalty was announced.
Folger recovered to finish 11th with Salom also recovering a point to help him in his bid to retain second in the championship.
Team Italia FMI rider Alessandro Tonucci was seventh, while Efren Vazquez front row start lead to an eighth place finish for the Laglisse team.