Maverick Vinales insisted he had no regrets after risking everything to try and pass Marc Marquez for victory on the final lap of the Australian MotoGP, only to crash out with a few corners to go.

Fastest during free practice and on pole after Sunday's delayed qualifying, the Monster Yamaha rider carved his way steadily forwards from sixth to lead by lap 10 of 27.

But Marquez was instantly aware of the breakaway danger posed by Vinales and was soon tucked into his slipstream, where the Repsol Honda rider remained for lap after lap.

Clearly sizing up a late pass, the RCV's straight-line advantage meant Marquez was even sitting up to avoid showing his hand too soon.

The newly crowned eight-time world champion then duly blasted ahead on the main straight at the start of the final lap.

Vinales had been awaiting the move and set his sights on retaliation into the Turn 10 Hairpin. But disaster struck when Vinales lost the rear of this M1 as he swept over the preceeding Lukey Heights and was pitched onto the ground.

"Actually, I'm very happy because I gave my best every single lap and today for me was victory or nothing," Vinales said.

"I tried to break away when I got into the lead but as soon as I saw '15 laps, Marc +0.2' I said 'okay, I'll wait for the last lap'.

"I knew if Marc was '+0' he would overtake on the straight because it's normal. He played his cards. In my mind was only Turn 10. That was where I was strong, but I needed to be very close to make the attack.

"I had saved a little bit of tyre and in sector three I could close the gap. On the kerb or not, I planned to go in without brakes to see what happened. So if the crash wasn't [over Lukey Heights], it might have been ten metres later!

"Today was a race to win, not to be second. I had the chance, so I tried."

Vinales wasn't exactly sure why the rear had let go, but said it wasn't a surprise given how hard he was pushing to line-up the pass.

"I shifted down one gear, locked the rear and then just fell down on the other side. Maybe I was banking the bike a little bit more, trying to go to the inside. I really don’t know. For sure it was my fault because if I rode normally I wouldn't have crashed," he said.

"But I need to understand the way to fight with the Yamaha. So if this time I fell down, maybe next time I can make the attack work. We will see. Today was important to learn."

While Vinales held his hands up for crashing out, the Yamaha's straight-line deficit was clear for all to see.

"For sure we have things to improve. You could see on the TV," he said. "So we need to keep working. I think we have very positive points but others that we have to improve.

"I'm quite happy because I could keep a good rhythm. I think of the rest maybe only Marc was better than us. But the rest were 11-12 seconds back. So I think the consumption of the tyre was good."

Vinales' exit promoted Cal Crutchlow to second and home star Jack Miller to third.

Last year's Phillip Island winner has also now dropped seven points behind Suzuki's Alex Rins in the fight for third in the world championship.

 

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