Miguel Oliveira took advantage once out front and gapped the pack to claim both his first ever Moto2 race win and KTM’s fisrt victory in the intermediate class in their first year competing at the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island.

An early crash amongst the front runners saw Red Bull KTM pair Oliveira and Brad Binder break free with EG 0,0 Marc VDS rider Franco Morbidelli in tow.

As the South African rookie battled hard with the championship leader Oliveira was able to break away, his lead at one point almost six seconds before the rain reappeared to slow the leaders over the final few laps.

Binder gave his team a magnificent 1-2 after digging deep, with contact between the pair on the way to the podium as he returned to the kind of racing which saw him win the race last year on his way to the Moto3 crown, though Morbidelli still increased his title lead in third.

Championship rival Tom Luthi suffered after two huge crashes over the course of the weekend, with the worst only hours earlier in morning warm-up. He rode in pain as his Interwetten team clapped his efforts on his return to the garage in tenth, where he had to be helped off the bike.

Luthi has decreased the gap to ninteen points between races after gaining five following Dominique Aegerter’s disqualification from his win in Misano, but third was enough to move Morbidelli on to 272, a 29 point advantage.

Luthi’s team-mate Jesko Raffin gave the team more to cheer with a hard earned fourth, his best ever finish in the class.

The Swiss rider held off a final attack from Xavi Vierge, who had to settle for fifth for Tech3.

An early trip through the grass stopped Motegi winner Alex Marquez from being a contender for victory again, but the Marc VDS man rallied after dropping to twelfth to bounce back for sixth at the chequered flag.

When the big battle in the main group hit the line it was Simone Corsi who held seventh for Speed Up by a tiny margin from Kiefer’s Aegerter in eighth as top Suter.

Ninth went to Dynavolt Intact GP rider Sandro Cortese, and Luthi tenth as he faded late on.

Axel Pons couldn’t quite get past so took eleventh for RW Racing, well clear of Sky Racing VR46 rider Francesco Bagnaia who claimed twelfth.

His team-mate Stefano Manzi was next to reach the finish line in 13th, Forward’s Lorenzo Baldassarri, who dislocated his shoulder in FP3 and crashed again in warm-up pushed through the pain for 14th, living up to his ‘Iron Balda’ nickname.

Home rider Remy Gardner fought his way up to 15th for the final point on the second Tech 3 entry.

Briton Tarran Mackenzie continued his tough learning curve at Kiefer in 22nd but was kept from last by an unusually low down the order Luca Marini.

Mattia Pasini started from pole but has still to register a Moto2 points finish after being wiped out by Marcel Schrotter’s crash.

There were also early exits for Andrea Locatelli, Jorge Navarro and Fabio Quartararo, while Edgar Pons has his hopes of a points finished wiped a way by a ride through penalty for a jump start.

Xavier Simeon broke his finger in his Saturday crash so missed the race.


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