Lorenzo Dalla Porta wanted to win the Moto3™ World Championship at the Phillip Island and he did it in style, by winning the Pramac Generac Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix 2019.
The Italian sped out of the final corner with 2018 winner Albert Arenas right on his tail - only for Marcos Ramirez to draft by from fourth to second on the line, to make it a 1-2 finish for the Leopard Honda team.
It was a brilliant performance from the team, which last week sealed the Moto3™ teams’ title in Japan.
Dalla Porta rode much of the race in the knowledge that his closest rival for the title, Aron Canet, fell out of contention early. The Spaniard's hopes of snatching the title lasted only until Lap 3, when he slid off at the 160 km/h first corner. Canet wasn’t hurt but his title hopes were over.
So too, Tony Arbolino had a mathematical chance of stealing the crown but after 23 laps, he could only manage a ninth place finish on his Honda.
For much of the race as many as 20 Moto3™ bikes ran nose-to-tail, covered by less than two seconds. Inevitably some of the race fancies hit the deck, with crashes accounting for the winning hopes of Jaume Masia, Celestino Vietti, Andrea Migno and Filip Salac (KTMs) and Honda riders Sergio Garcia and Kaito Toba.
Australian wildcard ride Yanni Shaw retired on Lap 5 with mechanical problems, while his New Zealander teammate Rogan Chandler finished 19th, one lap down.
The Moto3™ teams and riders now head for next weekend’s penultimate round of the championship at Sepang in Malaysia.
1. Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Leopard Racing)
2. Marcos Ramirez (Leopard Racing)
3. Albert Arenas (Gaviota Angel Nieto Team)
4. Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse)
5. John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing)