Lorenzo wins, Marquez disqualified
20 October 2013 – Jorge Lorenzo has inflicted maximum damage on the day Marc Márquez could have clinched the MotoGP crown, as the current title holder clinched his 50th career race victory in an Australian Grand Prix including mandatory bike changes. Failing to acknowledge the pre-determined pit window, Marquez was shown the black flag.
Prior to the race, it was announced that the duration would decrease from 27 to 19 laps on the grounds of safety, with tyre degradation throughout practice having been significantly higher than expected on the newly-resurfaced Phillip Island circuit. Furthermore, all riders would be obliged to pit for bike changes on either the ninth or tenth laps of the race, while also running the harder available compound throughout.
A clean start saw no fallers, with Márquez attacking Lorenzo at the Honda hairpin but the factory Yamaha man immediately retaking the top spot on the run into Siberia. The sensation would come with the mandatory pit window, with Márquez's team-mate Pedrosa first to peel off from third place at the end of Lap 9 and followed by numerous other riders.
Lorenzo would pit at the end of the tenth tour but, having expected a pit lane duel with Márquez, saw the 20-year-old rookie continue for another circulation of the circuit. Márquez then pitted at the end of Lap 11, outside the pre-determined pit-in window of Laps 9 and 10. In a remarkable twist for the 2013 World Championship battle, Márquez was disqualified as was Australian Bryan Staring as the same error had been committed.
Having escaped a touch with Márquez as the latter rejoined from the pits, Lorenzo went on to claim win number six of the season; this also marked the first time since 2006 that a rider other than the now retired Casey Stoner had clinched victory at Phillip Island. Pedrosa finished second to maintain his own title aspirations, as Yamaha's Valentino Rossi beat Tech3's Cal Crutchlow and Gresini's Alvaro Bautista in a thrilling contest for third, while light rain began to fall as proceedings drew to a close.
Bradley Smith was sixth for Tech3, having run as high as fourth thanks to a rapid start, while the top ten was rounded out by Nicky Hayden, Andrea Iannone, Andrea Dovizioso and Randy de Puniet who ended a race as lead CRT for the first time this year. Danilo Petrucci finished 15th for Came IodaRacing Project, denying a first point for Luca Scassa as the Cardion rider finished less than one tenth of a second behind.
The MotoGP fight now rages on to Motegi Twin Ring and the Grand Prix of Japan, with the championship lead having been decreased from 43 to 18 points. The season will then reach its climax in Valencia, Spain on November 10.