TURNING BACK THE CLOCK: Valentino Rossi celebrates his MotoGP win at Phillip Island.
TURNING BACK THE CLOCK: Valentino Rossi celebrates his MotoGP win at Phillip Island. Robert Cianflonegetty IMAGES

Rossi rumbles to another moto win

IT WAS a classic case of the old and the new at Phillip Island yesterday, with Italian veteran Valentino Rossi winning the premier class in his 250th start, and rising Aussie star Jack Miller taking out the Moto3 class after a fascinating battle with series leader Alex Marquez.

It was Rossi's sixth Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix victory, and the 82nd of his decorated career that has brought six MotoGP championships.

But it looked as though he would have to settle for a minor position on the podium when world champion Marc Marquez led by a widening four seconds on the 18th lap of the 27-lap race. But for a reason known only to the Spaniard, Marquez seemed determined to win by as far as possible, crashing on turn 10 to finish his day and remain one behind the record of Aussie former champion Mick Doohan of 11 wins in a season.

After Marquez crashed out, Rossi had a short battle with fellow Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo before surging away to win by almost 11 seconds.

The 35-year-old said he was thrilled to win at one of his favourite circuits, especially after coming from eighth position on the grid.

"Marc was not too far ahead ... I tried to stay focused because second place would have been very important for second in the championship," Rossi said. "Then I saw Marc crash…

"To come back to the first position here at the Island, one of the most important and beautiful circuits of the season, is a fantastic feeling."

Englishman Bradley Smith made it a 1-2-3 for Yamaha, taking advantage of compatriot Cal Crutchlow who took a spectacular fall from his Ducati.

With two rounds remaining in the 2014 season, Marquez still leads on 312 points, well clear of Rossi (255), Dani Pedrosa (247) and Jorge Lorenzo (230).

Meanwhile Miller, 19, (pictured) who will ride for Honda in the premier class next season, was over the moon after holding off Marquez, the younger brother of Marc Marquez by just 0.02 seconds after a dogfight between up to 10 riders in the last five laps.

"It was very, very scary at some points," he admitted.

"It was incredible, everybody fought cleanly ... it was a very good race.

"To do it here and do it well, it's extra special."

The victory left Miller 20 points behind Marquez in the Moto3 championship with two races remaining.

Another Aussie youngster, Remy Gardner, the son of former world champion Wayne Gardner, was given a wildcard into the race but was only able to finish 26th.

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