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MotoGP analysis: How Vinales ended Yamaha's victory drought

Maverick Vinales

Phillip Island, October 29: The drought is over! Twenty five races since their last win - taken by Valentino Rossi at the TT Circuit Assen last season - Yamaha were back on the top step at the Australian MotoGP as Maverick Vinales brought an end to victory drought in imperious style.

His first win since Le Mans 2017 saw him take the flag 1.5sec clear of second place Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar), with Ducati Team's Andrea Dovizioso taking his first podium for the Borgo Panigale factory at Phillip Island.

Lightning launch

Lightning launch

As the lights went out it was Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing) who got a lightning launch from P8 to head around the outside and lead into Turn 1, but the Italian then ran off at Turn 2 to end his charge.

However, fellow Alma Pramac Racing rider Jack Miller took advantage to take the lead of his home Grand Prix at Turn 4 - a rinse and repeat of 2017 for the Aussie.

Close pursuit

Close pursuit

Pole man Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), who crashed later in the race, slotted in behind Miller with Iannone third, but heading into Turn 1 on Lap 2 it was all change:

Marquez took over the reins of the freight train, with Dovi slotting into second, Iannone third and Miller pushed back to fourth. as the riders were in close pursuit of each other.

Taking baton

Taking baton

Vinales was in the groove and looked like he was on rails around the Island. Rossi was leading the chase before Iannone then took the baton, but the Suzuki man ran wide at Turn 4 and dropped to the back of the quartet.

Alvaro Bautista (Ducati Team) was taking no prisoners on his one-off Ducati factory ride, with he and team-mate Dovi also taking it in turns to try and reel in Vinales.

First podium

First podium

But no matter who it was out of the four, no one could match the Spaniard's superior pace - the gap was 1.9 seconds on Lap 13, and grew to four seconds by Lap 21 as he held it along.

The number 25 finally ended Yamaha's 25-race losing sequence in style, withIannone taking second and Dovizioso finishing third for his first Phillip Island podium in red.

A fantastic and faultless ride from Vinales meant Yamaha have won their first Grand Prix race in 490 days. Can this launch the Spaniard into an end of season onslaught for second in the FIM MotoGP World Championship?

Or will Rossi and Dovizioso hold him off? Next up is Malaysia and the last of the flyaway races to give us the penultimate piece of the 2018 puzzle.

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    Story first published: Monday, October 29, 2018, 11:33 [IST]
    Other articles published on Oct 29, 2018
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