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Marquez wins in Australia, extends lead over Dovizioso

media Marc Marquez leads Valentino Rossi and Johann Zarco during the Australian MotoGP Grand Prix at Phillip Island. GLENN NICHOLLS / AFP

Defending champion Marc Marquez scored a resounding win at the Australian MotoGP to extend his lead over Andrea Dovizioso to 33 points in the title race. The Honda rider finished on top of the podium ahead of the Yamaha duo of Valention Rossi and Maverick Vinales.

Before the race, pole sitter Marquez was just 11 points ahead of Dovizioso who had pulled off a stunning win at last weekend’s Japanese MotoGP.

However, Dovizioso’s hopes of trimming the lead were dashed on Saturday as he managed to qualify in only 11th place. His race too didn’t go according to plan as he finished in 13th place.

“I went out quietly and tried to warm the tyres and to be calm but by the second or third lap I got my first contact from Johann Zarco,” said Marquez who claimed his 35th win from 88 races.

With just two races left, the sixth win of the season puts Marquez in a commanding position in the championship.

While Marquez comfortably won the race almost two seconds ahead of Rossi, there was a great tussle for the two other podium places.

Rossi used his experience and guile to claim the second place ahead of Vinales who overtook Johann Zarco in the final stretch to finish third. The three riders were separated by just four hundredths of a second.

Last year's race winner Cal Crutchlow was fifth with Andrea Iannone, Jack Miller, Alex Rins, Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith completing the top 10.

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