Sandro Cortese took his second 125cc World Championship victory with a dominant ride in a rain-shortened Australian Grand Prix.
Rain on the Phillip Island grid forced a delayed start, but when things did get underway, Cortese asserted himself ahead of the other slick-shod runners while Adrian Martin – on wets – disappeared off into an eight-second lead after only two laps.
With conditions drying out, however, the Aspar Aprilia rider destroyed his tires quickly and was reeled in by Cortese, the Racing Team Germany rider taking the lead on lap five at Lukey Heights and then quickly pulling away at the front himself. Another burst of rain with 20 of the 23 planned laps gone brought out the red flags; race organisers declaring the result there and then.
After initial flurries from Caretta KTM racers Alexis Masbou – who led into the first corner – and Jack Miller, the battle for second became a two-horse race between polesitter Johann Zarco and Luis Salom. The pair traded positions on a number of occasions, with Salom eventually making the critical move on lap 19; the RW Aprilia rider securing the best finish of his career in the process.
Zarco was also passed by his Ajo Derbi teammate Efren Zarco on lap 21, but with the result declared after 20 laps, he was given back the final spot on the podium.
Alberto Moncayo was a fine fifth on his Andalucia Aprilia while championship leader Nico Terol – after dropping as low as 17th on the opening lap – hauled himself up to sixth by the chequered flag; a result that limited the damage done by Zarco in the battle for the title. Terol's series lead now stands at a reduced 22 points with two races remaining.
Terol's Aspar teammate Hector Faubel was seventh, ahead of Maverick Vinales (Blusens Aprilia) and Louis Rossi (Matteoni Aprilia) Danny Webb and his Mahindra teammate Marcel Schrotter ran strongly in the top eight for most of the race, but slipped back to 10th and 11th by the finish.
Ajo Aprilia riders Danny Kent and Jonas Folger had terrible races. Kent crashed out of second after only a lap and a half, finishing only 22nd, while Folger failed to start after his engine blew in warm-up.