Movistar Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales has overcome a poor start to cruise to an emphatic win at the Australian MotoGP at Phillip Island.
The Spaniard led by more than four seconds at one stage on Sunday before taking the chequered flag ahead of Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and factory Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso.
The win snaps a record 25-race losing streak for Yamaha that stretches back to Assen in June last year when Movistar Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi claimed victory.
Vinales started from second on the grid but quickly fell back to 10th and was one of several riders who barely avoided a frightening crash involving Marc Marquez and Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha).
The Frenchman clipped the newly-crowned world champion’s rear tyre approaching turn one – one of the fastest stretches of the circuit – and went sliding off into the gravel.
Marquez somehow managed to stay aboard his Repsol Honda but it had sustained too much damage and he was forced to retire.
Local hope Jack MIller (Pramac Racing Ducati) led after the first lap after starting from sixth but drifted back to finish seventh.
Queenslander Mike Jones, a replacement rider for the Angel Nieto Team, finished 18th and last, with five riders failing to finish the 27-lap race.
LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow couldn’t take his place on the grid after suffering a broken ankle in practice.