357 days after his last trip to the podium, Marc Marquez became just the fourth rider in history to achieve 100 premier class podiums after a thrilling Phillip Island battle while Espargaro fought for the top ten.
The sun was shining down on the Phillip Island Circuit as Marc Marquez lined up in the centre of the front row of the grid for the 27 lap race. With clear track ahead of him, the #93 charged off the line to tuck in just behind polesitter Jorge Martin for the opening half of the race as they avoided the frantic battle behind. As the laps went by, the competition grew closer and it was soon a seven-way battle for the victory – a true Phillip Island classic. It would only be decided in the closing laps, Marquez saving his soft rear for an all-out assault at the end.
Pushing until the line, for the 31st time in his MotoGP career the eight-time World Champion took second place and earned his 100th premier class podium in the process. Marc Marquez narrowly missed out on a return to the top step of the podium 0.186s behind Rins. 357 days after his last podium, achieved at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in 2021, Marquez has once again taken to the rostrum. After incredible efforts to return to fitness after a fourth surgery on his injured right arm, the podium shows the great progress that Marquez is making in his ongoing recovery.
The eight-timme World Champion becomes just the fourth rider to achieve 100 podium finishes in the premier class, joining Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa in an exclusive club. From 152 MotoGP starts, Marquez has achieved 59 wins and has finished in the top three in 65% of his premier class races. The second-place finish also moves him level with Spanish legend Angel Nieto, the pair sharing 139 podiums across all Grand Prix classes.
Behind, Pol Espargaro made an aggressive start to the race as he tried to hustle his way into the top ten. He quickly found himself battling with several other riders which saw him stuck in 14th place for the opening half of the race. Sticking to his plan and conserving his tyres, the #44 began to make steady progress in the final 13 laps as he worked his way forward to 11th at the line.
Now the Repsol Honda Team head for the penultimate race of the year at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia. From the cold and wind of Phillip Island, it looks set to be a classic weekend in Malaysia with scorching temperatures and high humidity. The work continues right until the end.