Miguel Oliveira won at Phillip Island after leading from start to finish, thus becoming the first ever Portuguese rider to win an intermmediate class race. Brad Binder won a great duel with Franco Morbidelli for 2nd place, completing a superb Red Bull KTM Ajo double.
Starting from 3rd, Miguel Oliveira jumped into the lead after Turn 1, with poleman Mattia Pasini dropping into 5th, behind Morbidelli, Binder and Marcel Schrotter.
Disaster struck for the Italian veteran as Schrotter highsided in front of him and collected his bike.
Oliveira, Binder and Morbidelli pulled a gap at the front, with Tom Luthi in P4, 3 seconds behind.
In spite of the great start, the Swiss rider was not capable of mantaining a high rhytm and dropped to the outside of the top 5.
As Oliveira was slowely but surely getting away, Binder and Morbidelli offered the spectators some good quality overtakes. This allowed Takaaki Nakagami, who was already in P4, to melt the difference of more than 2 seconds that separated him from the podium battle.
The Japanese rider eventually caught up with the Binder-Morbidelli duo and went easily past them, leaving them in a battle for the last spot on the podium.
In the penultimate lap, as Binder and Morbidelli were playing Part 2 of their intense duel, disaster struck for Taka Nakagami. The Honda Team Asia rider slided out of the race during his utopian attempt to catch Oliveira, who was more than 3 seconds ahead.
Oliveira crossed the line in 1st, nothing down his first ever win the category and also the first for KTM. Brad Binder eventually defeated Morbidelli and took 2nd, giving Aki Ajo a reason to smile even larger.
Jesko Raffin rode the race of his life, as the Swiss rider clinched 4th after a battle with Xavi Vierge, who locked out the top 5. The 6th place was disputed in a 6-way battle, with Alex Marquez eventually walking away victorious. Simone Corsi came back to the top 10 ways after a disappointing Japanese GP as the veteran crossed the line in 7th, just ahead of Dominique Aegerter. Sandro Cortese was 9th, with title contender Tom Luthi only 10th after another disappointing race.
In the championship standings, Franco Morbidelli extends his lead to 29 points in front of Thomas Luthi (272-243). The battle for 3rd once again rages on, as Oliveira goes past Marquez for 1 point (191-190).
photo credit – Miguel Oliveira #44 – Official Website