Crutchlow wins Australian MotoGP

British road racer Cal Crutchlow has scored a big win after holding his nerve in a critical finish at the Phillip Island Australian MotoGP.

The LCR Honda rider started second behind pole-sitter Marc Marquez, but took over the lead when the newly crowned world champion crashed out with 18 laps to go.

Nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha) was second and Maverick Vinales (Team Suzuki Ecstar) third.

Local hope Jack Miller started from a career-best fifth position on the starting grid but quickly lost ground to finish 10th.

Australian wildcard Mike Jones impressed in finishing 15th on his Avintia Racing Ducati.

The race took place in bright sunshine after the heavy rain and high winds that lashed the exposed coastal circuit on Friday and Saturday abated.

The win is the second of Crutchlow’s career with his first coming earlier this season at the Czech grand prix.

Rossi’s podium finish tightened his grip on second place in the world championship standings and capped a brilliant piece of riding after he started the race from 15th position.

His Movistar Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo also salvaged some championship points when he finished sixth after starting 12th.

Former world champion Nicky Hayden, who rode the second Repsol Honda in place of the injured Dani Pedrosa, finished last after he and Miler came together with two laps to go.