Phillip Island, Australia: Italian veteran Valentino Rossi won an incident-packed Australian MotoGP after world champion Marc Marquez crashed out while holding a big lead on Sunday.
Rossi took over after Marquez fell off his bike on the 18th lap to beat home Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo and Britain`s Bradley Smith.
It was a popular victory for the 35-year-old Italian legend, who was riding in his 250th premier class race for his 82nd victory.
Marquez, who clinched the world title last weekend in Japan, looked set to comfortably win the Phillip Island race holding a massive four-second advantage out in front on his Repsol Honda.
But the Spanish whiz lost control of his front wheel on lap 18 and crashed out leaving Rossi to take over and go on and win by 10.836 seconds.
Rossi`s victory pushed him out to an eight-point lead over Lorenzo in second place on the world championship standings behind Marquez with two races remaining at Sepang and Valencia.
Marquez`s Spanish Repsol Honda teammate Dani Pedrosa retired from the race in the early stages and he looks to have lost his chance of finishing second overall, currently trailing Rossi by 25 points in fourth spot.