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MotoGP: Marquez mistake puts Lorenzo back in title hunt

updated 11:40 AM EDT, Sun October 20, 2013
Jorge Lorenzo celebrates his sixth win of the season in Australia.
Jorge Lorenzo celebrates his sixth win of the season in Australia.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Marc Marquez disqualified in Australia for pit stop error
  • The Spanish rookie misses first chance to win 2013 MotoGP title
  • Jorge Lorenzo wins at Philip Island to boost title defence
  • Lorenzo is now 18 points behind Marquez with two races to go

(CNN) -- Super rookie Marc Marquez is human after all.

The 20-year-old missed his first chance to win the MotoGP crown as he was disqualified from the Australian Grand Prix, Sunday.

The sensational Spanish rider failed to return to the Honda pits for a mandatory bike change in time and was shown the black flag.

His rival Jorge Lorenzo went on to win the race from pole position to keep his hopes of defending his MotoGP title alive.

The race round Philip Island off the south east coast of Australia was injected with an extra dose of drama thanks to tire trouble on the recently resurfaced circuit.

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With tire supplier Bridgestone unable to guarantee the safety of the rubber, race officials decided to cut the event to 19 laps and instructed the riders to make a mandatory change of bikes no later than lap 10 of the race.

Lorenzo duly pitted at the end of lap 10 but Marquez made a costly error when he chose to stay out for another lap.

"The plan we had was not correct," the Repsol Honda rider explained on MotoGP.com. "We thought that we could do that lap. We thought we could go into the pit at the end of lap 11.

"The problem was not with the pit board, that was fine, when I saw 'Box' I came in. Now we need to forget about it and just concentrate in [the next race in] Motegi."

Yamaha's defending champion Lorenzo is now 18 points behind his Spanish rival Marquez with two races in Japan and Spain to go in the 2013 season.

"We've been very lucky," said Lorenzo, who was almost toppled by Marquez when he returned to the track from this late stop.

"Without the mistake from Marc I think he would have been first or second. Now the championship has changed so much.

"Before the race we had no chance, a 2% or 3% chance and now it's 20% or 30%. But Marc is very competitive at every track, so we need to go as hard as possible at Motegi and Valencia."

Lorenzo eased to a straightforward win in the shortened race ahead of Honda's Dani Pedrosa and seven-time world champion Valentino Rossi, who are third and fourth in the driver standings.

"I'm so happy to be on the podium here at Phillip Island because it's always a great pleasure and a great atmosphere," said Rossi.

"I tried to give the maximum, the race was very thrilling and I enjoyed it very much. We were able to do a very good job in the pits and gain two positions."

The racing thrills continue next week in Japan.

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