Phillip Island always plays host to one of the greatest races on the MotoGP calendar. The fast, flowing layout perched over the Bass Strait appears stamped on the edge of the world, the perfect backdrop for the promise of unmatched on-track action.

This year, the lead group of seven riders changed positions an astounding 73 times over the course of the race for a spectacle that will go down in history as an all-time classic. Marc Marquez came out on top, the cracked tailpiece of his Honda RC213V a testament to the heat of competition.

Valentino Rossi, who made 18 passes on his way to a second-place finish, was painted with black rubber marks on the left side of his leathers. The racing was that close. To the riders, it was all good fun.

“That’s the game; if you want to play, it’s like that,” a beaming Rossi said after the race. “If you don’t want it, you should stay at home.” Who could ever doubt that MotoGP is the greatest sport in the world?

Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda)
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda)MotoGP
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda), Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha), Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha)
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda), Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha), Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha)MotoGP
Johann Zarco (Monster Energy Yamaha Tech 3), Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha), Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha), Andrea Iannone (Suzuki ECSTAR)
Johann Zarco (Monster Energy Yamaha Tech 3), Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha), Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha), Andrea Iannone (Suzuki ECSTAR)MotoGP
Aleix Espargaró (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini), Pol Espargaró (Red Bull KTM), Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda), Alex Rins (Suzuki ECSTAR), Bradley Smith (Red Bull KTM)
Aleix Espargaró (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini), Pol Espargaró (Red Bull KTM), Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda), Alex Rins (Suzuki ECSTAR), Bradley Smith (Red Bull KTM)MotoGP
Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda)
Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda)MotoGP
Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team), Álvaro Bautista (Pull&Bear Aspar Team)
Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team), Álvaro Bautista (Pull&Bear Aspar Team)MotoGP
Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha), Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda), Johann Zarco (Monster Energy Yamaha Tech 3), Andrea Iannone (Suzuki ECSTAR), Jack Miller (EG 0,0 Marc VDS)
Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha), Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda), Johann Zarco (Monster Energy Yamaha Tech 3), Andrea Iannone (Suzuki ECSTAR), Jack Miller (EG 0,0 Marc VDS)MotoGP
Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha), Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda)
Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha), Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda)MotoGP
Bradley Smith (Red Bull KTM), Pol Espargaró (Red Bull KTM)
Bradley Smith (Red Bull KTM), Pol Espargaró (Red Bull KTM)MotoGP
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda), Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha)
Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda), Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha)MotoGP
Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha)
Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha)MotoGP
Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha)
Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha)MotoGP