Jorge Lorenzo stiffened his defence of the MotoGP title by winning the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday when championship leader Marc Marquez was dramatically disqualified for delaying a compulsory pit stop.

Yamaha’s Lorenzo, starting from pole, won a race shortened to 19 laps by 6.9 seconds from Honda’s Dani Pedrosa and veteran Valentino Rossi.

Marquez, 20, bidding to become the youngest ever Moto GP champion, was disqualified five laps from the finish after staying on the track one lap longer than allowed before taking a pit stop. He took no points from the race, allowing Lorenzo to close his lead in the championship standings to 18 points with two rounds remaining.

For the first time in Moto GP history, compulsory bike changes were required in Sunday’s race which was reduced from 27 to 19 laps due to safety concerns over the tires on the resurfaced Phillip Island circuit.

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