The Italian took full advantage of leader Marc Marquez going off the track with 10 laps to go in the 27 laps at Phillip Island.
Marquez was cruising to yet another victory before his error handed victory to Rossi, not that it makes any difference to the youngster who secured the world championship in Japan with his 11th win from 15 races.
Despite the ease of his impending 12th win, Marquez didn’t take it one bit easy and paid the price.
“I don’t know what happened, I was pushing all the time,” he said.
Brit Bradley Smith claimed his debut podium finish at the opposite end of career to Rossi, who took his 108th win, while Jorge Lorenzo was second.
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