World champion Valentino Rossi of Italy won his third consecutive Australian Grand Prix motorcycle race Sunday, as he overcame a time penalty to win the MotoGP class.

Though Rossi clinched the series championship last weekend in Malaysia, he steered his Honda around the Phillip Island circuit to complete the 27 laps in 41 minutes, 53.543 seconds. Rossi started on pole and fell to sixth place on the first lap, but soon worked his way to the front and increased his lead as the race progressed.

The Italian was handed a 10-second time penalty for passing fellow Italian Marco Melandri under a yellow caution flag, but still managed to defeat second place finisher and compatriot Loris Capirossi by over five seconds. It was Rossi's eighth win of the season and his 32nd in the premier class of grand prix racing. Rossi's teammate, Nicky Hayden of the United States, was third.