These MotoGP Previews just in from Australia
Yamaha Factory Racing Arrive in Australia for Phillip Island
Phillip Island (Australia), 16th October 2013
With no rest the Yamaha Factory Racing team and riders moved directly from Malaysia to Australia this week for the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island on Sunday. The second of the triple-header races will see Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi looking to take the fight to their rivals in the final rounds as the championship heads into its final three races.
Defending world champion Lorenzo has yet to take a premier class win at the Phillip Island circuit but does claim two 250cc victories there in 2006 and 2007 and retains good memories having sealed his 2012 world title there.
Nine-time world champion Rossi claims two 250cc wins in 1998 and 1999, a 500cc win in 2001 and an unbroken four year premier class win streak from 2002 to 2005.
The Phillip Island race circuit was constructed in 1956 and hosted the motorcycle Grand Prix until 1968. A revamp of the track saw it return in 1989. The track remains one of the favourites on the calendar for both riders and fans, delivering exciting riding on fast fluid corners against a stunning backdrop of ocean and green countryside.
"I'm still a bit disappointed after Malaysia because we thought we could get a better result. The championship is very difficult now with three races remaining but at least we fought and we put all our efforts to win it. Phillip Island is a pretty track that I like a lot. Last year I achieved my second MotoGP world title there and that was a fantastic feeling. This time hopefully the weather is not so bad and we can have some fun. I would like to win as many races as possible until the end of the season at Valencia. That's our main goal and also to fight with Dani for second place in the championship, that is if we can't get the title; that is looking quite difficult now. I guess this circuit can suit us better than Aragon or Malaysia so I look forward to riding in a good shape in Australia."
"I really like the Phillip Island circuit, it is great fun to ride here. The track is very different from Sepang and I think that for us it will be better. We are improving with every race and I'm curious to see what happens in Australia. I made good races here and I won a lot. My goal is always the same: fight with Jorge, Dani and Marc. Now we will try to do the best in the next three races. We are ready to do this!"
"Phillip Island is one of Jorge's favourite tracks and he did a great race there last year when Casey Stoner was the only one who could be stronger than Jorge. Hopefully we can pick up a little bit more this year. I think here Jorge could be able to fight in a better conditions with colder temperatures and on a track where the important thing is to have a good balance with the bike, especially in the fast corners."
"Fortunately Phillip Island comes immediately after the race in Malaysia, where we have suffered more than we expected. We have good memories and results from here. This is a very suitable track for the characteristics of our bike so we expect a good result. Last year we won the world title here and the memory is very motivating. We are ready to do our best to close the season in a positive way. The riders are motivated and the respective crews too."
Ducati Team Heads Down Under to Phillip Island
With a difficult Malaysian Grand Prix having been completed just days ago, the Ducati Team is now in Australia, where they hope for a more positive weekend at Phillip Island Circuit, site of Round 16 in the MotoGP World Championship and the middle leg of a busy overseas tripleheader.
Situated on the Bass Straight in the state of Victoria, the popular track features an anticlockwise layout that includes a number of thrilling high-speed corners. Unpredictable weather conditions notwithstanding, the event is popular with teams, riders and fans alike, and with the track surface having received a fresh layer of asphalt last December, this year's Australian Grand Prix promises thrilling racing.
Since joining the championship in 2003, the Ducati Team has tallied four victories at Phillip Island, all at the hands of Casey Stoner, although the last two years have been more difficult. Nicky Hayden loves the circuit and in fact still holds the race-lap record he earned aboard a Honda in 2008, although he and his team face a challenging situation with the five-engine limit following his mechanical problem in Malaysia. Meanwhile, Andrea Dovizioso has garnered three podium results across three classes, including a 2004 victory in the 125cc division.
Andrea Dovizioso - Ducati Team
"Phillip Island is a really challenging track for everyone. Normally, the conditions are very difficult with the wind and cold. The circuit is completely different from Sepang in terms of temperature, track layout and grip. The tyre wears a lot on the left side, so I'm not sure what to expect from my Ducati on a track like this. As far as my results here are concerned, unfortunately they're nothing too special: just one win in the 125 class."
Nicky Hayden - Ducati Team
"Phillip Island is one of the best tracks in the championship. It's been repaved for this year, so we'll see how much smoother and faster it is now. In the past, I've gone really well there, but we're not on our best form or catching many breaks at the moment. We'll see what the weather's going to be like. The mornings can be quite cool and a lot different than the race, which makes it challenging for bike setup. There are a lot more lefthanders than right, so tyre wear on the left is very important, but at the same time, getting heat in the tyres in the mornings is a problem. I love Australia and look forward to it."
Vittoriano Guareschi - Team Manager
"Phillip Island is a track that has surprises in store nearly every year because the weather is really difficult to predict. We hope it won't be too cold as we've experienced on some occasions, because that makes things hard to manage for both the riders and us. We also face an additional challenge in that we have to manage Nicky's engine situation after the problem at Sepang. Still, both riders like the track, so we hope to have a decent race."
PODIUM QUEST CONTINUES AT PHILLIP ISLAND
The MotoGP teams and riders move swiftly from Malaysia to Australia this weekend as the most gruelling phase of the season gathers pace. The unique coastal location of the stunning Phillip Island circuit makes it a favourite destination for many of the riders and after another strong result at Sepang, Alvaro Bautista is determined to continue his good form at a track where he scored a positive result last season. With three races of the season remaining Alvaro is reaping the fruit of the hard work he has put in alongside the team and the engineers from Showa and Nissin to make his Honda RC213V competitive.
Alvaro Bautista "We were able to continue our good recent form at Sepang and it was just a shame about a small brake problem that meant the result couldn't have been even better. The work we are doing with Showa and Nissin is moving forward in the best possible way and our confidence is building as a result. I am really happy, satisfied with the job we're doing and looking forward to Phillip Island. It is the circuit where I won the 125cc World Championship and I had a good race last season, it's a circuit I love and I want to keep our high level of performance up. We are up to sixth in the championship now with a chance to consolidate, hopefully with another exciting race in the front pack. We need to make the most of the work we have done recently at Phillip Island and hopefully we can be competitive from Friday."
Bryan Staring "Finally we go to Phillip Island, a circuit that holds special memories for me because I have won here many times. I really want a good result in my home race to put the Sepang weekend behind us. We just couldn't get comfortable with the bike in Malaysia but a strong performance at Phillip Island would be a nice way to set us up for the last couple of races of the season."
Fausto Gresini "At Sepang we saw another exciting race from Alvaro. It was a shame about the brake issue but we are getting so much positive feedback from the work we are doing with Showa and Nissin. Now we go to Phillip Island, a track the riders love, to try and continue this positive form. We are going through a good run at the moment and I am sure that Alvaro can do well again, having scored a good result there last year. I am pleased with the way things are going for Alvaro, the team and our sponsor GO & FUN, who have put so much faith in this project. Alvaro will attempt to defend sixth place in the championship with another determined display in Australia
Repsol Honda MotoGP
Fresh from victory in Malaysia the Repsol Honda Team head to Australia
After their fantastic 1-2 finish in Sepang on Sunday, Dani Pedrosa, Marc Marquez and the Repsol Honda Team are already en route to Phillip Island in Australia.
The Phillip Island circuit is blessed with breathtaking scenery and beautiful ocean views and, as one of the fastest most fluid tracks on the calendar, it continues to provide some of the most spectacular racing of the MotoGP season. Both riders have had mixed results here in the past, Dani celebrating a solitary win here in 2005 (250cc) and a 3rd place finish in 2009 (MotoGP). Marc also only has one win to his name here in 2010 (125cc), and two 3rd place finishes in Moto2 (2011, 2012).
Dani closed the gap to Marc with his victory in Sepang, however, this weekend is Marc's first 'match point' as it becomes mathematically possible for him to win the Championship at this race - if he scores 7 more points than Jorge and doesn't lose more then 5 points to Dani.
As an additional bonus for the fans this year, one year after retiring from MotoGP, double World Champion and HRC test rider Casey Stoner will be joining fellow Australian World Champions Mick Doohan and Wayne Gardner for a lap of honour on Sunday before the race, which starts at 16h00 local time.
Marc Marquez Championship Standing: 1st - 298 points
"It was a good weekend in Malaysia and we took some very important Championship points. Now, without any time to rest, we head to Australia for the next race and we need to maintain the same direction and mentality as it's working for us in this moment. Phillip Island will be important for the Championship as there are only three races to go and every point makes a difference, but we will try to approach it as we do every race weekend, work hard from the beginning and keep our concentration"
Dani Pedrosa Championship Standing: 3rd - 244 points
"I'm very happy with my performance in Malaysia and the whole team did a great job. I've had two days of rest after the race and now we head to Phillip Island and will look to finish these three remaining races as strong as possible. The track itself is a lot of fun - the layout makes for an interesting race - and I'm also excited to testing the new asphalt. I've had mixed results there in the past but I'm looking forward to step up a gear and enjoy the track!"