2014 Phillip Island Sunday Round Up: Why The MotoGP Race Was Not A Tire Fiasco, And Rossi Reaps Rewards

Once again, a MotoGP race at Phillip Island is decided by tires. The tires Bridgestone brought to the Australian circuit were not up to the task, with riders crashing out all throughout the race. The front tires Bridgestone brought to the track were unable to cope with the conditions. The result was determined by tires, not by talent.

That, at least, is the narrative being heard around the internet after the bizarre yet fascinating MotoGP race at Phillip Island. It is an attractive narrative – a nice, simple explanation for what happened in Australia – but it is fundamentally flawed. The tire situation was complicated, certainly. Jorge Lorenzo's front tire showed very severe degradation, more than would normally be explained by the expected wear. Several riders crashed out on the asymmetric front tire Bridgestone brought. But to lay the blame entirely on Bridgestone is quite wrong.

The problems at Phillip Island are inherent to the track, and were exacerbated by changes made to suit European TV schedules. Phillip Island, like Assen, is a track which places peculiar demands on tires. It features a lot of very fast left-hand corners, with only a few right handers, two of which are the slowest corners on the track. It is located next to the Bass Strait, a freezing stretch of water connected to the globe-spanning Southern Ocean, which means the weather is highly changeable. Temperatures dropped during the race by as much as 9°C, probably a result of Dorna insisting on running the race at 4pm local time (the late afternoon) to hit a 7am TV slot in their main markets of Spain and Italy. That time will draw a bigger audience than the 5am slot a 2pm race start would fill. But to locals, racing at 4pm at this time of the year is madness.

2014 Phillip Island MotoGP Sunday Post-Race Press Releases

Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone after an incident-packed Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island:

Round Number: 
16
Year: 
2014

2014 Phillip Island Moto2 And Moto3 Sunday Post-Race Press Releases

Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 after Sunday's thrilling races at Phillip Island:

Round Number: 
16
Year: 
2014

2014 MotoGP Championship Standings After Round 16, Phillip Island, Australia

MotoGP Championship standings for round 16, 2014

2014 Moto2 Championship Standings After Round 16, Phillip Island, Australia

Championship standings for round 16, 2014

2014 Phillip Island Moto2 Race Result: Comfortable Victory Taken In Race Of Errors

Full Recap and Results Below.

2014 Moto3 Championship Standings After Round 16, Phillip Island, Australia

Championship standings for round 16, 2014

2014 Phillip Island MotoGP WUP: Repsol Honda Duo Top Warm Up

Marc Marquez has topped the final MotoGP pre-race hit out at Phillip Island with a time of 1:29.871, he topped the time sheets for the morning Warm Up and edged out his team mate Dani Pedrosa by two hundredths of a second. Jorge Lorenzo and Iannone also ended the session less than a tenth of a second behind Marquez while Valentino Rossi was a further tenth behind, the top eleven riders down to Stefan Bradl were split by less than half of a second. 

Some riders practiced flag-to-flag bike swaps throughout as a dark gray cloud cover blanketed the circuit, it meant for humid suffocating conditions however this was more carried out as a precaution, no rain is forecast for later this afternoon. 

Results:

2014 Phillip Island Moto2 WUP: Rabat Heads Evenly Matched Field

Tito Rabat has maintained his position at the top of the Moto2 class at Phillip Island following the morning Warm Up session, the field appear to have closed the gap to the Championship leader however as he edged out Sam Lowes and Marcel Schrotter by less than a tenth of a second. The competitive nature of the field was further emphasized by the top 20 riders lap times being separated by just over one second which should make for a highly entertaining race later this afternoon. 

Azlan Shah, Axel Pons and Robin Mulhauser didn't take part in the session after all riders were declared unfit to race due to injuries picked up yesterday.

Results:

2014 Phillip Island Saturday Round Up: The Rufea Team's Front Row Sweep, Winning Attitude, And The Secret Of Riding The Ducati

The three men on pole for Sunday's Australian Grand Prix have a lot in common. One is already champion in MotoGP, another could become champion on Sunday, the other looks to have taken control of the Moto3 title chase in the past few races. The MotoGP and Moto3 pole sitters are brothers, and the man on pole for Moto2 is a good friend of the brothers. Most importantly, perhaps, all three train together.

The "Rufea Team", as they are known to the Spanish media and among themselves, spend long days pushing each other hard at the dirt track oval in Rufea, a small parish outside of Lleida in Spain. Moto2 championship leader Tito Rabat doesn't spend as much time there as the Marquez brothers Marc and Alex, as he is mainly based in Almeria, where he spends his days whittling away the circuit record. But when he does go, the three go all out for glory, even though they are only racing among themselves, and in front of a couple of friends, and maybe the Marquez brothers' father Julià.

Is it coincidence that the trio should find themselves leading their respective championships? Marc Marquez has already proved his talent, by wrapping up four world championships, including three in a row. Tito Rabat has grown enormously as a rider after switching to the Marc VDS Racing team, and stepping out of the shadow of Pol Espargaro at Pons. Alex Marquez already proved himself in the Spanish championship, got up to speed in Moto3 last year, and is proving to be the steadiest of the Moto3 riders.

Scott Jones On The Island: Saturday Photos From Australia


Free of pressure, and fast as ever


There's nothing quite like a 99 by the seaside


Cal Crutchlow has finally figured the Ducati out: ride it like you stole it

2014 Phillip Island MotoGP Saturday Post-Qualifying Press Releases

Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone after qualifying at Phillip Island:

Round Number: 
16
Year: 
2014
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