2016 Phillip Island Sunday Round Up: What is an Alien, Anyway? And Who Is One?

Is there such a thing as an Alien? The provenance of the term is uncertain, though most people believe that it was coined by Colin Edwards in 2009, after he kept finishing in fifth place behind Valentino Rossi, Casey Stoner, Jorge Lorenzo, and Dani Pedrosa. Whatever he tried, he could not stay with them. "They are riding out of this world," he said.

The term has stuck. Since then, the term Alien has been applied to the top four riders, the only difference being that Marc Márquez has been swapped for Casey Stoner now that the Australian has retired. The reality is that since Jorge Lorenzo entered the class until the start of the 2016 season, the five MotoGP Aliens had accounted for all but two of the 143 MotoGP races held. The two non-Alien wins were by Andrea Dovizioso (Donington 2009) and Ben Spies (Assen 2011). Both of those races came in unusual conditions. The five Aliens dominated the podiums throughout that period as well.

2016 looks like becoming the year the Alien died. Or perhaps more realistically (and less dramatically) the year we had to readjust the concept of a MotoGP Alien. The season was going very much to plan up until Assen, when Jack Miller won an interrupted race in the driving rain. Then in Austria, Andrea Iannone finally did what everyone has been waiting for, won a race with a Ducati. Cal Crutchlow used a drying surface to his advantage to win at Brno, and then Maverick Viñales won at a dry but cold Silverstone. Questions were asked whether Maverick Viñales was the next Alien.

2016 Phillip Island Moto2 & Moto3 Saturday Post-Qualifying Press Releases

Press releases from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams after a wet qualifying at Phillip Island:

Frantic fifth pole position of 2016 for Brad Binder

Newly crowned Moto3 World Champion takes pole position at Australian GP in ‘smash and grab’ qualifying session. Bo Bendsneyder claims a positive fourth row.

10/22/2016 - Phillip Island Circuit, Australia

UPDATE: 2016 Phillip Island Moto3 QP: A Frenzied Pole Dance

SUNDAY UPDATE: Two riders were docked starting positions late Saturday so the grid has been reshuffled. Fabio Quartararo was remanded to the rear of the grid after race direction found illegal software in the KTM's ECU. He will start at the back of the grid and every rider -- except pole-sitter Brad Binder -- will move forward one position. And Francesco Bagnaia will be docked three grid positions at the start of the race, bumping him from 9th to 12th and moving three riders forward. The qualifying chart (below) has been changed to reflect Quartararo's demotion. Bagnaia, who was found to have caused Nocolo Bulega's qualifying crash, will be docked on the starting grid and so remains in 9th until the race start.

Results Below:

2016 Phillip Island Moto3 FP3 Result: Bagnaia Leads Mahindra Clean Sweep

The weather gods are looking on Phillip Island with a little bit less disdain on Saturday morning, the Moto3 FP3 session starting on a wet track, but under a dry sky. It would not quite remain fully dry all session - spots of rain started to fall in the final minutes - but track conditions were good enough to provide consistent improvements.


Subscribe to Moto3