Press releases from the MotoGP teams and single tire supplier Bridgestone after the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island:
Glory for Casey and sadness for Dani in Phillip Island
Today, the Repsol Honda team has tasted glory and disappointment in equal measures at the Australian Grand Prix. The glory, seeing the 2011 World Champion, Casey Stoner, celebrating victory at his last home race of his career, with a sixth consecutive win at Phillip Island, the fifth of the 2012 season and 45th of his career, 38 of them in MotoGP.
On the flip side, there was huge disappointment for the Repsol Honda Team as title contender Dani Pedrosa crashed out on the second lap in a race he was pushing to win, despite the incredible domaination his teammate Casey showed throughout the weekend.
Dani took the lead on the first lap, overtaking Lorenzo in Turn 4, and in that same turn, a lap later, he lost the front and his race and title hopes were over. Casey started to increase his amazing pace lap by lap to take the checkered flag 9.2 seconds ahead of Jorge Lorenzo, who with this result was crowned MotoGP World Champion. The Repsol Honda riders have now consolidated their final standings in the 2012 Championship, Dani in 2nd and Casey 3rd with one race to go, in Valencia in two weeks time.
CASEY STONER 1st World Championship Standing: 3rd with 238 points
"It was very important for me to win a race before the end of the season and I'm really happy to do it here, at home, in front of the huge crowd. My biggest worry was to be fit again and competitive for this race, but we managed it and we had something over everyone else and this was the perfect way to say goodbye here. I was pretty nervous going into the race but the conditions were fantastic for a Phillip Island race! When I knew I only had a few laps left and a big lead, I was watching the crowd and it was fantastic to see everyone cheering me on, it made me very proud to be Australian. My biggest congratulations to Jorge, he's ridden an almost perfect season finishing 1st or 2nd when possible and I'm just disappointed not to be in the championship fight, but I made my own mistakes and this is how things go. My condolences to Dani - I saw him crash out in front of me - but he had to push today and go out and win the race to keep his championship hopes alive. It was a small mistake, easy to do in this corner and I feel very sorry for him. Thanks to everyone for coming down and showing their support!"
DANI PEDROSA DNF World Championship Standing: 2nd with 307 points
"It's a sad feeling more than disappointment; I pushed as hard as I could; I did what I had to do and I have no regrets for my riding, especially this season. I feel very proud of my team and of my performance throughout the year. I think after what happened in Misano, we showed a very good attitude, skill and power. So, there is some sadness because we've been closer than ever to take the title, but also proud for all we achieved. Concerning the crash, it was nothing strange; I just went wider on the corner, I had some chatter and lost the front; maybe the tyre was not warm enough as well, but it's like it is. Congratulations to Casey for his sixth win at his home Grand Prix and to Lorenzo because he deserved the championship, as well as Marc Márquez in Moto2".
SHUHEI NAKAMOTO - HRC EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT
"Today has been a very special day for us. So sad to see Dani out of the Championship as we really believed it was possible to achieve, but so happy to see Casey win here in Phillip Island again. Anyway, that's racing and we must congratulate Jorge for the great season he has done this year. We will try again to beat him in 2013!"
Lorenzo Claims World Championship Title in Phillip Island
Yamaha Factory Racing rider Jorge Lorenzo wrapped up a season of domination today with second on the podium in the Grand Prix of Australia to claim his second MotoGP World Championship title, becoming Spain's first ever double premier-class Grand Prix Champion. Starting from second on the grid, Lorenzo took the hole shot from the start line, but dropped to third initially behind Championship rival Dani Pedrosa and race leader Casey Stoner. As the leading pack ran through turn four Pedrosa crashed out, leaving Stoner and Lorenzo to break away. The Championship leader delivered a textbook race of inch perfect laps, maintaining the gap to Cal Crutchlow chasing in third, eventually crossing the line to claim the 2012 MotoGP Rider’s title.
The win puts Lorenzo on 350 points, 43 clear of Pedrosa going into the final round. Over the season The World Champion amassed an impressive six race wins and ten second place finishes to secure the title. He now heads to his home race free from the pressure to win and happy to deliver one last race of the year in front of his home crowd.
Position : 2nd Time: +9.223
“What a day! I’m very happy, it was easier than I expected because Dani made a mistake in a corner and crashed. I wanted to keep with Casey but he was so strong. Today all I had to do was finish the race and I have become World Champion for the second time. It’s such a sweet feeling! I want to thank all the team, Yamaha, my family, my friends, sponsors and fans who support me. Today is an amazing moment. We’ve been very patient, very concentrated and finally the World title arrives!”
“It was a very exciting start to the Phillip Island race, we knew we had to beat Dani and of course he knew as well so he pushed really hard in the beginning. In the end it was a bit too hard, but chapeau to him for trying. We knew we had good pace and think we maybe could have beaten him anyway on consistency. From that point Jorge only had to bring it home. He’s had a great season of wins or second places and now the world Championship title!”
“Jorge has really delivered an amazing season for Yamaha and again today we saw his trademark consistency and dedication to deliver second on the podium. From the first race in Qatar his consistency and dedication have been that of a champion so we fully expected he could achieve the best result possible. I want to thank the whole Team who have also been responsible for the success, working as hard as him to make sure he has had a competitive bike to fight with his rivals at each round. It has been a pleasure to watch him ride this year, he is a worthy champion.”
Difficult race for Ducati Team at Phillip Island
The Australian Grand Prix, which today saw Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo crowned world champions in the Moto2 and MotoGP classes, respectively, proved to be particularly challenging for the Ducati Team and its two riders, who brought home seventh and eighth place points.
Despite working hard along with their respective teams, Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden weren’t able to maintain a fast enough race pace to fight with the group of riders whose lap times they had approached over the previous two days.
The Australian race completes the long overseas trip and leaves only the Spanish round in Valencia, which will close out the 2012 season in two weeks.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 7th
“As far as the result is concerned, I think seventh place is probably the best that was possible, whereas the gap could have been better. Nicky was with me the whole race. I was ahead and I pushed, but I was never able to shake him. The bike I crashed with in the warm-up had some small changes that we wanted to try, but honestly, I don’t think I could have done much more. I’m not able to enter the corners fast because whenever I try, I go too wide. I have to brake earlier, try to keep a bit of margin, and then accelerate as soon as possible, but by opening the gas very early, with the bike leaned over, the tyre heats up a lot on the edges. Today it immediately started sliding too much. Complements to Marquez and Lorenzo for their titles, which both of them certainly deserve.”
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 8th
“It was a really hard weekend. Normally I love Phillip Island, but we did 32.3s in FP1 and haven’t been able to improve grip and turning much since, despite making a lot of changes. I felt a little better in the race and was able to fight with Valentino a little bit. He was faster in the beginning, but once the tyres went away, I could manage, although front-tyre wear hurt me toward the end. I thought I might be able to have a go at him in the last couple of laps, but then I ran wide in turn 11 and he got a break on me. He was going to be tough to beat anyway. It’s frustrating, because I remember battling with Valentino for the win here, and we’ve been on the podium together a few times at this track. Thanks to the team because we really tried everything this weekend.”
Vittoriano Guareschi, Team Manager
“It was a very challenging weekend for the team and the riders, even if everyone tried their best to find a setup that would work on this track. Today’s crash in the warm-up certainly didn’t help Valentino, but anyway, I don’t think things would have gone much differently. Nicky had a difficult time all weekend. Back home, we’ll have to analyse all the data we’ve gathered and do better at Valencia in the last race.”
BRADL TAKES 6th PLACE AFTER A THRILLING BATTLE AT THE ISLAND GP
Phillip Island, 28th October: fast and flowing Phillip Island track was sunny and packed today for the last local hero Casey Stoner’s home GP who confirmed his dominance winning the 27lap race whilst the LCR Honda’s racer Stefan Bradl was again a strong performer finishing 6th.
In his first visit to the ocean circuit on a MotoGP machine, the German had vastly improved from Friday’s practices gaining more confidence aboard his RC213V and starting a close battle with Dovizioso and Bautista for the 4th place till the last corner. Now Bradl is holding the 8th place in the world standing with 135 points.
Stefan: “Off course we are all happy because we did not expect such a close fight for the 4th place today after the difficult first day of practices we had here. It’s a shame that we lost the 4th place because I was on hard tyre today and had a small advantage on my competitors so I thought I could take it. But the other guys had other advantages on me so we were plus or minus on the same level but in the last lap I was stopped by Bautista and Dovi passed me. I am not the one who usually lost the battle but I am quite happy anyway because we showed our pace once again and want to thank the Team for their excellent job this weekend”.
POWER ELECTRONICS ASPAR RIDERS TUSSLE FOR TOP TEN
Aleix Espargaró and Randy De Puniet fight to be best CRT at Phillip Island. Spaniard finally wins out for tenth place, with teammate eleventh
Jorge Lorenzo was crowned MotoGP World Champion for 2012 in a race in which he was mostly a spectator, watching on as Casey Stoner took a dominant sixth win at Phillip Island. Stoner's triumph had been predictable after watching the weekend unfold, but what hadn't been foreseen was an early crash for Dani Pedrosa on the second lap. Pedrosa and Lorenzo had got in front of poleman Stoner off the line, but things took a twist very early in. That fall for Pedrosa, when leading the race, gave the title to Lorenzo and meant that all three categories now have a new champion. Stoner crossed the line with a large advantage on his final appearance at Phillip Island.
It had been a while since the POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar riders had put on a show for the fans with a head to head battle -two GPs in fact. They did it again today with a tussle that lasted almost the entirety of the 27 lap contest. Randy de Puniet had been the leading CRT at Phillip Island and had the pace to catch some of the official bikes. However, he stalled on the start and lost four positions. He caught up with teammate Aleix Espargaró on the second lap and the battle began. Aleix eventually won out, to finish tenth. De Puniet crossed the line eleventh.
10th Aleix Espargaró: "Before the flyaways we won at Aragón. I spoke with my mechanics afterwards and we agreed that if we wanted to be the best CRT, then we needed to win at least three of the last four races. At the moment we are on course for that. I am very happy and it was fun in the race. I had an exciting battle with Randy, above all on the final two laps. I tried to slipstream him on the straight a few times, but it wasn't possible. I waited until the start of the last lap and pushed. I took a risk and it worked out. He has been very strong all weekend, so in Valencia we will have to work hard to avoid any unexpected occurrence."
11th Randy De Puniet: "I'm a little upset, because I thought I was able to follow the official Ducati bikes. In fact, comparing the laps after the race, I saw that we were virtually identical in pace. Right at the start, when I changed from second to third gear, I noticed how the bike stood still. With this incident I lost time and positions. Then it was hard to move up positions. Gradually I tagged onto riders ahead of me, pairing up with Aleix. We exchanged a few passes and he rode well; I couldn't force him into making a mistake. I hate to end a race like this; not because my teammate beat me, but because the race didn't go as I would have liked and expected."
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED FOR ALVARO BAUTISTA
Alvaro Bautista met his objective of a fifth place finish at Phillip Island today, the Spaniard fighting hard for fourth until the finish of a race won by Casey Stoner. Bautista's battle with Andrea Dovizioso and Stefan Bradl provided much of the entertainment in the race and another top five finish here in Australia consolidated fifth place in the championship with one round remaining at Valencia. Michele Pirro also scored important points although a technical problem in the closing stages meant that he wasn't able to achieve his own personal objective of finishing in the top three CRTs today.
Alvaro Bautista (5th) “We have achieved our objective here but I have to recognise that if it wasn't for the crash from Dani Pedrosa I would have been sixth. I am disappointed for him because he has produced some extraordinary races recently but today he lost the championship on the second lap. This morning in the warm-up we could see that Crutchlow had a better pace than us so when I saw Pedrosa crash I just tried my best to stick in the group behind Lorenzo in the hope we could fight for the podium but we were lacking straight line speed. All the time I lost down the straight I had to make up for the rest of the lap but it was a fun battle with Dovizioso and Bradl, we passed each other many times and the race went quickly for me. I made one last attempt at the end but again Dovizioso got me down the straight and then did a good job to close every door. Anyway it's a positive result so thanks to all the team and now let's hope we can seal fifth in the championship at Valencia. ”
Michele Pirro (14th) “The objective was to finish as the third highest CRT but we had a problem with the fairing that cost us time at the end of the race. It is a shame but I am happy to come away from this race with two points that consolidate my position as the third highest CRT in the championship and that is important.”
Fausto Gresini “Fifth place for Alvaro confirms the progress he has made in the second half of the season and it is a credit to the hard work of his team. I am confident now about a grand finale in Valencia and hopefully fifth in the championship because they deserve it. It was a shame about the fairing problem for Michele because it could have been a much better day for him but there is plenty for us to be satisfied about with the CRT project and now we have a chane to go to Valencia and finish the season as the third best CRT, which would be a nice reward for the hard work and belief that has been shown in this project. ”
Crutchlow grabs early birthday present with Phillip Island podium
Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team rider Cal Crutchlow gave himself the perfect early birthday present when he scorched to a stunning podium finish in this afternoon's AirAsia Australian Grand Prix.
The British rider turns 27 tomorrow (Monday) and he kicked off the celebrations early after a fantastic ride to third position in front of a record crowd of 53,100 fans packed into the spectacular Phillip Island track.
After Dani Pedrosa's early crash out of the lead on the second lap, Crutchlow brilliantly kept Monster Yam aha Tech 3 teammate Andrea Dovizioso, Alvaro Bautista and Stefan Bradl at bay in an exciting early battle for third place.
Eight laps had been completed when Crutchlow commenced a devastating attack that saw him comfortably streak away from the chasing trio. At the end of lap eight he pulled a 1.050s advantage over Dovizioso, but just four laps later his red-hot pace had seen him establish a gap of more than 3.5s.
Crutchlow was still feeling below 100% after being struck down by a nasty bout of bronchitis earlier in the weekend, but he was able to maintain a fast and consistent pace in sunny but cool conditions to bring his YZR-M1 machine in a richly deserved third position.
It was Crutchlow's second rostrum finish off a fantastic second season in MotoGP and today's result means he still has an o utside chance of claiming a top five finish in the overall World Championship standings with one round remaining.
With Crutchlow riding off into the distance in third, it was left to Dovizioso to provide the most entertaining battle of the 27-lap race. His pulsating fight with Bautista and Bradl went right down to the wire, with Dovizioso starting the final lap at the tail of the group in sixth.
The Italian's race craft and experience came to the fore though and in the decisive final moments he was able to pass both Bradl and Bautista to finish fourth. It was the 15th time in 17 races that Dovizioso has finished inside the top five and he heads to the final round in Valencia optimistic that he can end the season with a strong finish.
Cal Crutchlow 3rd – 151 points:
“I am really happy with this result because it is a great way to finish this period of three races in a row. After the disappointment of running out of fuel while battling for the podium on the last lap in Japan and then crashing in Sepang, I really needed a positive result here and that's what we've got. Considering how ill I've felt with the fever and bronchitis, to be back on the podium is a fantastic feeling and we definitely deserved it. The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team gave me a great bike all weekend and I was very confident and calm when in front of Andrea, Bautista and Bradl. I knew I could go faster and pull away and once I opened up a comfortable gap, I just stayed relaxed and consistent because I wasn't going to catch Jorge. Another podium is a great result and we've backed up the third in Brno. It's great too because it is my birthday tomorrow and this is a good way to kick off the celebrations. It was a big thrill to be on the podium here with Casey winning. The fans gave him a great reception and I'm glad I could be part of it. I want to say big congratulations to Yamaha and Jorge too for winning the World Championship. They have done an amazing job and they both deserve this success.”
Andrea Dovizioso 4th – 208 points:
“I knew that it was going to be a tough race because I didn't had the same pace as Cal. All I could do was to try during the first laps to get in front of him or to put him under pressure but it was not possible. He was riding very well so I decided the best strategy was not to take too many risks. The battle with Bradl and Bautista was really exciting and I had a lot of fun. I'm sure the fans appreciated it as well because we were pushing and changing places for the whole race. I am satisfied to fi nish in front of the group and it was a strong battle right to the chequered flag. My next race in Valencia is the last for the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team, so I go there with high motivation and determination to get a strong result to end our successful relationship in a positive way.”
Herve Poncharal – Team Manager:
“That was an incredible afternoon because Cal finished on the podium, the local hero won in front of a record crowd and Jorge and Yamaha clinched the World Championship. The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team did a really good job. They both made a really strong start and it was impressive to see Cal pull away from the group with Andrea, Bautista and Bradl. His pace was very close to Jorge and after the disappointment of Japan and Malaysia this was a great way to bounce back. Cal was very consistent for the whole race and he never made any mistakes. He maintained his concentration and I think he deserved this result because he kept on pushing all weekend when he was far from his physical best because of the illness. Andrea also had a strong race and it was definitely an epic fight with Bautista and Bradl. The crowd certainly got entertained but Andrea was very smart on the final lap. He showed his experience, cleverness and coolness to pass both of them and fourth place is another incredibly strong result. Today's stunning race ensured we have secured third position in the Team World Championship and this is an outstanding achievement for a non-factory team. It highlights the incredible job Cal and Andrea have done as well as the great support we get from Yamaha. I also want to congratulate Yamaha and Jorge for the World Championship. Together they really did a fantastic job during the season and I'm delighted to see them win the first 1000cc title.”
Success Down Under: Karel Abraham gets a superb start and battles with Rossi and Hayden in the race
Czech motorcycle rider Karel Abraham has bagged another finish in the top ten elite in the MotoGP class at the Australian Grand Prix. He finished the race in ninth place, after having battled for much of its duration in a group with Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden, both riding more advanced factory machines. Abaja crossed the line fifty-two seconds behind race winner Casey Stoner. Finishing second was Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo – enough to secure his title as World Champion. On behalf of the entire Cardion AB Motoracing team – we congratulate him!
“I’m really happy about the race: we’ve finished in the Top 10 yet again – which also means a fair amount of points. On the other hand, I also have to feel a bit frustrated, because it could have worked out a lot better. I had a great start and even got in front of Nicky Hayden, after which I managed to hold my position in the group between Valentino and Hayden. I felt really sure of the bike for the first time in ages, and even thought I could overtake Valentino. But from about the twelfth lap the bike started to play up, Nicky passed me, and both of them started to pull away. Whilst that was a bit of a shame, we can still regard this race as being a really good result.”
Marco Grana, Chief Mechanic Cardion AB Motoracing
“Of course we’re really satisfied with ninth place. Karel put in a really good performance, he rode the seventh fastest time for a single lap, and that’s a fantastic result! For a large part of the race Karel was able to ride in contention with Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden, both on factory bikes. Unfortunately, the bike then started to develop a few problems: the rear end started to slide and Karel began to fall behind Valentino. At the moment we have no idea why the motorcycle started behaving differently during the course of the race; the rear tire was still in an OK condition, and yet it was spinning far too much and Karel was losing time when accelerating. In contrast to Malaysia, where we all felt a bit down after the race, now we are looking forward to Valencia, and we’re confident that we’ll have another good race.”
A problem with the gearbox stops Edwards at Philip Island
The AirAsia Grand Prix has lasted just a few laps for Edwards who decided to come into the pits after having a problem with the gearbox of his Suter – BWM.
Colin Edwards – Not Classified
“It all started this morning, we went out and I missed the downshift pretty bad in the warm up and maybe it damaged something in the gear box because after a couple of laps I couldn’t downshift at the end of the main straight. Finally I run out a little wide but after this everything seemed to be ok after that. Again on the main straight I could hear a clinking, like metal on metal or chassis on chassis, or maybe even the gearbox again, so decided to pit in to see what was wrong.”
Sergio Verbena – Crew Chief
“It’s a shame we had to retire today, because our pace was good enough to battle for good points with some other CRT. Looks like we had a failure with a gearbox sensor but we need to analize data to figure out. Colin had a bad feeling with a gearbox and he preferred to stop because it’s very dangerous to have this kind of troubles on a very fast track like Phillip Island is.”
BARBERA’ SLOWED BY CHATTERING PROBLEMS
A difficult race for the Pramac Racing Team and his rider, Héctor Barberà, that closed their penultimate 2012 MotoGP round, achieving an unfulfilling 12th place at the Australian Grand Prix.
After an imperfect start, the Spaniard was able to climb over some positions, achieving and fighting for the top ten thanks to a good race pace.
Nevertheless, after a few laps, Héctor experienced an unexpected chattering issue, that forced him to lose both important positions and confidence with his Ducati.
After that Héctor was not capable to ride with the early pace, losing the contact with the group and struggling to manage his place throughout the race.
The next round is planned for Valencia in Spain, the final race of this spectacular 2012 season.
Héctor Barberà – Pramac Racing Team Rider – Position 12th
“What I can say…we struggled from the first day of practices to find the right front end feeling, but, during today’s race I had an unpredictable chattering issue in different areas of the track. We never had a big chatter problem in the past like today and, in these conditions, I didn’t have enough confidence to ride as I wanted”.
A TECHNICAL PROBLEM PREVENTS ROLFO FROM ENDING THE RACE AT PHILLIP ISLAND
The circuit of Phillip Island hosted today the penultimate race of the MotoGP class for the 2012 season.
In the warm up, Rolfo completed a total of twelve laps for some final checks on used tyres. Starting from the sixth row of the grid, in the race Roberto tried to get close to the group of the CRT machines, setting a consistent rhythm. When there were nine laps left to the chequered flag, a technical problem prevented the Italian from continuing his solitary race, and therefore he leaves Australia without having the opportunity to score some points for the Championship Classification.
Roberto Rolfo #84 - retired
“I’m disappointed for how the race ended today. The rhythm we had wasn’t too bad, I was hoping to stay with the other CRT machines that had been faster than me in the qualifying practice, the bike was quick. The warm up wasn’t too easy, as we worked on used tyres. In the race, the start wasn’t one of the best, but there was a chance to improve my placement. Meanwhile the CRT group went away and I tried to put in a consistent pace on my own, with the aim to set some good times. When there were about ten laps left, I started having some problems with the bike and soon after it stopped. Now we are going to see what forced us to retire. Even if the CRT group was far, we could have achieved some points. We’ll do our best to make up for this in Valencia.”
Stoner makes it six in a row at Phillip Island
Round 17: Australian Grand Prix – Race
Phillip Island, Sunday 28 October 2012
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium. Rear: Medium, Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Weather: Dry. Ambient 16-16°C; Track 33-33°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner took his sixth consecutive victory at Phillip Island in a dominating display as Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo claimed the 2012™ MotoGP championship after finishing second in the Australian Grand Prix.
Starting on pole for his last home Grand Prix, Stoner didn’t get the best of starts but inherited the race lead after his teammate Dani Pedrosa suffered an unfortunate low-speed crash at Honda Hairpin on lap two that ended his title aspirations. From that point on Stoner built a comfortable lead and took the checkered flag 9.223 seconds ahead of a jubilant Lorenzo, while Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow stepped up to the podium for the second time this year after finishing in third place. Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro again took the honours among the CRT riders, narrowly beating teammate Randy de Puniet to tenth place by just 0.043 seconds.
Track conditions for today’s race were the best they were all weekend, though low ambient temperatures and a persistent sea breeze kept track temperatures in the low 30°C range. The moderate track temperature for the race made softer option slicks the preferred choice, with all riders selecting the soft compound front slick, while every rider except LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl selected the softer rear option – the medium compound slick.
Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“The weather was better today but still quite cool meaning that softer compound slicks were preferred by almost every rider for the race. Morning Warm Up gave some riders the opportunity to test the harder slick options both front and rear, but it was still too cool for these options to work effectively, especially for the front tyre. Track temperatures increased slightly in the afternoon, though only one rider selected the harder rear slick for the race. Considering the cool, unpredictable weather we’ve had at Phillip Island I am satisfied with tyre performance as there were no complaints about warm-up performance which is always a major consideration at this circuit.”
Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda – Race Winner
“It’s been a fantastic build up and it was very important for me to win a race before I retired and to do it at my home Grand Prix was a fairy tale. The fans have been amazing, I’ve never seen Cowes so busy and I know a big part of that is because of this being my last race here so it gives me a great feeling and pride as an Aussie to go out there and win today.”