Press releases from the MotoGP teams and Bridgestone after an incident-packed Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island:
The Doctor Marks 250th Grand Prix in MotoGP with Perfect Phillip Island Performance
Phillip Island (Australia), 19th October 2014
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi raised the roof in Australia today, delivering a stunning race victory at Phillip Island for the Australian Grand Prix. Teammate Jorge Lorenzo claimed the second step of the rostrum as part of a full Yamaha podium with Bradley Smith in third.
The Doctor made a great start to his 250th Grand Prix race in MotoGP as he jumped two places to sixth on the opening laps. He fought off Dani Pedrosa as he continued to battle his way to the front of the field, passing Bradley Smith and Pol Espargarò for third place.
Starting from third on the grid Lorenzo was not shy in grabbing the hole shot into turn one. He initially led the race, before falling back behind rival Marc Marquez. Lorenzo pushed to the limit but was unable to match the race leader’s pace.
Meanwhile teammate Rossi gradually closed down the gap to reach the rear end of Lorenzo’s M1 on lap nine. What happened next was a flurry of activity. With 17 laps to go Rossi set a fastest lap of 1’29.605 and made his first overtaking move at the hairpin and then Lorenzo fought back and retook second place in the first corner of the following lap. Over the next seven laps the teammates continued to swap places, when suddenly race leader Marquez crashed out of the race on lap 18 and they were left fighting for first and second place.
Rossi then put the hammer down and created an unbridgeable gap, while Lorenzo’s front tyre started to drop dramatically, forcing him to hand over second place to Cal Crutchlow. He kept pushing in his efforts to manage the gap to the following riders. Drama then struck again as Crutchlow also crashed on the last lap, handing Lorenzo a lucky but well fought second place, his tenth podium finish of the season.
Oblivious to the drama behind him, Rossi had increased his lead to 10.836 seconds and took an amazing victory as he wheelied over the finish line to celebrate his 108th Grand Prix win in all classes. The stunning win cements Valentino Rossi’s reputation as one of the greatest riders to grace the Phillip Island circuit.
Thanks to this amazing result, Rossi stays in second place in the championship with a points total of 255. He thereby increases the advantage over his teammate Lorenzo to eight points, whose third place sees him rise to third in the championship with 247 points.
46 Valentino Rossi
1st / 40'46.405 / 27 laps
“I’m so happy because Phillip Island is one of the most important and most beautiful tracks of the season. I won here many times in the past, but over the last few years I was only able to get onto the podium without winning the race. To comeback and take the first position after ten years is great. It's also great to see three Yamaha's on the podium! The race was tricky. The work that we did during the weekend with the team was very important. We did a fantastic job and made the right front tyre choice. Marquez was not too far in front of me but he had a two second gap, so I decided to focus on my pace and on Jorge. He was very fast during the whole weekend, but for the second position in the championship it was very important to finish in front of him. When I was in front Marquez crashed and I said to myself “victory!"
99 Jorge Lorenzo
2nd / +10.836 / 27 laps
“It’s a great result for Yamaha, because there are three of us on the podium. Our race on the other hand did not go as I expected to. We struggled a lot to get the best set up for the race. Everything needs to be perfect, but if you put on the wrong tyre the race is over. I’m happy for the second place. This has been the luckiest second place in my life, because there were a lot of riders that could have finished in front of me. Honestly I’m a bit disappointed because with a different tyre it would have been possible to stay with Marc and fight for the race. We'll keep on doing our best to be in the best possible shape in Malaysia and try to win the race”.
“It has been an incredible race. We’ve been very competitive all weekend and we knew we could achieve a good result here. We were a little unsure about this afternoon’s colder conditions, but Vale did a brilliant job to take the victory starting from eighth. He didn't make any mistakes and showed some great overtakes. Jorge also rode another strong race. He was always pushing hard, but his front tyre started to drop towards the second half so he had to manage the grip level as best he could. Despite this problem, we couldn't ask for a better result. It’s another double podium for our team and it’s great to see three Yamahas’ at the front. We now look forward to another strong race in Sepang where we plan to continue to show what we are capable of. I need to thank the whole team who worked very hard this weekend to give the riders competitive bikes to challenge for the honours they have won.”
Fourth place for Andrea Dovizioso in Australian GP at Phillip Island, while Cal Crutchlow crashes out from second on last lap
Andrea Dovizioso finished fourth in the Australian Grand Prix, round 16 of the 2014 MotoGP World Championship, which took place today at the Phillip Island circuit. The Ducati Team rider scored a positive result after fighting with the Espargaro brothers, Smith and Bradl throughout for fifth and in the end, helped by some retirements, he was able to take fourth at the flag.
Cal Crutchlow was unlucky not to reach the chequered flag after his best race of the year. The Coventry man was holding on to a safe second place behind Rossi, when he lost the front of his Desmosedici GP14 at turn 4 of the final lap and had to retire. After a bad start, Cal was ninth at the end of lap 1, but had moved up to fourth by lap 6. He gained another place after Marquez crashed on lap 18 and then took Lorenzo on lap 23, but the final lap crash denied the British rider of a well-deserved podium.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 4th
“It was a really unusual race, and I can’t say that I am happy with this weekend because I was never really competitive. This experience will be useful for next year however: we must understand where and how we can improve. I’m pleased to finish fourth at the flag because scoring a result like this, with the pace that we had before the race, is in any case positive. Now we go to Malaysia and Sepang, which is a track I love, so we’ll try and do better.”
Cal Crutchlow (Ducati Team #35) – DNF
“I’m absolutely gutted with today’s result. We didn’t deserve that. The first time I slowed throughout the whole race was on the last lap and the front tyre obviously cooled down. I chose the asymmetrical and this was always the risk that we took. It was just a shame that the only mistake I made was slowing down a bit and not carrying on pushing for the rest of the lap. It’s a disappointment to my team, because I believe they deserved it and I’m really sorry for that.”
Luigi Dall’Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager)
“We are obviously very disappointed. Cal did a really extraordinary race after his excellent qualifying run yesterday, showing that he has finally reached a good feeling with the GP14, and he would have thoroughly deserved the second place. Unfortunately that’s racing: what remains is consolation that we again today demonstrated the competitiveness of our Desmosedici and that in any case we scored an important fourth place with Dovizioso.”
Heartache for Repsol Honda after Pedrosa is taken out and Marquez crashes in final stages of Australian GP
It’s been an emotional roller coaster for the Repsol Honda Team this week. After clinching the World Championship last week in Japan, today the team suffered a double DNF in Phillip Island.
With ambient temperatures fluctuating throughout the day, Marc lost a few places from pole position, dropping back briefly but then moving back up to first by the end of lap one. Dani unfortunately got stuck in the pack and was squeezed down to ninth place by lap five. Marc continued to push at the front – leading every lap – and opened up a comfortable gap over duelling Lorenzo and Rossi. Then on lap seven Dani was hit in the rear by Iannone resulting in a buckled rear wheel rim which forced him to retire out of the race. Marc continued to extend his lead to over four seconds, then on lap nineteen he had an unfortunate crash at the bottom of Lukey Heights.
It’s the first time since Portugal 2010 that the Repsol Honda Team have experienced a double DNF. Now they must pack up and move on to Malaysia for the final race of the three fly aways next week. Dani has lost valuable points in the race for second place in the Championship and now lies in fourth place with 230 points, with Rossi on 255 and Lorenzo 247.
DNF - 2014 MotoGP World Champion
"Today, because I had no pressure on me, I tried a different approach pushing hard from the start to try to open the largest gap possible. We were having a good race, right up until the crash. It was a pity that I went down at a time that I was not riding on the limit or faster than the lap before. It was a race where there were many crashes, and almost all happened the same way: the front wheel locking up. The temperatures were down a lot, something that was also a factor today. It is better that this happened now, so that I gain experience for next year. You don’t always have the opportunity to try things out.”
DNF - Championship Standing: 4th - 230 points
"We had no luck today. I didn't get a good start, I lost a lot on the opening two laps and I ended up in a position in which I was left exposed to what happened afterwards. When you are riding amongst so many riders in this part of the field there are always incidents, and today it happened to me. Fortunately I didn't crash, but the bike was damaged and I couldn't continue."
UNLUCKY BRADL FAILS TO FINISH THE ISLAND GP
Phillip Island, 19 October: the Australian GP was an incident packed race with nine riders out of the final standing including the world champion Marc Marquez and LCR Honda racer Stefan Bradl who crashed at 8 laps to go. After two tough days of practices and the 11th spot on the grid, the German set up a very good pace for the 27-lap round (5th fastest rider) but during an overtaking manoeuvre he fell off loosing the chance to fight for the top five.
Stefan: “Actually we have done a good job during the race. All the weekend we struggled a lot with the tyres situation and we could not find our standard pace. Also starting from the 11th spot was not easy but finally in the race I found my pace. Then Iannone took out Pedrosa and I dropped back because I had to go wide. After that I pushed to come back and I was in the group with Dovi, Pol, Aleix and Bradley and I could match their pace. Unfortunately I made a mistake when I wanted to pass the guy in front of me in the hairpin and I could not brake hard enough and my front tyre hit Aleix’ bike. I crashed out and Aleix had to retire. I am very sorry for him and his crew. We have to keep going now and do our maximum in Sepang next week”.
BAUTISTA CELEBRATES 200th GRAND PRIX START WITH SIXTH. REDDING EQUALS SEASON BEST RESULT
Team GO&FUN Honda Gresini rider Alvaro Bautista took a sixth place in today’s Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island, resulting the best placed Honda under the checkered flag in a race that marked his 200th presence in the World Championship. His teammate, Scott Redding, was immediately behind him on the finish line in seventh place, equaling his best result of the season, obtained last March in the season opener in Qatar.
Starting from the sixth row Bautista was immediately in twelfth position at the start, then was able to end a difficult race without making mistakes, despite having suffered the same rear grip issues to he had throughout the whole weekend. In the final stages, the Spaniard engaged a battle with Hector Barbera and with his teammate, beaten by compatriot for just 65 thousandths of a second.
Thanks to the seventh place, Redding returned to be the top Open Class Honda RCV1000R: despite a mistake in the early laps of the race, which he made him slip back in 20th position, the British rookie came back keeping a good pace, battling in the end for a top five finish with teammate Bautista and Hector Barbera.
ALVARO BAUTISTA (6th)
“Today we got the best possible result, the maximum we could expect. During the race I had the same bad feelings I had throughout the whole weekend; in addition, in the last few laps the rear tyre dropped down a lot, beginning to spin also in the straight. For this reason I couldn’t push hard in the final stages to try to open a gap from the riders with whom I was battling. Anyway, today we faced a difficult race, with many crashes, and it was definitely not easy to finish the race: we did it, so we must be happy for that. However, it’s clear that I’m not happy, because I still don’t find myself comfortable with the bke and I hope that in Malaysia the situation can improve, since I have a good memory of the test we have carried out there last February. Finally, I wish to thank the team, because they are all giving more than one hundred percent in these difficult times”.
SCOTT REDDING (7th)
“I was in fifth going into the last corner, but Barbera and Alvaro passed me to the finish line thanks to their more powerful bikes, so I’m a little bit gutted for that because it would have been nice to make a top five finish today, even though I know that many riders crashed. I made a mistake in the early stages of the race: I almost hit the back of Hernandez and I went straight into Turn 4, losing 4 seconds, so I had to recover and catch up the other Open Honda bikes. Then I started to find my rhythm and it was good battling with Hayden and Alvaro. I also managed to open a little gap, but in the end the more powerful Honda and Ducati bikes started to catch me, therefore we fought all the way until the last corner. It was a really nice race, I enjoyed it a lot!”.
Great ninth place for Alex De Angelis at Phillip Island
It was a race of mixed feelings today at Phillip Island for the NGM Forward Racing Team. Alex De Angelis crossed the finished line in 9th position, while Aleix Espargaro was obliged to retire when he was fighting for the 4th place.
Started from the 6th position on the grid, Espargaro was doing an incredible race, fighting with the front guys for the 4th position and the podium. Unfortunately, with 7 laps to go in an incident with Bradl, his Forward Yamaha was damaged and he was obliged to retire.
After two difficult days of practices, Alex De Angelis and his team were able to solve the technical problems in the warm up. Alex, who was taking the start from the back of the grid, was able to make a superb recovery, finishing in 9th position.
“I’m really disappointed and it’s a pity because we were really close to get a very good result. I did a good start but I lost some positions. In a few laps I was able to recover. I fought throughout the whole race with the front guys, aiming at the podium. Unfortunately my bike was damaged in the incident with Bradl and I had to retire. I’d like to thank the team for the great work done during the weekend and today because my bike was really competitive”.
Alex De Angelis
“After two difficult days of practices today I did the best race of the season. I’m really happy. In the warm up I found a good set up and I started very motivated. In the race I fought with the other guys, recovering positions and in the end I did the fast lap and this is really positive. I’d like to thank my team, they worked hard to allow me to face the race in the best possible way”.
DRIVE M7 Aspar take Top Ten finishes in chaotic race
Hiroshi Aoyama, eighth, repeats best result of the season. Nicky Hayden places tenth in third point-scoring race in succession
Chaos prevailed today in the MotoGP race held at Phillip Island. Last year’s event featured a tyre issue, and this time the compounds were again a talking point. The asymmetric compound, intended to solve the problems experienced by the MotoGP riders, sent several of them to the ground by a sudden drop in performance in the latter part of the race. Marc Márquez broke away early, with Jorge Lorenzo able to follow him and Valentino Rossi joining in a battle with his teammate eventually won by the Italian. For the last third of the race, Márquez, Rossi and Lorenzo were in podium positions and the situation appeared to be under control. However, race leader Marquez inexplicably crashed out, handing Rossi the victory on a plate. Lorenzo temporarily ceded second place to Cal Crutchlow, who crashed out on the last lap. In the end, Rossi, Lorenzo and Bradley Smith made up the podium.
The DRIVE M7 Aspar riders today had their brightest race since the Aragón GP, and both snuck into the top ten as they had done at the third Spanish GP of the season. Both Nicky Hayden and Hiroshi Aoyama made use of their experience in a chaotic race that concluded with only fourteen riders reaching the chequered flag, taking eighth and tenth, respectively. Aoyama today repeated his best result of the year thanks to a hard-fought race, where he had to take on teammate Nicky Hayden, amongst others. Hayden was given a tough challenge by Yonny Hernández, but was able to best him in the fight to round off the Top Ten. He took points for the third race in a row.
8th Hiroshi Aoyama: "The temperature had changed considerably compared to yesterday, and also the conditions of the track, so the race was tough. Some riders opted for the hard front tyre, but we suffered a crash on Friday and yesterday we focused on getting the most out of the softer front compound. I think it was a very good decision to start the race with the soft front tyre, because it responded correctly through to the end. I don’t know why, but I suffered at the start of the race with a lack of rear grip. Still, I managed to stay in the group, and as the laps went by my feeling improved. The wind and heavy traffic prevented me from climbing more positions. I think today we could have placed higher, but it was also important to get to the finish line in a race plagued by accidents.”
10th Nicky Hayden: "Today I managed to start well, but on the opening lap somebody, trying to close the door, knocked me slightly and I lost a few positions. Fortunately I was able to recover and move back up. At one point I caught Hernández and I had to deal with him. When his tyre performance dropped, mine were still in good condition and I was able to go faster than him when accelerating. However, later on the straight he got back past me. We wasted time passing one another and the three riders ahead of us ended up escaping. On paper, tenth is positive -but we expected more from this race. The riders ahead of me were not much faster. We must be optimistic, because we've got three fairly positive results since our return, and next week we will continue working to try to improve."
Smith blazes to maiden podium in Phillip Island thriller
Bradley Smith rode an unforgettable race today to clinch his best ever MotoGP result and a debut podium at the Tissot Australian Grand Prix. The young British rider began the Grand Prix at the 4448 meter track from 4th after just missing out on the front row of the grid by 0.006 seconds. He launched forward to run right behind the leading MotoGP bikes before completing the first lap in third, hot on the heels of the front runners. Here, Smith set into his strong race rhythm as he looked to maintain this position, before being shuffled down the order to 8th due to a few aggressive moves by his competitors which he needed to avoid, to prevent crashing. However the 23 year old remained fully determined in the following laps as he sought to ascend back through the field and he remained firmly in the thrilling battle for 5th with the four other riders. With three quarters of the race distance covered, the British rider moved into 5th after passing Andrea Dovizioso and as the finish line loomed closer, his consistent and fast times saw him rapidly cutting the gap to third place. The tireless efforts undertaken by the Tech3 rider were rewarded as he relentlessly pushed further before screaming over the finish line in 3rd, seizing his first podium since Mugello in 2011 in the Moto2 class. In addition, it was his career best result and ensured a complete Yamaha podium. His strong showing today granted him a rise to 8th in the World Championship standings and leaves him poised for more success in Malaysia next week.
On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 garage Pol Espargaro suffered bad luck as he unfortunately fell from 4th place whilst pursuing the final podium position at Phillip Island. The Spaniard kicked off his 27 lap challenge from 9th on the grid and undertook a phenomenal start to reach 4th as he crossed the finish line for the first time. In the following laps he locked into a fierce battle for 5th as he aggressively exchanged places in the exciting midfield fight. By the 19th lap, the Spaniard had moved up to 4th and then worked tirelessly to gap the chasing riders. While he was quickly closing in on third place, which was well within his grasp as he constantly lowered the distance to Jorge Lorenzo, who was running in front of him, he lucklessly fell with three laps remaining. His brave showing at the fast flowing Phillip Island circuit was nevertheless highly impressive in his inaugural appearance at the Australian circuit aboard a MotoGP bike. The reigning Moto2 world champion will now keenly look towards the next round in Malaysia in seven days to produce another top result.
Position : 3rd Championship : 8th Points : 108
"For sure it is a fantastic feeling to clinch my debut podium in the MotoGP class and I am so pleased to reach this milestone. Honestly, I wasn’t too happy with how I was riding at the beginning of the race, I made several mistakes and lost a few positions. Therefore I told myself to calm down, I improved and moved forward. It’s a bit unexpected to be on the podium in all honesty, but after having great pace all weekend, it is the dream way to complete all of the good work we have done recently. I passed the chequered flag and saw the team on the wall, so I thought that I was in 4th or 5th, but then I saw my name in 3rd on the board as I came around the corner, which was an amazing feeling. Now we have closed the gap in the championship to 6th quite considerably, so we need to focus on this for the next two races. There is only a small gap between myself, Pol and Aleix in the standings, so we will aim to continue this great run in Malaysia and try to climb two more positions in the final standings. I must say a big thanks to the team who did a great job this weekend as well as to my sponsors for their support. Moreover, it's a fantastic experience to complete an entire Yamaha podium and I can't be anything other than grateful for their assistance!"
Position : DNF Championship : 7th Points : 116
"Unfortunately, luck wasn’t on our side once again today. It is a real pity because we already had fourth place in our hands with just two laps to go. The track temperature had dropped slightly and obviously racing at 16:00 in the afternoon in not an ideal time to keep the heat in the front tyres and that's exactly what happened. I lost the front at turn four, without any warning which is what also occurred for Marc and Cal. We probably wouldn’t have been able to race the soft tyre, so we had to adapt to the harder compound which caused the unfortunate end result for me in the race. However despite having had quite a tough start to the weekend here in Australia, we still performed really well during the race. This is a huge positive and allows me to confidently look forward to next week in Sepang where we will be ready to give our all once again."
Hervé Poncharal - Team manager :
"We knew this year was going to be competitive and tough, yet Brad saw the opportunity this weekend and didn’t crack under the pressure but brilliantly scored 3rd position. It is his fourth season with the team and to claim a top three in his second year in MotoGP, at this stage of his career, is simply fantastic. It was a challenging race and we knew the tyre would play an instrumental role today. Valentino and Bradley took the extra soft compound which was ultimately the right decision and they both reaped the rewards. I am really pleased, yet on the other hand we cannot be 100% satisfied as Pol was running very strongly and on course for the podium before he fell. He crashed with three laps remaining, like Marquez and Crutchlow with them all using the harder tyre which proved to be borderline when they were pushing at that stage. Everyone deserves a good result and Pol has been working very hard in his rookie season and has put in a huge amount of effort, so it’s a real pity that he didn’t reach the top three. However, we know his first podium is coming soon and he will be back stronger in Malaysia plus ready for a big fight. It was a great weekend for Yamaha to have a complete podium and also for Monster Energy, who we need to say thanks to as they also had three riders on the rostrum. Now, we will get ready for Malaysia where both of our guys will be competitive once again."
Hernandez finishes the race eleventh at Phillip Island; Iannone crashes
The Phillip Island GP was characterized by a high number of crashes, which unfortunately Andrea Iannone was author of one too. After a never ending fight Yonny Hernandez finished eleventh.
It was a dammed race for Andrea Iannone. A Race that lasted only a few laps. Andrea was the author of a good start but in a contact with Crutchlow at the first corner lost positions ending in eleventh place. TheItalian rider tried a comeback but on the sixth lap he involved the innocent and Pedrosa in a a contact and crashed landing hard on his hip. Andrea is very sorry for yet another weekend that ended in a bad way and hopes that the last two events of the year can bring satisfaction.
Yonny Hernandez made a good start and gaining four ending up in fourteenth place. Thanks to his determination and a couple of crashes of the opponents Yonny was able to go up to ninth place. The Colombian rider fought from start to finish with Bautista, Barbera and Redding. Unlucky shortly after mid-race he was forced to slow down his the pace for the sudden and unexpected drop of grip in the rear tire and crossed the finish line eleventh. A missed opportunity for Yonny that without the problem he would have been able to end in a better position.
Andrea Iannone (Pramac Racing)
"I started very well but because of a contact with another rider I went wide at the first corner and I lost a lot of positions. Unfortunately when you are forced to a come back you must take more risks. The crash was caused not only by me be braking very hard but also due to the first gear not shifting in. I'm sorry I didn’t finish the race and I'm also sorry for stopping Pedrosa race."
Yonny Hernandez (EnergyT.I. Pramac Racing)
"I felt very good, in the first part of the race the fighting with the group was very tough but once I had the track clear i was tenth and I could push harder, unfortunately halfway through the race the rear tire drastically and unexpectedly lost grip, in the last five laps it felt like riding on ice. We have to analyze the data and understand what happened, we will involve Bridgestone also in the analysis.
We finished the unlucky weekend by crash in the race
The Czech motorbike rider, Karel Abraham did not finish the Sunday race of MotoGP class on Australian circuit at Phillip Island. One of the most interesting races of this season was affected by huge amount of crashes and just fourteen riders finished the race. Also current world champion Marc Marquez could not avoid bad luck and he crashed from leading position or Cal Crutchlow, which crashed one lap to go and he lost second position. In Australian Grand Prix prevailed definitely Yamaha. Valentino Rossi won the race and on second and third position finished Lorenzo and Smith, which obtained his first podium in MotoGP class in his career.
I don’t know what happened in that corner. It was highsider in front and electronics did not get it so I don’t know the reason. The lap before I rode in same way. Mentally I feel very bad now. We have no points from tracks, which are good for us. It is hard to speak about that. And it is even more difficult when you know that many riders crashed so there was big opportunity to grab some points.
Redding matches season best finish at the Island
Phillip Island, Australia – 19 October 2014: Scott Redding equalled his best result of the season in today’s Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island, finishing as the first Open Class Honda in seventh place.
It was a difficult race, with the tricky conditions at Phillip Island causing a higher than normal number of crashers, with nine riders failing to see the chequered flag. Redding was lying fifth going into the final corner, but got caught by the factory prototypes of Hector Barbera and Alvaro Bautista within sight of the chequered flag.
Redding crossed the line just 0.004s behind his teammate Bautista’s full factory specification Honda RC213V, to extend his lead in the championship standings over fellow Open Class Honda rider Hiroshi Aoyama to seven points.
Scott Redding // 7th
“I was in fifth going into the last corner, but Barbera and Alvaro passed me to the finish line thanks to their more powerful bikes, so I’m a little bit gutted for that because it would have been nice to make a top five finish today, even though I know that many riders crashed. I made a mistake in the early stages of the race: I almost hit the back of Hernandez and I went straight on at turn four, losing four seconds, so I had to recover and catch up to the other Open Hondas. Then I started to find my rhythm and it was good battling with Hayden and Bautista. I managed to open a little gap, but in the end the more powerful Honda and Ducati bikes started to catch me, therefore we fought all the way until the last corner. It was a really good race and I enjoyed it a lot!”
Rampant Rossi wins at Phillip Island to lead Yamaha clean sweep
Round 16: Australian MotoGP™ - Race
Phillip Island, Sunday 19 October 2014
Bridgestone slick compounds available:
Front: Extra-soft & Soft (Symmetric) & Soft (Asymmetric). Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main) & Hard (Alternative)
Weather: Dry. Ambient 16-16°C; Track 31-34°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi won his first race at Phillip Island in ten years as the Italian rider led a Yamaha clean sweep of the top three podium positions at the Australian Grand Prix.
Rossi started from eighth on the grid but was able to make up positions in the opening laps of the race and by the third lap was in third position. Rossi then got involved in an entertaining battle with teammate Jorge Lorenzo and after trading places a few times with his teammate, eventually seized second place from Lorenzo with ten laps remaining. Rossi then found himself in the lead of the race after Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez came unstuck at turn 10 on lap eighteen and the Italian rider went on to cross the finish line 10.836 seconds ahead of his Movistar Yamaha MotoGP stablemate Lorenzo. Finishing in third place for his first premier-class podium was Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Bradley Smith a further 1.5 seconds behind Lorenzo.
A cool change in the afternoon dramatically lowered ambient temperatures for the race, creating challenging conditions for the riders. The track temperature peaked at 34°C at the start of the twenty-seven lap race and then with a strong wind blowing off the sea, continued to cool further as the race progressed. The cool change resulted in some riders that originally opted for the soft compound front slick options electing to change to the extra-soft front slick, although rear race tyre choice wasn’t that different to what the riders used in race simulations yesterday. Of the twenty-three riders twelve selected the extra-soft compound front slick for the race, nine chose the soft compound asymmetric front slick, while just two riders selected the soft compound symmetric front slick. For the rear tyre, fifteen riders selected the medium compound rear slick and the other eight riders selected the soft compound rear.
2014 World Champion Marc Marquez’s first DNF of the season at Phillip Island sees him remain on 312 championship points while behind him, Rossi now moves into second place in the standings on 255 points. In third place is Lorenzo on 247 points with just two rounds remaining.
Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“Well done to Valentino on taking the top step of the podium at Phillip Island and continuing Yamaha’s excellent run of success to four consecutive victories. The fight for second place in the championship took an exciting turn this weekend but there is no time to catch our breath as the last leg of the triple-header takes place next weekend at Sepang. The new rear slick tyres that we developed for Phillip Island proved to work well for all the riders and we were able to complete a full race distance with good durability and performance. I would like to thank the teams and riders for their efforts to adapt to our new tyres this weekend.”
Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department
“After fine conditions in this morning’s Warm Up session, a cool change in the afternoon saw ambient and track temperatures fall quickly just before the start of the race. The cooler weather did result in more riders choosing the extra-soft front slick than if conditions had remained the same as this morning, but overall the tyre combinations utilised during the race were similar to what we saw yesterday in FP4. I am pleased with our rear tyre performance this weekend as the consistent performance and durability matched our expectations and all riders from all the manufacturers were able to adapt to using this tyre. The cool ambient temperatures and strong wind combined to create tricky conditions which resulted in a few riders crashing in the final stages of the race. We will now analyse the data we collected to determine if any changes need to be implemented next year at Phillip Island.”
Valentino Rossi, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – Race Winner
“It’s fantastic to win today because it was a great race. Unfortunately I had to start from far back on the grid but I knew I had quite a good pace. After the second corner I saw that Marc and Jorge were already in front and I thought it would be hard to catch them, but I was able to overtake many riders and catch Jorge. It was difficult to pass him at first, but in the end it was a great battle and I was a little bit faster and could pass him. Marc wasn’t too far ahead of me so I tried to stay focused on staying in second place, but after Marc crashed it meant I could win the race so it was great to be back on top of the podium at Phillip Island after my last victory here ten years ago.”