Press releases from the teams and Bridgestone after a scintillating Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island:
Marquez celebrates 50th career win with sensational final lap, Pedrosa 5th
Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez has taken an incredible victory at the Australian GP after producing an extraordinary last lap in Phillip Island. Teammate, Dani Pedrosa, took fifth after a closely fought race.
The race began at a rapid pace, with Lorenzo, Iannone, Marc, Dani, Rossi and Crutchlow leading the way. Lorenzo pushed at the front trying to open a gap as the other riders jostled for position behind him. By lap seven, Marc had slotted in behind Lorenzo as the other riders continued to battle, constantly swapping position. By lap sixteen, Dani had established himself in 5th – fending off Crutchlow – as a small gap opened up to him and the leading four riders.
Despite constantly passing one another, Marc, Rossi and Iannone caught up with Lorenzo and on lap eighteen Marc took the lead briefly, but it only lasted three laps. Marc, Rossi and Iannone continued to fight and Marc dropped down to 4th with just two laps to go. However, he never gave up hope – passing Rossi on the penultimate lap into 3rd – and on the final lap making up two places whilst recording the fastest lap of the race and taking the victory by just 0.249 seconds over Lorenzo.
The top four riders crossed the line with barely a second separating them with Dani bringing home 5th place. Marc’s win here is his 50th in his career and his first in the MotoGP class at Phillip Island – only victory at Motegi eludes him – from circuits on the current calendar. Honda remain the most successful manufacturer at Phillip Island in the MotoGP era with six victories.
1st Championship Standing: 3rd - 222 points
"It was a really fun race - certainly one to remember - and it had different phases to it. At the beginning there was a lot of overtaking, then when I passed Jorge it seemed that I was breaking away. However, I overheated the front tyre and had to slow my pace. At the end I overtook Iannone and Valentino and I had a great last lap; I don't know where I pulled that time out from, but it was what made the difference for us! I want to thank all the team, Honda and all the fans. After a difficult season it’s always nice to finish the year with some victories!"
5th Championship Standing: 5th - 165 points
"It was a difficult race - they are always tough here - but I'm pretty satisfied with our performance because we had a good pace, even though the final position was not very good because we were so caught up with Crutchlow. I had problems on the last corner; I could not accelerate hard because the bike was moving about, I lost all my acceleration down the straight and other riders were able to overtake me. At the end I was able to ride alone and I set very similar times to those at the front, and that's positive. Now we will go to Malaysia and try to do better."
Lorenzo Pulls Off Hard-Fought Podium in Phillip Island Thriller
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi had the race fans on their feet at the Grand Prix of Australia today, delivering a stunning race result at Phillip Island with a vital outcome for the 2015 Season. Not only did Lorenzo claim second place to reduce the gap to Rossi, who finished fourth, to 11 points, but his efforts also handed Yamaha the Manufacturers‘ World Title.0
Phillip Island (Australia), 18th October 2015
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders got swept up in an unbelievable fight around the Phillip Island circuit today for the first four places at the Australian Grand Prix. In the end it was Jorge Lorenzo who finished second ahead of Valentino Rossi in fourth in a nail-bitingly tense race, securing vital points for the MotoGP Championship.
Lorenzo had a good launch from third on the grid and immediately overtook Marquez at the start. With Rossi stuck behind Cal Crutchlow, the number two in the championship standings made most of the situation and powered passed Iannone in corner eight for the lead, but had to relinquish his position when they reached Doohan corner.
What happened over the next two laps was a flurry of activity. The top three protagonists consisting of Lorenzo, Iannone and Marquez switched position multiple times, before the Yamaha rider managed to take over the lead for a second time with 25 laps to go. This time he made it stick and quickly tried to check out.
It looked like the race leader was soon to be visited by Rossi, Marquez and Iannone once more, until the chasing group started to fight amongst themselves. Lorenzo put his head down one more time and increased the gap to 1.2s with 15 laps to go. However, despite his consistency, Marquez reached the back of his bike two laps later and the following swapping of places between the Spaniards allowed Iannone and Rossi to catch up.
Realising the threat that came from behind Lorenzo put in a brave move in Lukey Heights and took over the lead with six laps to go. He tried to build up a solid lead, but again it wasn‘t to last. He defended his leading position the best he could, but was caught in the end and had to settle for second, +0.249s from the front.
The Doctor made a great start to this tense race from seventh on the grid and soon moved up to sixth on the opening lap, but lost crucial time behind Crutchlow and Dani Pedrosa. With 24 laps to go he managed to squeeze the nimble Yamaha YZR-M1 past the Spaniard and the Briton and then soon started to make his way to the front to join the fight for the lead two laps later.
With Lorenzo clearing off at the front, the Doctor pushed to the maximum to follow him, as every point is crucial in these incredibly tight championship standings. Chasing Marquez, Rossi set the fastest lap at that time of the race with nine laps to go. The young Spaniard went wide in Doohan Corner, allowing Rossi to catch up, but soon a scrap between him and Iannone gave Marquez a chance to break away and reel in Lorenzo.
They two Italians chased the leading Spaniards and found themselves in with a shot when, with six laps to go, they reached the duo at the front. With four laps to go Rossi took third from his compatriot. He went up the inside of Marquez one lap later, making a block pass, but it was Iannone who took advantage. On the last lap Rossi tried to take third from his fellow Italian in Lukey Heights but was unable to make it stick had to settle for fourth, +1.058s from the front.
Today‘s results see Rossi hold the lead in the championship with 296 points and an 11-point margin over teammate Lorenzo in second place.
2nd JORGE LORENZO
+0.249 / 27 LAPS
I think this was the most exciting race of the season and for sure one of the best in the last few years. To have four of the fastest riders fighting for victory in all the corners for the whole race is unbelievable. To be honest, I didn‘t expect that Andrea and Valentino would be able to stay with us. I also expected Marc to be stronger than me, but in the race I saw that he had some problems in some corners and so when I passed him again I tried to push to the limit and create an advantage, but it wasn‘t enough. In the slow corners I lost out a little bit, because my front tyre‘s life was going down, so I couldn‘t lean in completely, so he was able to recover a lot of time in these corners. I didn‘t want to crash in the last braking zone and that‘s probably why Marc was able to brake later and take the victory. It‘s a really good feeling to close in on Valentino in the championship. The bike was working really well and we did a good job throughout the whole weekend. It was just a pity that this front tyre on the bike was struggling a little bit, but we are a step closer in the championship. It could have been more but it also could have been less, but it‘s enough. At some point you have to be happy, look ahead to continue delivering this good work during the last two races.
4th VALENTINO ROSSI
+1.058 / 27 LAPS
Today the results could have been better, but this is OK too. It could have been better if I would have been able to overtake Iannone in the last lap and it was a shame I wasn‘t able to stay on the podium. I had a good pace and good speed during the race, so arriving in fourth place is a pity, but it was still a good race. We already said that race results was going to be important ten rounds ago, but now it‘s really important and it will be very tough until the last race.
Today we saw the most exciting race of the season, unfortunately we couldn't win it, but we did everything we could. We all felt confident that we could deliver a good result here, but this race went beyond our expectation. Both Jorge and Valentino fought a very hard battle and pushed to the limit. We secured the Team World Title in Aragón in Yamaha‘s 60th Anniversary Year and now we have followed it up with the Manufacturers‘ Title, in which the whole team can take great pride. For the Rider World Title we will have to wait a little while longer and we can‘t wait to get started for the next race in Sepang.
Andrea Iannone pulls out a marvellous race to finish third on the podium at Phillip Island. Thirteenth place for Dovizioso in the Australian Grand Prix
Andrea Iannone produced what was probably one of the best races of his MotoGP career at Phillip Island, when he finished third in Sunday’s Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix. The Italian, who started from the front row of the grid from second place, rocketed away to head the field into Turn 1. On the next lap, while braking for Turn 10, Iannone then hit a seagull on the track, which made a big hole in the front right fairing of his Desmosedici GP15. Despite this setback, the Ducati Team man continued his exceptional pace, never once dropping out of the leading group made up of Lorenzo, Marquez and Rossi.
The top four swapped places on numerous occasions, giving rise to one of the most spectacular GPs in recent years. On the last lap Iannone, who had also led the race for several corners, was able to hold off the attacks from Rossi and he flashed across the line in third place, just 0.930 of a second behind the race winner, Marquez. Thanks to this result, Andrea has increased his lead in the standings over Pedrosa, who is 23 points behind in fifth.
His team-mate Andrea Dovizioso had a difficult time today. The Italian, who started from row 4 in tenth position, crossed the line at the end of the opening lap in tenth and then scrapped with Pol Espargarò and Smith until lap 14, but lost ground over the next few laps. He eventually finished thirteenth, behind Redding and Petrucci. Dovizioso still lies seventh overall, just five points behind Smith.
Andrea Iannone (Ducati Team #29) – 3rd
“What an incredible race! It was really important for me to finish on the podium because here we had the possibility of doing a good race, but the result was neither easy nor a foregone conclusion. We all had a great battle, passing each other many times, and it was an incredible spectacle, I hope also for the people watching at home. The team fully deserved this result and it was also important for me because we are getting better all the time, race after race. If you look at last year’s race, here we have made incredible progress, and no one expected this. On the second lap something really unusual happened, because there was a seagull in front of me trying to get out of the way: I hit the poor thing head on, but in the end it was like a good luck kiss!”
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 13th
“This was a difficult race for me, any which way you look at it, from the start to the last lap. I was unable to ride well and it was embarrassing: I found myself in positions that are not really ‘mine’, and I feel very sorry for my team. I had the same problems all weekend, they weren’t big problems but we were never able to resolve them. Then in the last few laps the rear tyre went completely and I no longer had any traction. Maybe something happened, but in any case my performance was very disappointing. Now we have to try and understand the reason why, because it’s important for the future.”
Luigi Dall’Igna (Ducati Corse General Manager)
“Today Andrea Iannone did a really fantastic race! He rode so well and took a lot of risks, but I believe that he was also given back-up by an excellent GP15 that in any case, at least on the straight, was second to no other bike. I’d say that everyone worked really well, and I have to thank all the guys in Ducati Corse for their extraordinary commitment over the last couple of years. I believe that this excellent result is fully deserved. Iannone is improving race by race, showing he has the pace and the maturity of a true champion. It was a pity about Andrea Dovizioso, who was never able to find a good feeling with his GP15 here at Phillip Island.”
VIÑALES TAKES SIXTH PLACE IN AUSTRALIAN GP
Team Suzuki Press Office – October 18.
The Australian GP has ended with a very positive sixth place for Maverick Viñales, who took his best result of the season and raced all of the 27 laps on a consistent pace which was pretty much as fast as the race leaders.
The race was a little harder for his team-mate Aleix Espargarò, who struggled to manage the rear tyre’s grip and ended in ninth.
The result summed up the whole, successful weekend for Viñales, who found a better feeling with his GSX-RR and the result was that he was up there with the fastest riders, both on Friday and Saturday. This was shown by his direct access to Q2 from FP3 and sixth on the grid in final qualifying.
The young Spaniard’s start was not one of his best and he lost some positions, but the good set-up his crew had found allowed him to overtake immediately at turns two and three and keeping in touch with the leaders. His progress in the following laps was impressive, lapping almost at the same pace as the race leaders. This was confirmed also by his fastest lap in the race that he scored on lap three, that equated to the fourth fastest lap in the race overall. His consistent pace between 1’29-high and 1’30-low meant he could stay very close to the top factory riders and finally make the overtake that gave him the sixth position at the flag.
It was more of a struggle in the race for Espargaro, although overall his weekend was also positive. The #41 had a very good start and could immediately recover some positions from his eighth place on the grid. Unfortunately in the race he could not find a proper feeling with the rear-end of his machine, suffering a lack of traction that prevented him being as competitive as he thought he could be. His improvements had been consistent throughout the whole of the Australian weekend, giving him and his crew a positive feeling after the weekend especially with his ninth position at the end of the race.
Ken Kawauchi – Team Technical Manager:
“This weekend we were stronger than the last few races and this is a positive improvement. This track was more suitable for our machine, Maverick in particular had a very good feeling with it and made a positive race competing with the top riders and finally he claimed sixth place, which makes us very proud. Aleix instead suffered some lack of grip, which is one of our weak points now, but he managed to end his race in ninth place, which makes the overall result of the weekend positive for us. At the factory we worked hard to find better traction and here we already did some improvements, we will continue this process to deliver even better configuration in the future.”
“Today I enjoyed it a lot: it’s one of the races where I had the most fun. It is the first track where I could feel that I am very competitive and the first where I felt the bike is really close to the top. We still lack something with the power but we could compensate with excellent performance from the chassis, meaning we were very competitive in many sectors. We did a really good job on the set-up, also myself I feel more calm and focused. We made a good step up in improvement after Aragon and another after Japan, which makes me feel confident. Finally I ended 6.8s from the winner, so this makes me very happy.”
“This was a tough race, I had a good start and I could perform well during the early laps, keeping in touch with the leading group. Unfortunately, after five or six laps, the rear tyre dropped in performance and I had many struggles with wheel-spinning, preventing my bike from accelerating properly. It is a pity because, overall, the weekend was positive for us, we made many improvements after Japan and I hoped to be able to fight higher in the classification. Anyway it is also important that we found some new solutions and we will continue with this approach.”
BAUTISTA FINISHES IN 14TH PLACE AND, REDUCING THE GAP BEHIND THE LEADERS, CLOSES OUT A POSITIVE WEEKEND AT PHILLIP ISLAND
STEFAN BRADL A BIT FARTHER BACK TO FINISH 21ST
Phillip Island (Australia), 18 October 2015 - Alvaro Bautista finished the Australian GP in the points, riding his Aprilia RS-GP to fourteenth place, earning two points, and most importantly, reducing the gap behind the front runners in the race in confirmation of the excellent work done this weekend. In fact, from Friday the Spanish rider from Aprilia Racing Team Gresini demonstrated consistent progress in his performance. Starting from the sixth row, Bautista intelligently managed tyre wear, staying constantly in the points at fifteenth place until he was able to catch up and overtake Miller in the finale, moving up another position.
The race was not as positive for Stefan Bradl who, more hindered than his team mate throughout the weekend, was unable to find a decisive solution in the warm up session that would give him a better race pace. In the end he finished 21st.
ROMANO ALBESIANO (Aprilia Racing Manager)
“We have had better placements this season, but the positive thing here is that the distance behind the front runners was reduced to 37 seconds and that is definitely an encouraging result. My compliments therefore go to Alvaro and his team. We know that we still have a long way to go but these signs are important for the Team on the track and at home. On the other hand, after his good performance during practice at Motegi, it was a less than positive weekend, I'd say even abnormal, for Stefan, who couldn't find the right feeling from Friday. He'll redeem himself at Sepang.”
FAUSTO GRESINI (Team Manager)
“We reduced the gap behind the leaders in terms of time over race distance and that is without a doubt positive. Alvaro lapped with good times which closes out a positive weekend for him. We need this season to collect data for the future and I believe that today, on a demanding track like this one where we had no points of reference, we collected some good feedback. Unfortunately for Stefan the weekend started off badly and even though we tried various changes the situation did not improve. We obviously want to do better with him as well, but this is all part of the experience that contributes to our growth.”
“I had a good start and in the first laps I tried not to overheat the tyres in order to prevent that sudden drop in grip that we found in practice. I never went to 100% but, especially at the beginning, I could easily have stayed with the group ahead of me. Then the drop in grip came and I continued with my pace, so in the end I was able to catch up and overtake Miller. But the thing I like the most is that the gap behind the leaders was the lowest of the season. This is a good sign and also a result of how the entire team, who I thank very much, worked well, helping me to make progress throughout the weekend. Now we need to keep going like this.”
“I'm disappointed because I wasn't fast enough throughout the entire weekend. During practice we tried a lot of changes and even though we were able to take a small step forward this morning in warm up, we were unable to overcome our difficulties. It's a shame. This time we were not as fast as we expected to be. Now we'll look forward to Malaysia, a track where we'll have some more reference points.”
Yamaha Takes 37th Manufacturers‘ MotoGP Title Trophy
Following Movistar Yamaha MotoGP securing the 2015 MotoGP Team Title at the 14th round of the 2015 Championship in Aragón, Yamaha has now scored its 37th Manufacturers' title, the 14th in premier class, at the Australian Grand Prix this weekend.
Phillip Island (Australia), 18th October 2015
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider Jorge Lorenzo put in a superb performance today at the Grand Prix of Australia in Phillip Island, taking 2nd place to deliver Yamaha the 2015 MotoGP Manufacturers' title.
For the Constructors‘ Title, only the highest placed motorcycle of a given constructor will gain points, according to the position in the race. So far this year Yamaha collected 362 points thanks to a total of six wins and two second places by Jorge Lorenzo; four wins, one second place and two third places by Valentino Rossi; and one second place by Monster Yamaha Tech 3‘s Bradley Smith in Misano.
These impressive results saw Yamaha take the Manufacturers‘ Title in Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.‘s 60th anniversary year, adding to the Japanese constructor‘s extensive list of milestones in the history of MotoGP, which dates back to 1949 when the first Grand Prix race was held.
Fifteen years later Yamaha won its first Manufacturers‘ World title in the 250cc class, marking the start of Yamaha‘s legacy. In total, the company has won 37 Constructors' World titles (5xMotoGP; 9x500cc; 14x250cc; 4x125cc; 5x350cc), including the one in 2015. This year‘s victory has Yamaha tied with MV Augusta for second place in the rankings of most successful manufacturer ever over all classes, and there are more reasons for ’team blue‘ to be cheerful.
Not only has the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team already taken the 2015 MotoGP Team Title three weeks ago in Aragón, securing Yamaha its sixth Team Title, but their riders are also the only participants still in contention for the 2015 MotoGP Rider Title.
The last time Yamaha won the Rider Title in the MotoGP class was in 2012 with Jorge Lorenzo, who also scored the title in 2010. He brought Yamaha‘s premier class rider titles tally to 16 wins so far, of which four were secured by Valentino Rossi in the MotoGP class (2004, 2005, 2008 and 2009), three by Wayne Rainey (1990, 1991, 1992), three by Eddie Lawson (1984, 1986, 1988), three by Kenny Roberts (1978, 1979, 1980) and one by Giacomo Agostini (1975) in the 500cc class.
With the certainty that either Rossi or Lorenzo will wrap up the coveted Triple Crown in one of the final two races in Sepang (Malaysia) and Valencia (Spain), Yamaha is looking forward to a lively end to the season.
By the end of the year Yamaha will have won the MotoGP Triple Crown five times since the team category was added in 2002, in addition to being the only manufacturer to have secured the Triple Crown three times in a row when Yamaha reigned supreme over the premier class from 2008 to 2010.
Petrux finishes 12th a spectacular Pramac Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix. Yonny ends 17th
Danilo Petrucci ended 12th the extraordinary Pramac Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix. Yonny Hernandez finished 17th a Sunday in which the Colombian rider was unable to find a good feeling with his Ducati Desmosedici GP14.2.
Petrux started strong recovering four positions in the first lap. After 3 laps the rider from Terni had to contend with the initial better race pace of Pol Espargaro, Andrea Dovizioso and Bradley Smith before fighting hard witn Scott Redding to keep the twelfth position. On lap 12th the attack of British rider who will wear the colors of the Pramac next season has not cracked the concentration of Petrucci who engaged an exciting duel with Andrea Dovizioso overtaking him to win a precious 12th place under the chequered flag
Yonny's race was fairly anonymous following a not brilliant start. The rider from Medellin has struggled before with Barbera and then Baz being unable to not find a goog race pace. On lap 18 he had to surrender to Barbera's attack, managing then to win the fight for 17th place with Baz. .
With 4 points won in the Pramac Grand Prix Asutralian Danilo Petrucci maintains the ninth position (97 points) in the ranking of the world championship.
Yonny is still at 49 place (14th place)
OCTO Pramac Racing is sixth in the standings for teams with 146 points.
12° - Danilo Petrucci - OCTO Pramac Racing Team #9
It has been a though race. Phillip Island's circuit is nice because the gaps are minimal. We have lost a bit of time yesterday reaching only today the best setup. The bike went very well and I managed to keep a good race pace, better than the one in warm up. I wanted to take home some points and even if I din't manage to be ahead the Espargaros' I'm happy because the team has done a great job. I want to thank them all.
17° - Yonny Hernandez - OCTO Pramac Racing Team #68
I'm disappointed becouse I finished the race without winning some points but I had many problems with the rear grip. I fought with Barbera and Baz and it was really a good fight but obviously the final position is not the one where we should be. I hope to do better in Malaysia.
Redding close to top 10 in classic Island battle
Phillip Island, Australia - 18 October 2015: Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS rider Scott Redding finished a pulsating Australian Grand Prix just over a second outside of the top 10 at Phillip Island this afternoon.
The 22-year-old brilliantly recovered from a poor start to surge through the field, with Redding expertly overtaking Alvaro Bautista, Jack Miller, Danilo Petrucci and Andrea Dovizioso.
He then hunted down Bradley Smith and Aleix Espargaro in the battle for ninth, but his early charge meant he’d had to push his asymmetric front Bridgestone tyre harder than expected.
With front grip fading just as he looked poised to close in on Smith and Espargaro, he wisely settled for a seventh successive point scoring finish in 11th.
Redding also took great heart from finishing just over 20 seconds off race winner Marc Márquez, which was the closest he’s been to the lead group in 2015.
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS now head back to the Far East for the final round of the three back-to-back flyaway races, to battle the intense heat and humidity at the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang.
Scott Redding: 11th
“I got a terrible start and the Honda is not an easy bike to get off the line because it can wheelie a lot as you go through the gears. Being as tall I am my weight is higher, so I can’t move my body forward enough to put weight on the front. At the start it was a difficult fight with Bautista because he used the soft rear tyre and it gave him an advantage in the early stages. I couldn’t get into a rhythm behind him and once I did get by I then had a battle with Petrucci and Dovizioso, and that Ducati is unbelievably fast down the straight, making it very hard to pass. Once I got in front of them I managed to start catching Bradley but I used too much front tyre earlier in the race while fighting through and it dropped off a fair bit towards the end. I’m happy with the race though because normally the satellite Yamahas normally drop me and I was as close to the lead group as I have been all year. We can take some positives into next weekend in Malaysia, which is a track I’ve ridden this bike on in testing at the start of the year. So it will be interesting to see where we have come from since then. It is a tough race with the heat and humidity but, hopefully, I can make it back into the top 10.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“It was a positive race for Scott because his rhythm was certainly fast enough to challenge for the top 10, and as always that was our pre-race mission. We only missed out because of another bad start. That was the only negative point of the race because it meant he got held up in the first few laps when I’m sure he could have gone with Smith. I’m happy with his pace in the second half of the race and we can look forward to him being competitive next weekend in what will undoubtedly be the most demanding conditions of the season. We have some data from pre-season testing at Sepang, so I am looking forward to a strong weekend there.”
Espargaro wraps up the Australian GP in 8th
Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Pol Espargaro produced a consistent performance down under to complete the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix in 8th position aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1. The young Spaniard kicked off his campaign at the 4.4 kilometre Phillip Island Circuit from the rear of the third row and when the lights flicked off, he jumped forward before completing the opening lap in 11th. Espargaro then quickly set into his strong race pace and began muscling his way through the field. By the 5th lap, he was back up to 9th position and exchanged places with Andrea Dovizioso on the factory Ducati several times. He powered past on the 8th lap and then opened up a gap quickly, with Aleix Espargaro next up in his sights. After inching closer lap by lap, the 2013 Moto2 World Champion dived past on the fifteenth lap and then comfortably pulled away. He carried on pushing before eventually crossing the finish line in 8th, closing what has been a challenging weekend for the 24 year old. Next up is the final flyaway race at Sepang, where he will seek to battle his way into the leading satellite position and fight as close as possible to the factory MotoGP bikes.
On the other hand, Bradley Smith pushed throughout the 27 lap sprint and eventually concluded the 16th round of the 2015 MotoGP World Championship in 10th position. The young British rider launched into action from the fourth row of the grid and finished the opening lap in 12th as he set into his rhythm whilst he intended to move through the pack. After running at a consistent pace, the 24 year old moved up one position on the fourth lap and then continued to build up his speed before overtaking Andrea Dovizioso on the 10th. He slipped behind the Ducati rider one lap later, but he forced his way through shortly after and then stretched ahead. Next in line for Smith was Aleix Espargaro in 9th and the Briton pushed onwards as the distance to the end of the race decreased. Yet in the end, Smith ran out of time and finished in 10th, just over half of a second behind the Suzuki factory rider. Nevertheless, this result sees Smith continue his 100% record of completing every MotoGP race of 2015 inside the top ten as well as increasing his advantage over Dovizioso in the World Championship standings with only two races left to run. The 24 year old will now seek to guide his Yamaha into a top six position at the next race at the world famous Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia.
Position : 8th Championship : 10th Points : 96
Pol Espargaro - 2015“Today's race was a solid finish to the weekend and we have to be satisfied when bearing in mind how we started on Friday. In addition, the gap to the riders in front is not as big as it has been at other races this year, so all in all we have to be pleased. Having said that, I also have a bittersweet taste in my mouth when thinking about the confidence and pace that I had in today's warm up, but for some reason the grip level during the race always seems to be lower than in the morning. This lack of grip generates a few issues for us which we have experienced in the last couple of races as well as today. Therefore, we need to find a solution to this matter and be more prepared for the race at Sepang, even if this round has been a positive one."
Position : 10th Championship : 6th Points : 158
“To be honest, today was a tough race for me and it’s positive to walk away with a top ten finish. This weekend we struggled to find the right setting in order to give me the confidence that I needed to be fast around this technical track. In the end, we did the best that we could with a solid setup for the race and ultimately, I was pleased with the consistency of my lap times. They were better than the times I had been setting across all three days so the team did a good job with giving me the best bike that they could. Having said that, unfortunately this was only good enough for 10th, but nevertheless, I was fighting with my teammate and I finished in front of my championship rival Andrea Dovizioso, plus I gained three points on him. We must learn from this tricky weekend because every day we couldn’t quite find the right direction, especially with regards to the extra hard tyre that Bridgestone brought here. Therefore, we need to take note of what we did and then try to improve these factors in the future. However, next up is Sepang and we won’t have that tyre there so I will arrive in Malaysia a lot more confident about getting back inside the top six which is where I feel I need to be. We had two great tests there in the winter, so I’m happy that we’ll have a solid base setting to start with. It will be another gruelling race under the heat so now it’s time to recover as much as possible in the next few days so that we can be ready for a good performance in Sepang.”
Hervé Poncharal - Team manager :
“Before I talk about the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team, I would like to say that this race was incredible and I am sure that the people behind their television screens and all of the spectators around the track enjoyed this superb Grand Prix. We truly have a brilliant show in MotoGP at the moment! Regarding our guys, there’s not a huge amount to say, but we have to be pleased with their performances. Both Pol and Brad rode strong rhythms and had steady yet solid races. I am glad that Pol managed to recover a few positions and pass his brother, plus this was the third time that he finished ahead of his teammate. So I believe, he has to be positive about this because we all know that he has been through some difficult moments recently. Anyway, it’s great to see him back on track and I really hope that we will see him continue this trend in the last few GP’s. As for Bradley, qualifying was tricky but he recovered well in the race and had a good pace. It was not easy for him to get rid of Dovizioso but he did and finished inside the top ten. In addition, he also took a few more points out of Andrea in the championship, which is positive and he gave it absolutely everything. I want thank him for trying really hard all weekend especially after that nasty crash in FP4. Now, we can relax for a bit in order to be prepared for the challenge at Sepang, the final of the three fly away races.”
Baz third Open at Phillip Island
The weekend of the Australian Grand Prix ended with both rider of the Forward Racing team out of the points at Phillip Island. Loris Baz and Toni Elias, in fact, have struggled a lot on the Australian track and they respectively crossing the finish line in 18th and 22nd place.
Baz, after finding the right feeling in qualifying, has become the protagonist of a strong fight with Barbera and Hernandez at the limits of Top15. After a series of overtakes, the Frenchman, who suffered in terms of top speed, was forced to give the way and passed under the checkered flag in 18th place.
Difficult race also for Toni Elias, who has struggled from the free practices to find the right confidence with his Yamaha Forward. The Spaniard lost the contact with the group after the first few laps and finished in 22nd position.
"The race has been positive. I fought all the time with Barbera and Hernandez and I enjoyed it. I lost something in terms of top speed from them, but I could manage the gap. I did not lose points in the standing and it was a good result after this complicated weekend”.
"I cannot say I’m happy with the race. I suffered in the free practices and in the race and I could not set my pace. I had not the feeling to be able to push and I struggled until the end. I’m looking forward to race in Sepang: it’s a track that can be good for the Yamaha Forward”.
Difficult race for Avintia Racing at Phillip Island
18/10/15 Avintia Racing MotoGP - Grand Prix of Australia - RACE
After being the fastest Open Class rider in qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix, Hector Barbera was confident for the 27-lap-race today at Phillip Island. The Avintia Racing rider confirmed his good pace in the warm up session this morning where he scored eleventh place ahead of some factory bikes. But in the race, he was not able to match his pace. He had a poor start, but finally got up to 16th place after an intense battle in which he beat Yonny Hernandez and Loris Baz.
Mike Di Meglio, who celebrated his 200th start in the World Championship at Phillip Island, was quite satisfied with his race after haviong struggled with his bike set up during the weekend. The French rider finished in 20th place after battling with Laverty and Bradl.
The MotoGP World Championship heads to Malaysia now, a track where Barbera and Di Meglio did many laps during the winter tests and where Ducati is fast.
HECTOR BARBERA #8 / 16th (P2 Open) @HectorBarbera
We did not ride at this time and with this temperature during all the weekend and during the race the bike felt completely different. In the warm up and yesterday during FP4 I lapped consistently in mid 1’30, but my fastest lap in the race was 1’31.0. We need to find out what happened so we can try to avoid it in the future. My start was not great, but I was confident about recovering due to my good pace. I’m disappointed because we threw the race in the rubbish bin. When you give the maximum and enjoy riding, the bike is fine, but today it did not happen.
Now we fly to Malaysia, a track that I like and where we were fast in winter. We have to leave this race behind and think about next weekend, so we can arrive motivated and get a good result at Sepang.
MIKE DI MEGLIO #63 / 20th (P5 Open) @Mikejpp63
The race was good enough after difficult practice days engine and grip issues. But this morning my team gave me a bike which I was really comfortable with and I was able to go only one tenth of a second slower than my qualifying time, with the harder tyre choice. During the race the grip wasn’t great and I struggled a little bit on the first few laps, because the Honda and the Yamaha were able to use the soft tyre. But in the end I was stronger. I enjoyed the race and overall I’m quite happy. As far as the Malaysian Grand Prix goes, it will be interesting to see where we stand because we have changed the bike a lot since the winter tests. During the Grand Prix weekend, the track always has less grip, which is also something to consider. The main thing is that we made a positive step in Australia and we have to continue in this way in Malaysia.
HOME COMFORTS FOR MILLER AT PHILLIP ISLAND
LCR Honda rider Jack Miller capped a fine weekend by finishing in 15th place at the Australian Grand Prix and came home as the top Open class rider across the line in the MotoGP race.
Competing at his home circuit of Phillip Island, the Australian started from the fifth row of the grid and again demonstrated his undoubted potential in the premier category as he lapped with the satellite bikes for much of Sunday’s race.
Ultimately he had to settle for 15th spot, but he still took the chequered flag over eight seconds clear of Hector Barbera to ensure he emerged as the leading Open rider in emphatic style.
Jack Miller #43 (15th – 41m 14.041s)
“I’m really happy with today’s result, to be back as the top Open rider is great. We worked so hard this weekend, I believe it’s one of our best weekend performances so far. We pushed so hard and did a lot of work on the bike and I think we found something important, although we’ll have to wait until Malaysia to find out for sure.
“I’m really looking forward to going there now, it’s a track we’ve done a lot of testing at so it’ll be great to see our lap times there compared to what they were at the start of the season.”
CRUTCHLOW CLAIMS SEVENTH SPOT AT PHILLIP ISLAND
LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow finished in seventh place at the Australian Grand Prix after a fantastic MotoGP race at Phillip Island on Sunday. It prove a hugely-competitive affair at the head of the field and Crutchlow was involved throughout.
Having started from fifth spot on the grid, the Briton was hoping to emulate the podium finish he secured at the Australian circuit back in 2012. Although he was unable to achieve that feat, Crutchlow put in an excellent ride and crossed the line under ten seconds behind eventual race winner Marc Marquez. The result means he maintains eighth spot in the world championship standings ahead of the final two races of the 2015 season.
Cal Crutchlow #35 (7th – 40m 43.224s)
“Obviously seventh place today was not the result I wanted, but we did not finish far behind the lead group – I have finished on the podium here before and was nine seconds behind. Unfortunately we had a real torrid time with the rear tyre for the last ten laps of the race, we really struggled although I was riding as smoothly as I could.
“However, my pace was really consistent over the race which we’re happy with, it just wasn’t quite fast enough on a few of the laps and we ultimately paid for this. But my team did a good job, I’m glad to come out of here with a decent result and we have to look forward to Malaysia now.”
Last lap heroics help Marquez clinch first premier class victory at Phillip Island
Round 16: Australian MotoGP™ - Race
Phillip Island, Sunday 18 October 2015
Bridgestone slick compounds: Front: Extra-soft, Asymmetric & Soft; Rear: Soft, Medium & Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds: Soft (Main) & Hard (Alternative)
Weather: Dry. Ambient 15-15°C; Track 36-38°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Marc Marquez won his first premier class race at Phillip Island after the Repsol Honda Team rode an astonishing final lap to snatch victory from Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Iannone who finished in second and third place respectively.
Today’s Australian Grand Prix turned into a four-way battle for the lead with Marquez, Lorenzo, Iannone and Valentino Rossi trading places throughout the twenty-seven lap contest. Such was the intensity of the fight for victory that Marquez’s finishing time beat the previous Australian Grand Prix record race time by thirteen seconds. Marquez’s final lap was completed in a time of 1’29.280 – the quickest lap of the race – during which time he managed to overtake Lorenzo at MG corner and power through the final two turns to take the chequered flag 0.249 seconds ahead of his compatriot. Ducati Team’s Andrea Iannone rode a brilliant race and after challenging for victory, managed to resist the attention of Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider Rossi on the final lap to take the final podium spot by just one tenth of a second ahead of his fellow Italian.
The Australian Grand Prix took place in fine weather conditions with the track temperature peaking at 38°C at the start of the race and only dropping by a couple of degrees by the final lap. The conditions were almost a carbon-copy of what they were during Free Practice 4 and qualifying yesterday and so tyre choice for the race mimicked that of yesterday’s sessions. The newly-developed asymmetric front slick was the unanimous choice for the race, with all twenty-five participants selecting it for its balance of warm-up performance, braking feel and cornering stability. For the rear tyre, sixteen riders – including all the factory Ducati, Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha entrants - selected the medium compound rear slick for the race, with the remaining nine riders opting for the soft compound rear slick. Tyre performance during the race was quick and consistent, highlighted by the top seven riders completing the lap in quicker time than the previous overall race time record.
Lorenzo’s second place in Phillip Island helps him close the points gap to the current championship leader, Valentino Rossi to just eleven points with two rounds remaining. Marquez’s win sees him consolidate third place on the points table, a further 63 points behind Lorenzo.
Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department
“Congratulations to Marc and Honda on a well-deserved victory in Australia, Marc’s final lap was outstanding and was a strong reminder of his championship-winning skills. I am pleased that we had fine weather conditions for today’s race as it meant the riders could ride at one-hundred percent for the whole race and the record pace we saw today was proof of how hard the riders at the front of the race were pushing each other. Our new asymmetric front slick was chosen by all riders for the race and performed very well, while our rear slicks showed consistent performance over a very demanding twenty-seven laps. The pace in all sessions was very quick and in MotoGP there was only one crash over the entire race weekend at what is the fastest circuit on the calendar and it this result which pleases me the most. This was a productive weekend for Bridgestone, but now our attention turns to the Malaysian Grand Prix next weekend, where we are looking forward to the challenge of providing tyres that can deal with the high speeds and hot temperatures of the Sepang International Circuit.”
Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team – Race Winner
“During the race I felt good and in the opening laps there were many overtakes between me, Andrea and Valentino but that meant Jorge was able to pull a gap. Later in the race I was getting some movement from my front tyre, so I decided to back off a little and save my tyres until the last three laps and then I could make an unbelievable final lap and catch Jorge. We have been working hard to improve our results, so I am really happy that we were able to take the victory today.”
THE LONG WAIT CONTINUES FOR DANNY KENT
Danny Kent’s chances of re-writing the history books disappeared in a cloud of dust in a dramatic Moto3™ race at the Pramac Grand Prix of Australia at the magnificent Phillip Island circuit this afternoon. The 21 year old Wiltshire–based rider was poised to become the first British World Champion for 38 years when he crashed together with his championship rival Enea Bastianini. That still could have been enough for Kent to become the first British World Champion since the legendary Barry Sheene but it was not the case. With Portuguese rider Miquel Oliveira winning the race to move into second place in the Championship Kent arrives at the penultimate round at Sepang in Malaysia on Sunday with a 40 point lead in the title chase which should be enough for the Leopard Racing Honda rider to take the title.
It was also a disaster for 21 year Scotsman John McPhee who started from pole but crashed while battling for the lead. Lincolnshire’s Sam Lowes was a superb second in the Moto2™ race to cement his fourth place in the Championship. Cal Crutchlow continued his recent good form with seventh place in the epic MotoGP™ race after a tremendous battle with Dani Pedrosa and Maverick Viñales. Bradley Smith was tenth, and remains sixth in the Championship, with Scott Redding one place behind him in 11th. Eugene Laverty finished just out of the points in 19th place.
Marquez takes 50th GP victory in race of the season
Repsol Honda’s Marquez emerged triumphant from an incredible Pramac Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix to record his 50th career GP victory and fifth of 2015. Marquez secured the race win in the end by just 0.249s from Jorge Lorenzo, with Andrea Iannone completing the podium ahead of championship leader Valentino Rossi who had to settle for fourth.
The 32,000 fans packed into the grandstands bore witness to one of the most exciting races in the history of the World Championship as Marquez was involved in a race-long scrap with Movistar Yamaha teammates and title rivals Lorenzo and Rossi, plus the Ducati GP15 of Iannone. The battle between these four was simply breath-taking, as for once the weather did not throw a spanner in the works with the sun shining and track temperatures reaching 40˚C. It really did have everything: a myriad of overtakes, lots of contact, a championship title on the line, and even a bird strike.
At the start it was Iannone who got the drive off the line to lead into turn 1 with Lorenzo and Marquez in hot pursuit. Lorenzo would take the lead into turn 8, and in a sign of things to come there was contact between Marquez and his teammate Dani Pedrosa at turn 10 as the former defended 3rd. Iannone re-took the lead on lap 2, only to be hit by a stray seagull on the entrance to turn 4 to allow Lorenzo to move back to the front.
The lead swapped hands a number of times between these three on the opening laps. All the while Rossi, who had started from seventh on the grid, had been biding his time, before starting to move through the pack by lap 3. The ‘Doctor’ overtook the Repsol Honda of Dani Pedrosa and LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow to move up to fourth on lap 4 and join in the fun at the front.
Lorenzo began to break away at the front, and by the end of lap 7 he had opened up a 1.4s gap, but just when it looked like he would disappear into the distance the chasing trio started to close. Unbelievably, despite constantly swapping places, the three started to reel in Lorenzo at the front. At the end of lap 13, Lorenzo’s lead was down to a second. At the end of lap 14 it was 0.5s, and fans were in for a treat as Marquez, Iannone and Rossi caught Lorenzo at the front with 10 laps to go.
Lorenzo took the lead with 7 laps to go once more, and with just two laps to go had extended this lead to one second as the others fought against each other. The best was still to come though. As the riders entered the final lap less than second separated all four, as Lorenzo led across the line from Iannone with Marquez in third and Rossi fourth.
Marquez passed Iannone in the Southern Loop to move into second and set off after Lorenzo. Rossi also came past his compatriot after contact at turn 4, before Iannone fought back into 3rd through Lukey Heights. Then at turn 10 Marquez blitzed past Lorenzo into the lead, as Rossi tried desperately to pass Iannone for the final time but failed. Marquez then managed to hold on through the final few corners to secure an amazing victory as the crowd went wild. Lorenzo took second, his tenth podium of the year, to close the gap in the standings to Rossi to just 11 points with two races remaining. Iannone completed the podium, his third of the year and first since Mugello, while Rossi’s fourth was only the second time he has missed out on the podium this season. To give you an idea of how close it was, just a second separated the four across the line.
Marquez’s teammate Pedrosa came out on top in the battle for fifth as he crossed the line 5 seconds behind Rossi. The winner at Motegi had enjoyed an excellent race long fight with Maverick Viñales (Team Suzuki Ecstar) and LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow, who finished in sixth and seventh respectively. Sixth equalled Viñales best MotoGP™ result from the Catalan GP as he once more impressed in what is only the Spaniard's rookie season.
Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) won the battle of the brothers as he beat Aleix (Team Suzuki Ecstar) to 8th. Yamaha Tech 3’s Bradley Smith completed the top ten, finishing less than a second ahead of his compatriot Scott Redding on the EG 0,0 Marc VDS Honda in eleventh.
LCR Honda’s Jack Miller took the Open class victory at his home grand prix by finishing in fifteenth, with Irishman Eugene Laverty (Aspar MotoGP Team) crossed the line in 19th after announcing he will be staying with his team for 2016.
Remarkable Rins takes Moto2™ victory at Phillip Island
Paginas Amarillas HP40’s Rins was simply untouchable at a sun-baked Phillip Island, taking a commanding victory by 6.663s from Speed Up Racing’s Sam Lowes to move into second in the Moto2™ World Championship standings. Forward Racing’s 18-year-old Italian Lorenzo Baldassarri crossed the line in 3rd to record his first GP podium in his 50th Grand Prix start.
From the start it was AGR Team’s Axel Pons who took the lead through turn 1 from Lowes, but it didn’t take long for Rins to make his move into the lead. Once the Spaniard got in front he set about opening up a gap over Lowes and Derendinger Racing Interwetten’s Thomas Luthi who had moved up to third. While this was happening Pons received a ride-through penalty for a jump-start, which ended any hopes he had of fighting for his first race win.
Rins was controlling the race brilliantly at the front, while Lowes and Luthi became embroiled in an excellent tussle for second before the Swiss rider crashed out at turn 10 on lap 17, eventually re-joining to cross the line in 15th.
This left Lowes in a lonely second, but behind him Baldassarri was making his move through the field, passing AGR Team’s Jonas Folger for third on lap 18 before Folger was then forced to retire with a flat rear tyre with just four laps to go.
Rins (214pts) rode majestically at the front to take his second Moto2™ victory in just his rookie season, and in the process leapfrog the absent Tito Rabat (206pts) into second in the standings. Lowes crossed the line in second to record his fifth podium of 2015 with Baldassarri celebrating his first career GP podium in third.
Idemitsu Team Asia’s Takaaki Nakagami recovered from a terrible start to finish in fourth ahead of Xavier Simeon on the Federal Oil Gresini Moto2 Kalex. Simeon’s fifth was the Belgian's best result since his race win at the Sachsenring.
Rins’ teammate Luis Salom crossed the line in sixth ahead of the 2015 Moto2™ World Champion Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) who had a relatively quiet race in seventh.
Mika Kallio (QMMF Racing Team), Alex Marquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) and Randy Krummenacher (JIR Racing Team) completed the top ten.
Tito Rabat (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) pulled out of the weekend’s action after a heavy crash in FP2 aggravated the Spaniard’s broken radius in his left arm and he will also miss the Malaysian GP as he recovers.
Oliveira victory in Moto3™ keeps title hopes alive
Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Oliveira took victory to prevent Leopard Racing’s Danny Kent from lifting the Moto3™ World Championship battle in an incredibly dramatic race at Phillip Island. Efren Vazquez and Brad Binder completed the podium as Kent was taken out from behind by Niccolo Antonelli (Ongetta-Rivacold) on lap 14, in an incident that also saw Bastianini crash and end the Italian's slim hopes of lifting the title.
Coming into the race Kent led the standings by 56 points from Bastianini, with Oliveira’s chances of lifting the title in third looking like a distant possibility as he trailed Kent by 65 points. Kent, starting from 7th after a three-place grid penalty, looked to have the title in the bag as Bastianini had to start from 28th on the grid. But once the lights went out, the form book was thrown out of the window as the slipstream effect at the track made it impossible for anyone to break away at the front. It was a tentative game of cat and mouse with Kent and Gresini Racing Team Moto3’s Enea Bastianini knowing a mistake could gift the other the title.
At the start it was Oliveira who led the way. Kent bided his time in the leading group, but on lap 10 he was clipped by Jorge Martin (Mapfre Team Mahindra), ran wide and dropped to 16th as a group of five led by Oliveira broke away at the front. Bastianini at this point was in 7th, 4.3s ahead of the Brit. Kent fought his way back through the pack and by lap 13 he had passed Bastianini. Then disaster struck as Antonelli took out Kent on the exit of turn 3. The Italian clipped the back of the Leopard Racing Honda forcing Kent to highside violently and the Brit must have thought his chances of lifting the title at Phillip Island had gone up in smoke. To his surprise, Bastianini dramatically also crashed at the same corner, meaning both men were out of the race and the Italian's title hopes were over.
This meant Kent would be crowned champion if Oliveira finished off the podium, but the Portuguese rider had other ideas. He had been battling at the front in a group that included Vazquez, his teammate Brad Binder, Jorge Navarro (Estrella Galicia 0,0) and Romano Fenati (Sky Racing Team VR46) but made his move as the group crossed the line to start the final lap. Once Oliveira was in the lead, he rode masterfully to ensure he would not be overtaken and held on in the drag to the line to take the victory by just 0.132s from Vazquez. This meant he had cut Kent’s lead in the standings to 40 points, with 50 remaining in the last two races.
Oliveira’s teammate Binder completed the podium for the third time this season, beating the fourth placed Navarro to the line by just nine-thousandths of a second. Drive M7 SIC’s Jakub Kornfeil recovered to finish in fifth after he ran wide on lap 7, while Romano Fenati was sixth on the Sky Racing Team VR46 KTM.
Phillip Oettl (RW Racing GP), Isaac Viñales (RBA Racing Team), Alexis Masbou (SAXOPRINT RTG) and Remy Gardner (CIP) completed the top ten. It was Gardner’s first ever GP top ten finish while Maria Herrera (Husqvarna Factory Laglisse) also achieved her career best result in 11th.
Pole man John McPhee (SAXOPRINT RTG) was enjoying the best race of his career, fighting at the front during the opening stages of the race before he unfortunately crashed at turn 6 on the seventh lap, taking out Joan Mir (Leopard Racing) in the process.