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Oct 25, 2012

More Previews Of This Coming Weekend's MotoGP Event At Phillip Island

Randy De Puniet (14).

POWER ELECTRONICS pair ready for penultimate round with 10 points between them in CRT battle

The breathtaking Phillip Island circuit in Australia is ready to welcome the weary travelling circus of the MotoGP World Championship this weekend as they tackle the third race in as many weekends across Asia and Oceana. The fresh sea air of the Bass Strait could be just what the riders need to keep their focus in check as they take on 4.448km of fast and flowing tarmac, located on the stunning cliff edge of the island. Phillip Island has provided a fitting backdrop to the crowning of many a MotoGP World Champion in the past and it could well do so again this Sunday as Jorge Lorenzo defends a 23-point advantage going into the penultimate round of the season. Dani Pedrosa will most likely require a sixth win from seven races if he is to keep a remarkable challenge alive until Valencia but he will have to contend with the 'King of the Island', his team-mate Casey Stoner, who has won his home race for the past five years.

With two races remaining the quest to finish as the best CRT rider in the championship is a closed book between the POWER ELECTRONICS Aspar pair of Aleix Espargaró and Randy De Puniet. The odds are now heavily stacked in favour of the Spaniard, however, after two 'victories' in the last two races combined with two 'zeros' for his French team-mate. The goal for Aleix is to manage his advantage going into his home race in Valencia in two weeks' time whilst Randy needs to take some risks and recover as many points as possible.

Aleix Espargaró: "Australia is a country I love and Phillip Island in particular is beautiful. The atmosphere there makes for a completely different Grand Prix to anywhere else in the world. We stay in houses for the weekend with the team and spend a lot of time together, which just brings us closer together and makes for a special race. The flyaways have been great to us so far - we have qualified and finished as the top CRT in both races. Now we have a ten-point gap over Randy but we have to keep working hard and try to enjoy the weekend to make sure that the situation remains in our favour. Phillip Island is a tricky circuit and it tends to be quite cold so we have to stay focused because it's easy to crash and injure yourself."

Randy De Puniet: "We haven't had any luck in the last two races so we need to work hard to turn the situation around. It was a tough weekend at Sepang, the track conditions were not good and we struggled to get the set-up right. Then the race was wet and we ended up crashing out. We have lost a lot of points in the last two races and Aleix has taken advantage of it in the CRT standings so we have to do whatever we can in Australia to cut the gap. Phillip Island is a very interesting circuit but it is tricky too so we have to work hard from Friday. There are two races left and we need to perform to our full potential if we want to finish as the top CRT in Valencia. We are not ready to give up yet."

More, from a press release issued by Bridgestone:

Bridgestone MotoGP™ Race Preview - Round 17: Phillip Island, Australia

Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium. Rear: Medium, Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)

Round seventeen and the penultimate round of the 2012 MotoGP™ season takes place at Australia's Phillip Island circuit, where the picturesque setting of the track belies its status as one of the cruellest on Bridgestone MotoGP tyres.

At roughly 4.44 kilometres in length, the majority of the Phillip Island circuit does not impose significant load on tyres, but the final section through the left-handed turns 11 and 12 are taken at high lean angles under continuous throttle opening, resulting in wheelspin and the generation of extreme temperatures. In fact, Phillip Island's last corner creates the highest tyre temperature recorded during the entire MotoGP™ season.

This large variation in operating conditions over the course of a lap make asymmetric rear tyres a necessity at this windswept circuit. The left side of the rear slicks feature rubber that is much harder than the right shoulder, and the rear slicks also employ a special heat-resistant construction like that used at Sachsenring and Indianapolis - to keep tyre temperatures in check.

The front tyre compounds for Phillip Island are the soft and medium compounds which offer the best combination of cornering stability and warm-up performance at a circuit that is renowned for highly variable weather. Phillip Island's vulnerability to very cool temperatures also means that the main wet tyre for the Australian Grand Prix will be the soft compound option.

Hiroshi Yamada - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department

"Phillip Island is one of the most impressive circuits on the calendar with its fast speeds and spectacular seaside location. This year's Australian Grand Prix will be a particularly special occasion as it marks Casey's last home race and although he already boasts an impressive record at the Island, undoubtedly he will give everything he can to score his sixth straight victory at the circuit in front of what will be a large home crowd. The championship battle is continuing right to the end and the three way battle between Casey, Dani and Jorge this weekend should make for exciting racing. Also, it is a shame that Ben's injuries means he can't ride this weekend, I wish him a speedy recovery and hope to see him back on his bike at Valencia."

Shinji Aoki - Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department

"Phillip Island is a circuit with a very high average speed, however for the most part it is not demanding on the front and rear tyres because of the generally low temperatures encountered and flowing nature of the track. The last section of the circuit, culminating in the high speed last corner creates the highest rear tyre temperature of the season in the left shoulder and it is this characteristic that is the main consideration when developing tyres for this circuit. It is long and fast with the riders accelerating at high lean angles, and the stresses demand a special heat-resistant construction so that the asymmetric rear tyres can cope with the excessive forces.

"We have seen in the past that the cold and rain can be important factors so softer compounds are generally required to generate good grip. Warm-up performance in the right shoulders is also important as the stresses on this side of the tyre are fairly low."

More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing:


The Pramac Racing Team gets to Australia this week, preparing for the third and final flyaway race of the 2012 MotoGP World Championship at the fast and undulating Philip Island circuit.

The Green Energy Team rider, Héctor Barberà, arrives at the spectacular Australian track with a strong confidence, after he raced to a brilliant seventh place in the Malaysian Grand Prix last Sunday.

The Phillip Island weekend is, due to its proximity to the coast, frequently dominated by rapidly changing weather conditions. The forecast shows rain and cold for the next days and this poor conditions could shuffle the cards for all the MotoGP riders.

Despite that the Spaniard still has the mathematical chance of clinching the top ten finish in the World standing (with only 9 points separating him from Ben Spies) and he will try to attain also this goal.

Héctor Barberà Pramac Racing Team Rider - "I'm really excited to riding at the Phillip Island circuit, one of my favourite and probably the most beautiful track on the MotoGP calendar. I have good memories on this track, as in 2009 when I achieved a great second place with my Aprilia 250cc and I always enjoy riding there. After the last round in Malaysia, where we caught a positive result despite it was a difficult race due to the tricky weather conditions, I'm really determined to finish on the top ten again. I know it's not going to be easy, but I will try my best!"

More, from a press release issued by Avintia Blusens MotoGP Team:

Avintia Blusens MotoGP will rely on Australian rider Kris McLaren in Phillip Island. Iván Silva will get familiar with the track down under

Avintia Blusens will rely on the presence of Superbikes rider Kris McLaren for the MotoGP race this Sunday. McLaren who participated in CEV this year finishing second in the Jerez race and last year as a guest at the G.P. of Australia will replace injured Yonny Hernández who hopes that he will have recovered to take part in the last round of the year in Valencia.

For his part Iván Silva is going to Australia with the intention to make the good sensations that he has had in the second part of the season come true but that for some reason he has been unable to convert into good results. As it has often been the case this year Silva will have to get familiar with the nice but difficult track of Phillip Island.

Iván Silva: "I have to get familiar with a track once again but Phillip Island is a mythical and exciting one and I can't wait to ride there. I know it won't be easy but I have been feeling more and more at ease with the motorbike and the time must come when I get a good result. If I can get a better setting-up to enhance my pace we can do a good race. I need to complete a full lap to improve my time. We are fast now but I can't complete the assessments. I hope I'll make it in Australia."

Kris McLaren: "I am really enthusiastic I can participate in MotoGP and what's more in my country. It's a great opportunity that Avintia Blusens has offered me and I'd like to make the best of it even if I am aware it will be very difficult to ride with such experienced riders. The first objective is to adapt to the bike and gradually make progress."