More, from a press release issued by Repsol Honda:
Marquez unmatched to make it five in a row with Phillip Island last-lap thriller
Marc Marquez made history in Australia as he became Honda’s most successful rider after clinching his 55th premier class win at the end of an incredible Australian GP.
Sunday in Australia got off to a solid start for Marc Marquez as he lined up on the front row for the eighth straight year at Phillip Island. The World Champion found himself in the heart of an incredible nine-rider battle during the opening laps as the field fought for early position. With perfect precision, Marquez carved his way forward to join Cal Crutchlow and Maverick Viñales at the front.
Lap ten saw the race enter its second stage, Viñales trying to break away from the chasing pack. But both Marquez and Crutchlow responded with low 1’29s to keep Viñales within just a few tenths. Lapping consistently in the 1’29s, the eight-time World Champion stalked Viñales and used the RC213V’s superior top speed to blast into the lead on the last lap and eventually cross the line for an 11th win in 2019.
The victory is Marquez’s 55th in the premier class and makes him Honda’s most successful rider as he moves ahead of Mick Doohan’s 1998 record of 54 wins. Now only Valentino Rossi (89) and Giacomo Agostini (68) have more premier class victories to their names. Marquez has now achieved five-straight premier class wins for the first time since 2014 and continues his run of 14 straight top-two finishes intact.
As a result of the win, the Repsol Honda Team are just a single point behind the Ducati Team in the Team Championship as Honda aim to complete the coveted triple crown.
Jorge Lorenzo endured a tricky start to the day, only able to secure 19th on the grid with a 1’31.179. Unfortunately the struggles continued as Lorenzo completed a demanding 27-lap race, crossing the line in 16th place.
Cal Crutchlow returned to the MotoGP podium with a well-earned second place, the first Honda one-two finish since the 2018 Japanese Grand Prix where Marquez won to take a seventh World Championship ahead of Cal Crutchlow.
The MotoGP World Championship will now travel to Malaysia for the final leg of the yearly flyaways – Round 18, the Malaysian Grand Prix at the familiar Sepang International Circuit.
“It has been a crazy weekend with the weather and everything. Maverick was very fast today, but I was able to follow him and start slowly cooking the victory. Viñales started to push very hard and very fast at the front, but I knew that if I could stay with him for four or five laps then the victory was possible. The Repsol Honda Team have done a great job with the limited track time we have had. We had to gamble a little bit with the soft rear tyre and it was on the limit in the end, but we were able to win! It’s really special to take this 55th win with Honda, I feel incredible with the Honda family and I’m excited to enjoy this moment with them and the team.”
“I expected before we arrived that I would struggle here but you’re always hopeful that things will change and you’re able to be fast. From FP1 we struggled in the wind and the cold. It’s the worst result since returning from the Assen injury, unfortunately this is reality. Malaysia in normal conditions will be better, it’s a track that suits me more and I think we can return to a pace similar to what we had in Motegi.”
More, from a press release issued by Honda Racing Corporation (HRC):
Marquez passes Doohan as Honda’s most successful premier class rider with record breaking 55th win
A hard-fought victory at the Australian Grand Prix cemented yet another record for eight-time World Champion Marc Marquez as he becomes Honda’s most successful rider in history.
During Honda’s home race at the Japanese Grand Prix, Marc Marquez joined mighty Mick Doohan and former teammate Dani Pedrosa as one of just three riders to win 54 Grand Prix races on Honda machinery. Now just a week later, the Repsol Honda Team rider raises the bar once again, clinching victory at Phillip Island for a record-breaking 55th premier class win on the Honda RC213V.
Since 1998, Australia’s Mick Doohan has held the honour of being Honda’s most successful rider after taking his 54th win at the Argentine Grand Prix as he celebrated his fifth straight premier class title on the NSR500. Doohan’s records and results stood as the standard for Honda riders for almost two decades after the Australian surpassed the feats of Freddie Spencer from the 80s.
Like Mick Doohan, all of Marquez’s wins have come in the premier class. His first victory in 2013 at Austin saw him beat fellow Honda legend Freddie Spencer’s 30-year old record as the youngest premier class Grand Prix winner. From his 125 premier class starts, Marc Marquez has taken to the top step of the podium 55 times and has finished on the podium in 75% of races since his 2013 MotoGP debut. Only Valentino Rossi (89) and Giacomo Agostini (68) have more premier class victories to their names than the 26-year-old from Cervera.
2019 has also seen Honda take their 300th premier class win, Marc Marquez taking victory in France, continuing the story of Honda’s premier class success which began in 1966 with Jim Redman, who won a total of 45 races for Honda.
Alongside holding the win record for Honda riders in the premier class, Marquez is also the most successful Honda rider in terms of premier class World Championships with six titles and holds the outright pole position record in the premier class with 62 – four more than Mick Doohan. Marquez needs just nine more podium finishes to equal Pedrosa’s record 112 premier class podiums on Honda machinery.
With two races still remaining in 2019, Marc Marquez (375 points) is just nine points away from surpassing Jorge Lorenzo’s record 383 points from a single premier class season.
More, from a press release issued by Monster Energy Yamaha:
COMPETITIVE PHILLIP ISLAND RACE ENDS IN EIGHTH PLACE FOR ROSSI
Phillip Island (Australia), 27th October 2019
GRAND PRIX OF AUSTRALIA
The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP riders fought bravely in the race at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit. Valentino Rossi had a rocket start but couldn‘t maintain the pace required to stay with the front group and finished in eighth place. Maverick Viñales showed superb strength in today‘s Australian GP, leading for 16 laps in total, but suffered a high-speed crash on the final lap. He was uninjured but unable to resume the race.
8th VALENTINO ROSSI +15.841 / 27 LAPS
NC MAVERICK VIÑALES – / 26 LAPS
The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team went through highs and lows in today’s 27-lap race. Valentino Rossi had a supersonic start from fourth on the grid and grabbed the hole shot but was later pushed back to tenth position to ultimately finish in eighth. Maverick Viñales was in the lead for the majority of the race but crashed out during a last-lap duel for the victory.
Rossi couldn‘t have dreamt of a better start to his 400th Grand Prix. Nobody had seen him coming from fourth on the grid, yet he blasted past the opposition around the outside as they turned into the first corner. He had an over 0.6s gap after the second sector but wasn‘t able to maintain it. Once the field caught up with him, the Doctor gradually fell back to eighth. However, he wasn‘t out for the count yet.
Halfway through the race the Italian was back in fourth position as the leader of the second group of riders, but he struggled to inch closer to the front group and soon a threat came from behind. Rossi got involved in the group battle again in the second half of the race and found himself in eighth position across the finish line, 15.841s from first.
Viñales started from pole but got swallowed up by the field in the first corner. The Spaniard settled into sixth position and gradually made his way up again. He overtook two riders, including his team-mate who had led the opening laps, to get to fourth. Next on his list were Andrea Iannone, Marc Marquez, and Cal Crutchlow. One by one the Yamaha rider steadily picked them off. On lap 10 he hit the lead for the first time, with Marquez on his heels.
The number-12 rider held firm, maintaining his P1 spot until the start of the very last lap. Forced to let his rival pass him on the long straight before going into Turn 1, Viñales was pushing to the limit to fight back. Marquez was unable to shake him off, but Top Gun Maverick couldn‘t find a way through. Then drama struck in the final sector, when he suffered a high-speed crash. He was able to walk away from the incident without any injuries but ended the race with an NC score.
Viñales remains in fourth place in the championship standings, 7 points from the rider in third place. Rossi holds seventh in the overall rankings, 23 points behind his team-mate. Yamaha maintains third position in the constructor standings, and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP also stay in third place in the team classification.
The team will resume the MotoGP action at the Sepang International Circuit next weekend for the Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix, held from November 1st – 3rd.
“This is not the ending we had expected to an otherwise good weekend. Vale had a strong start but wasn‘t able to match the pace of the race leaders throughout the 27 laps. Though he experienced a tyre drop and a difference in top-speed didn’t help him to defend his position, he did make a step this week and was able to put up a fight. He finished in eighth place and was actually not far off third. Maverick had a different experience. He fell back in Turn 1 at the start but battled hard and led the race from lap 10 until the last lap. It was very unfortunate that he crashed, because his superb form this weekend deserved a reward, but it wasn‘t to be. Luckily, he wasn’t injured. These things happen when you‘re riding on the limit, fighting for the victory on the very last lap. On a positive note, we take away from this race that we have been competitive in all sorts of weather and track conditions. Now we look forward to giving our all again next weekend in Malaysia, the last GP of the triple-header before the final round in Valencia.”
“It was a great start and a very good way to celebrate my 400th Grand Prix, being able to be in front for a bit. In the end, the race result for sure isn‘t fantastic, but I was not so far behind Jack Miller, who arrived on the podium, and I was able to ride in a better way and was more competitive compared to the previous weekend. Anyway, we need more, and we need to be stronger. We need to work, and we‘ll see. Racing at the Phillip Island track is always great, but in the end it was a hard battle.”
“I started the last lap much tighter to the curb to have the chance, if Marc would overtake at the last moment, to brake later. But he overtook me before the finish line. Then I was planning to push to the maximum in sector 3 to overtake in Turn 10, and that’s what I did. So, before I crashed, I was ready to go in without braking to see what would happen, but I locked the rear. Maybe I made a mistake, I don’t know, and then I just fell down on the other side. Today was a race to win, not to be second. I had the chance, so I tried. Anyway, for me it was a very positive race, I crashed but I was satisfied. I gave my best on every lap and the bike was working in a really good way.”
More, from a press release issued by Aprilia Gresini Racing:
IN AUSTRALIA TWO APRILIAS IN THE TOP TEN WITH ANDREA SIXTH AND ALEIX TENTH
IT IS THE BEST RESULT EVER FOR APRILIA IN THE HISTORY OF MOTOGP
ANDREA FINISHES LESS THAN 8 TENTHS FROM THE PODIUM, ALEIX CONSISTENTLY IN THE BATTLE WITH THE LEADERS
With its riders putting in an outstanding performance, Aprilia was one of the protagonists in the Australian GP. Starting very well from the third row – Aprilia had never before had two riders in the top ten on the starting grid – Andrea and Aleix settled in stably with the lead group. In the early stages, they occupied third and fifth place for quite a while with Andrea who, on the third lap, even had the satisfaction of overtaking Márquez and then Crutchlow for first place. Starting with the soft on the rear, they both had to manage the natural wear of the tyre but they never gave up, playing key roles in the leading pack and, after Viñales and Márquez pulled away, in the group battling for the podium.
In the end, Andrea took home a nice sixth place, finishing just 7.8 tenths from the podium, while Aleix finished tenth as a testament to the overall great performance of the RS-GP on the demanding and beautiful Phillip Island circuit.
This is Aprilia’s best placement ever in the history of MotoGP, where two bikes from Noale had never been so high in the rankings and so close to the podium. The result comes at the end of a primarily positive weekend where the RS-GP machines had been consistently fast in practice and in qualifying, with Andrea finishing Q1 in second place, going through to Q2, and Aleix second in the morning warm up session.
“This is a special track for us, different from the other circuits, and I had fun straight away as soon as we got here. We stayed consistently with the best group which was battling for the podium in a fun race with a lot of overtaking. It seemed like a Moto3 race, but with a lot faster and heavier bikes! In order to be even more competitive, I would have needed more grip on the rear, so I was unable to ride exactly as I expected, having to make up a lot of ground in braking.”
“It was a positive race for us, but we worked well throughout the weekend. I had a good feeling straight away and I realised from the first practice session that it would be a good opportunity for us. There were obviously many details that helped, beginning with the characteristics of this track, and it’s a pity about some contact in the finale. I lost a winglet and the bike was no longer perfectly balanced. But it was thrilling to ride the Aprilia out front and for that I wish to thank all the guys here and in Noale who are working their hardest and the CEO who supports us in our growth. I hope to be able to bring them more satisfaction. This is only my first season with Aprilia and it was not exactly simple, but we were never lacking in determination and commitment.”
More, from a press release issued by Red Bull KTM:
12TH FOR ESPARGARO AT AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX AS KTM DOMINATE MOTO2
MotoGP 2019 Round 17 of 19, Phillip Island Circuit (AUS) – RACE
Pol Espargaro grabbed more MotoGP points at the Pramac Generac Australian Motorcycling Grand Prix, hosted at the blisteringly quick Phillip Island circuit. Red Bull KTM Ajo excelled in the Moto2 contest with Brad Binder taking his third victory of the season by leading teammate Jorge Martin across the finish line.
Proceedings around the epic landscape of Phillip Island began with a busy Sunday schedule as the postponed Q1 and Q2 qualification sessions from Saturday took place shortly after warm-up and in chilly, breezy but dry conditions. The Red Bull KTM riders then occupied their slots on the grid accordingly with Pol Espargaro in 17th, Mika Kallio 18th, and Hafizh Syahrin in 20th. Miguel Oliveira was declared unfit to ride after his fast crash in FP4 Saturday afternoon. The Portuguese will undergo an MRI scan on a bruised and swollen left hand and right wrist. Luckily the former GP winner did not sustain more serious injury in the spill that was caused by strong winds pushing him off the Australian course.
The 27 laps of the MotoGP race – the 31st at Phillip Island – began with Espargaro sliding into mid-pack and just outside the top ten as he steered the KTM RC16 in search of optimum grip. The Spaniard earned 12th place and four more FIM World Championship points. Teammate Mika Kallio was also vying for his second dose of MotoGP points since coming into the Red Bull KTM set-up three races ago. The Finn eventually had to retire due to severe rear tyre degradation. Red Bull KTM Tech 3 rider Hafizh Syahrin reached the top fifteen for the fifth time this season as the Malaysian secured the final points-scoring ranking in 15th.
MotoGP now moves onto a third consecutive race and the heat and humidity of Sepang in Malaysia.
Pol Espargaro: “It was a complicated weekend. We struggled for grip and traction. In 2017 we were much faster but we had a lot of problems here last year and again this weekend. I think part of it is down to the weather and all the changes we have to make to the bike. Anyway we need to look at the bigger picture and the whole season has been much better. We cannot explain this one track but I think this is part of developing a bike and making it better for every circuit. We will reset in Malaysia. In the worst conditions we took four points and were fourteen seconds from the podium – which is not good – but not horrible. After a difficult weekend we’ll take this.”
Hafizh Syahrin: “I had a really good race. In the beginning I needed some time to find a good feeling with the hard tyre but after a few laps I started to find a rhythm. Behind Kallio, I couldn’t find a slipstream, so I needed to catch him in the corner and finally I passed him in turn one on the brakes and I tried to pass Abraham. Unfortunately, in the last lap it was impossible for me. In the end, one point is better than nothing. We know that we need to be stronger in the beginning of the race.”
Mika Kallio: “We were thinking before the race ‘soft or hard’ tyre and believed the temperature was improving so we chose the hard. I saw after a few laps that the race would be very difficult. There was no grip at all. I managed to do a few fast laps but then the grip was completely gone and I was spinning and spinning off the corners. In the end there was no rubber at all on the rear and because of that I also pushed and destroyed the left side of the front tyre! This weekend is something we need to forget and think about Malaysia. We had a lot more data from there, like everybody else, and I have been there many times with the MotoGP bike with KTM. I think it will be easier for us.”
Miguel Oliveira: “The reason I was unfit today was the swelling on my left hand and the pain on the right wrist. I could not squeeze with power and therefore not grab the handlebars. Speaking with the doctors in the medical centre they saw it was maybe better to do an MRI today to check if there is any ligament damages on the right wrist, so this is what I’m going to do. I will fly to Malaysia Monday afternoon and as soon as I land, I should already have the reports. Fingers crossed, that everything goes well! My only wish is to ride and hopefully everything will turn out in the best possible way.”
Mike Leitner, Red Bull KTM Team Manager: “This weekend was really tough for everybody but we had a problem finding a good setting for the race through the different weather conditions. It was horrible seeing some of the crashes on Saturday and we hope Miguel will be OK after his check in the hospital on his hand. Mika was struggling with rear grip, as were many riders and with other manufacturers. Pol took 12th and it’s a result that we’re not too happy about anymore, we know we can be further forward. We were eleven seconds from the podium and we have to keep realistic but it was a difficult race and we expected more from our visit to Phillip Island.”
Moto2 & Moto3
Red Bull KTM Ajo’s Brad Binder celebrated the team’s third successive Moto2 victory at Phillip Island and the South African’s third win of 2019 (his seventh podium) thanks to a masterful performance. Binder had to be at his best at the front of the field to keep teammate Jorge Martin at bay. The Spaniard, who has been in quick form in the last weeks, kept close watch on Binder and passed the chequered flag less than two seconds adrift for what was his second podium result in a row.
Lorenzo Dalla Porta won the Moto3 Grand Prix. KTM were best represented by Albert Arenas as the 2018 winner ran to 3rd position around the quick Australian curves with his RC4 and was less than a tenth of a second from his Italian rival and second placed Marcos Ramirez at the flag.
Brad Binder: “I expected there to be a big group and a massive fight but after just five laps I realised it was just going to be me and my teammate. On one hand it was a bit of pressure but on the other I was more relaxed because it is much easier to deal with one person than ten! I am really happy, and I gave my absolute best the whole race. I think it was one of the best I have done because I really limited the mistakes. I need to say a big thank you to the team because the bike working amazingly from FP1.”
Jorge Martin: “In these last three races I’ve felt very good fighting in the lead group and I’m really happy about that. Today the race was a bit easier than in Japan, as taking off ahead is always a plus. I tried to follow Brad [Binder], but he was pushing really hard. I’m very satisfied with the result and for the team as they deserve the double podium. I’m already looking forward to the next GP.”
The Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit will stage the penultimate round of 2019 MotoGP this weekend.
Next race: November 3rd, Shell Malaysia Motorcycling Grand Prix, Sepang International Circuit
More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki ECSTAR:
MIR FIGHTS TO FIFTH IN PHILLIP ISLAND, RINS NINTH.
Joan Mir: 5th (+ 14.817)
Alex Rins: 9th (+ 16.032)
• Joan Mir claims best ever MotoGP finish.
• Alex Rins struggles at end but retains 3rd in standings.
• Team ready to attack in Sepang in seven days.
Just one week after the Japanese GP it was time to chase the chequered flag again, and Phillip Island played host to a tense and fiercely contested 27-lap Grand Prix.
Team SUZUKI ECSTAR’s riders got off to a good start, despite Alex Rins receiving contact from another rider on the opening lap. The Spaniard quickly recouped and set the fastest lap on the third lap of the race. Determined to get in the mix, he began to fight it out on the edge of the lively Top 5 group. With 15 laps to go he had made it into 4th place but he soon began to lose feeling. Despite his eagerness to finish at the front of the group, Alex had to settle and conserve his tyres. He finished the race in 9th place and retains 3rd place in the championship standings, as both Viñales and Petrucci failed to finish.
Meanwhile, rookie Joan Mir was enjoying working his way up through the field following his 13th place grid spot. Mir took his time and chipped away at the busy group in front of him, picking off fellow riders one by one. As the laps ticked by he found himself able to stick close to the battle for 4th, and on the final straight he got very close to snatching a podium. In the end the youngster took an impressive 5th, his best MotoGP finish. He also climbs up one place in the standings to 12th.
Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager:
“Joan did a good job today; he was close to the podium and we can really see how he is growing and improving with every race. Alex did well from his grid position, but his pace dropped off a bit as the race went on and he lost some places. We’ll check the data and begin working for next week.”
Davide Brivio – Team Manager:
“It was an exciting race today; we had both riders fighting in the group and making a lot of overtakes. Joan got his best MotoGP finish yet, and we’re happy about this. He came from quite far back and showed that he’s more than capable of fighting with the front riders. Alex got up to 4th and he looked really strong, but then he struggled and he finished 9th. But anyway, we’re pleased with today’s result and we’re looking forward to Sepang next weekend.”
“It was a good race today. I’m so happy about the work we’ve been doing behind the scenes, all the steps we’re taking are helping a lot. It’s a shame the conditions weren’t more settled during the weekend, because in the dry I felt really good and I got my best MotoGP result. I wish there had been one more lap today – I was getting close to the podium! But finally, it looks like the better results are coming, I feel great with the bike.”
“I’m a bit disappointed because there have been several races where I’ve had really strong and consistent pace – not winning pace because Marc is hard to beat, but podium pace – and I have not been able to convert it to a top result. Today I feel like I could have gone with Cal but it was difficult because I started far down the grid and had to fight a lot. We really need to work on qualifying, being on the front two rows is so crucial. This turned into a sort of ‘survival’ race, and I just had to get the best finish I could. Anyway, I’m ready for Malaysia next week.”
More, from a press release issued by Ducati:
Seventh place for Andrea Dovizioso in the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island. Danilo Petrucci crashes on the opening lap and is forced to retire
Andrea Dovizioso finished the Australian Grand Prix, which was held today at the Phillip Island circuit, in seventh place. The Ducati Team’s Italian rider, who was starting from row 4 following this morning’s Q2 session in which he finished in tenth position, ran an intelligent race as he moved up to the group fighting for fourth, but at the start of the final lap, after passing Miller at the end of the straight, he went wide at Turn 2 and dropped down four positions to finish the race in seventh place. With nine points scored today, Dovizioso is confirmed as runner-up in the Riders’ standings for the third year in a row.
It was an unfortunate race for Danilo Petrucci, who started from row 2 thanks to a fifth place he obtained this morning in Q2. The Ducati Team’s other Italian rider was the victim of a high-side at Turn 2 at the start of the opening lap, also hitting the bike of Quartararo, and he ended his race in the run-off area together with the French rider. Taken to the medical centre of the circuit, Danilo was diagnosed as having a badly bruised left ankle, but according to the specialists it is nothing to worry about. Despite today’s no-score, Petrucci remains in fifth place in the Riders’ standings, 14 points behind Rins and 7 from Viñales.
It is worth mentioning the good performance by the Pramac Racing Team: in his home race Jack Miller stepped onto the podium in third, a position the Australian inherited after Viñales crashed out on the last lap, and Pecco Bagnaia put in a great race to finish fourth.
In the Constructors’ standings Ducati remains in second position and slightly increases its lead over Yamaha, while in the Teams’ classification the Ducati Team is just holding onto the lead by one point.
Andrea Dovizioso (#04 Ducati Team) – 7th
“After a first part of the race in which we were fast, we consumed the rear tyre too much and our rhythm dropped compared to that of the top three. In the group of riders fighting for fourth place, we were all in a bit of difficulty but on the last lap I had created the right opportunity for myself: unfortunately, at Turn 2 the bike got away from me, I went wide and lost four positions. In the end it was a pity because we could have finished third and got onto the podium, albeit with a big gap from the first two. The positive aspect from today is that we confirmed our second place in the Riders’ classification, with two rounds remaining and for the third year in a row.”
Danilo Petrucci (#9 Ducati Team) – DNF
“I’m bitterly disappointed because finally I was having a weekend that lived up to my expectations and this morning in qualifying I had set a good time, so I was very optimistic for the race. At Turn 2 Marquez came in on me on the inside, I was forced to go wide and onto a dirty line, lost control of the bike and had a high-side that unfortunately also involved Quartararo. I’m really sorry for him and also for the fact that I probably missed a chance to get onto the podium. My ankle is hurting badly, but after a first check in the circuit, it seems that nothing is broken so I hope to be OK for Malaysia.”
The next event on the MotoGP calendar is in one week’s time at Sepang, where the Shell Malaysian Grand Prix will be held from 1st to 3rd November at the circuit near Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
More, from a press release issued by Pramac Racing:
#AustralianGP RACE. What a fantastic Sunday for Pramac Racing. Jack conquers the Island with a splendid podium (P3) as Pecco (P4) is the protagonist of a stunning comeback.
It was a dream Sunday for Pramac Racing, writing an extraordinary page in the history of the team, at the Pramac Generac Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix with a fantastic result. The team scored a podium finish by Jack Miller and the best race of the season for Francesco Bagnaia who finished in 4th. Jack, who started from P9 and Pecco from P15 were among the great protagonists at Phillip Island thanks to an exciting progression that allowed them to recover many positions, especially in the second half of the race. In the last two laps the Pramac Racing’s duo won the fight with Dovizioso and Mir, then a crash from Vinales in the last lap allowed Jack to claim a podium and Pecco to take a sumptuous 4th place, just 0.55s from his teammate.
P4 – Pecco Bagnaia
I can’t be disappointed that I was so close from finishing on the podium, I am very happy with this result. It was a solid weekend from start to finish, we made the right choice of tyres and we worked well as a team all weekend. This result fills me with satisfaction and I think it is an important step forward. We will be coming into Malaysia with a lot of confidence and I am looking forward to it.
P3 – Jack Miller
It’s an extraordinary result and I’m very happy for the team, they did an amazing job! It’s clear that the crash at Vinales allowed me to get on the podium but that can’t cancel the feeling of us finishing on the podium in my home race in front of all my friends and family. The battle with Pecco was exciting and gave me extra motivation to push until the chequered flag, This is a weekend I’ll never forget.
More, from a press release issued by Michelin:
MICHELIN MANAGES ALL THE WEATHER HAS TO OFFER AS MARQUEZ BREAKS HONDA RECORD
Michelin’s biggest opponent this weekend was nature as the Phillip Island Circuit saw changes to the MotoGP™ schedule for the Pramac Generac Australian Grand Prix due to severe weather before Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) took victory in the 27-lap race.
A full assortment of weather this weekend at Phillip Island saw heavy rain, strong winds, cool temperatures and warm sunshine cover one of the most picturesque circuits on the calendar, with the range of Michelin tyres performing in all conditions. This mix of conditions led to the cancellation of Qualifying on Saturday afternoon, due to a safety risk from the strong winds, this meant the two sessions were staged on Sunday for the first time. Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) took pole position, with Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) – who had to come through Qualifying 1 for the first time in his rookie season – and Marquez joining him on the front row in second and third respectively.
In overcast conditions, with ambient temperatures at 16°C and the track surface reaching its highest point of the weekend at 30°C, five of the six MICHELIN Power Slick compounds lined up on the grid as the riders made their choices despite the lack of track and important set-up time, over the weekend. Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) made an impressive start and led in to the first corner from fourth on the grid. He held top-spot for three-laps, before Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda), took first place on lap-four. He was hunted down by Viñales, as the pole-setter settled into a rhythm and took the lead on lap-10, with Marquez close in pursuit. Viñales using a soft/soft MICHELIN Power Slick configuration and Marquez – with a hard front and soft rear pairing – pulled away at the front and the race was looking like being another momentous battle on the last lap, but as the pair neared the penultimate corner – with Marquez in the lead – Viñales crashed as he tried to fight for the win, leaving the 2019 World Champion to ride to victory and claim his 11th success on the season, a result that saw him secure his 55th win on a Honda and become the Japanese marque’s most successful premier class Grand Prix rider, surpassing the record previously held by Mick Doohan, who achieved all his Honda victories on Michelin tyres.
Completing the podium was Crutchlow, using hard front and rear MICHELIN Power Slick tyres, as he also secured the position of First Independent Rider, and in third, with a combination of medium front and hard rear, was local hero Jack Miller (Pramac Racing), a result which more than pleased the crowd at trackside. Francesco Bagnaia (Pramac Racing) took fourth, Joan Mir (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) was fifth and Andrea Iannone (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) crossed the line in sixth, as this trio respectively recorded their best results of the season so far. Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) was seventh, Rossi eighth and Alex Rins (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) in ninth, with Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) coming home in tenth to give Aprilia its first double top-ten finishes of the season.
This weekend also saw a first for MotoGP as a tyre test session was conducted during a racing weekend. This extra 20-minute session was held on Saturday afternoon to enable Michelin and all riders the chance to assess a new construction rear MICHELIN Power Slick tyre on one of the calendar’s most demanding circuits, in readiness for introduction into the 2020 range. All riders available completed the session and most put together an 11-lap run to give Michelin a lot of data. This information will now be assessed in Clermont-Ferrand before a decision is taken about further winter testing and the possibility of adding the new tyre to next year’s allocation.
Michelin now travels to Sepang in Malaysia for the final event of the three-week tour and the penultimate race of 2019, as round 18 of the championship is scheduled to get underway on Sunday 3rd November.
Marc Marquez – Repsol Honda Team:
“It has been a crazy weekend for everything, but especially about getting the tyres right. When it rains and then you have to cancel some practice because of wind you cannot understand the tyres and which is the best choice for the race. Especially at this racetrack because the consumption is so high and it is so demanding on tyres, but as we saw I raced with the soft rear and Cal and Jack used the hard, so both tyres had different potential, but both had enough to win the race. In the end we did a great job and so did all the Michelin staff because it was so difficult to understand and Clement and Piero gave to me and my team the important information and we were then able to make the correct decision for the race.”
Piero Taramasso – Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager:
“As Marc has said it has been a crazy weekend! I think we had a bit of every weather over the weekend, except snow. The tyres were subjected to some real extremes, with heavy rain, cold asphalt and high winds, all on a track that makes huge demands on the tyres. The rain and slick tyres all performed well though, despite all the changes in weather, and even though the riders had very little dry set-up time we were able to assist them with their choices and give them the tools to make the most informed decision for a race tyre. Again, it was pleasing to see different configurations on the podium, with five of the six compounds being used during the race. Consumption is always a factor here at Phillip Island and although that was evident today, it was not severe and we finished the race with the tyres having a good aspect, showing that the mix of rubber on the asymmetric front and rear tyres was correct and gave a consistent performance.
“The special tyre test session was an invaluable 20-minutes for Michelin as we were able to get all the riders that were available to go out on track to do a number of laps and concentrate just on assessing the tyres. We will now return to France after the final race of the fly-aways and evaluate the tyres and all the data before making a final decision regarding further testing or adding them to the 2020 range.
“We now head to Malaysia, where hopefully it will be a bit warmer, we know we will probably also face some changeable weather, but we have spent a lot of time testing at Sepang, so we know what to expect and have the tyres to do the job, no matter what the conditions are.”
More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda Castrol:
More, from a press release issued by LCR Honda Idemitsu:
More, from a press release issued by Reale Avintia Racing:
The Reale Avintia Racing Team returns to the points zone in Australia
The Reale Avintia Racing Team concludes an Australian Grand Prix that leaves a bittersweet taste to the team. Karel Abraham scored two points after finishing 14th. Tito Rabat, who was suffering from physical problems, had to retire at the beginning of the race.
It’s been an intense Sunday at Phillip Island. After strong and threatening winds blowing at the Australian circuit on Saturday, the decision was taken to cancel and postpone qualifying until Sunday morning. Karel Abraham, who started 16th in the grid, has managed to cross the finish line in 14th position, adding two important points after some difficult last races. The Czech rider has reached a good pace throughout the race that has allowed him to finish in the top fifteen. Tito Rabat had to retire with twenty-three laps to go due to problems with his right hand that he has since Japan. The Spanish rider tried to follow the pace of the race, but the strong pain in his hand made it impossible for him to finish.
With no time to rest, the penultimate race of the World Championship and the last of the Asian tour, the Malaysian Grand Prix, will take place next week. The Reale Avintia Racing Team faces the weekend at the Sepang International Circuit with the motivation to score points and to make a good performance before the final race of the season in Valencia.
Tito Rabat | DNF
“Today it was less windy, we wanted to try to get out and try to follow the group, but it was impossible. I had a blow to my hand before Japan, my tendon hurts a little and it’s more than it seems. You have to be careful. We will see if in Malaysia we can go back where we deserve.”
Karel Abraham | P14
“For sure it was not the best race that we have done this season but it was OK. I’m really happy for the points that are obviously very important. We were still struggling before the start of the race to choose the rear tyre because I was not sure about the conditions and the weather, but finally we chose the soft option, but I’m still not sure if it was better or not. It was very difficult, especially the end of the race where the rear tyre was not working anymore and I was struggling a lot, but we managed it. Also, before the end of the race, I had a big slide, I was very close to crash and I was overtook by Syahrin, but I overtook him back, and unfortunately in the last lap Viñales had a big crash and I took two points which is great and I’m really happy to add more points in the championship. Even though it was not the best race, it was a good race by performance, being there and consistent lap times. We are still aiming to be there one group ahead, I think this is something that we have to achieve.”
More, from a press release issued by PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team:
Disappointment for PETRONAS Yamaha SRT at Australian GP
Tough weekend at Phillip Island concludes with P11 for Franco Morbidelli and a DNF for Fabio Quartararo
Australian GP – 27 October 2019
PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team had a disappointing Australian Grand Prix after Franco Morbidelli finished just shy of the top ten and Fabio Quartararo was left watching from the sidelines at Phillip Island after being taken out by another rider on the opening lap.
Showing strong pace all weekend despite mixed conditions and high winds blasting the seaside track, Morbidelli went into today optimistic about what he could achieve when the lights went out. However, struggling first in this morning’s rescheduled qualifying session, he then wasn’t able to find the pace he needed to be competitive in the race. Dropping back to 14th at the start, Morbidelli was able to regroup and recover a number of places before riding a relatively lonely race to finish in 11th.
Quartararo went into the race nursing an ankle injury after a heavy crash during Friday’s FP1 but was able to bounce back to start second after qualifying. Lining up on the front row, he made a strong start to battle for the lead – but ran wide on the opening lap before being struck by another rider as they crashed behind him, ending Quartararo’s race prematurely.
The team maintain a healthy position in the championship standings, with Fabio staying sixth and Franco tenth in the overall rider standings. Quartararo still leads the Independent Riders’ award by 22 points and PETRONAS Yamaha SRT is 58 points in front of its nearest rival in the Independent Teams’ series and stays fourth in the general Teams’ classification.
The team can bounce back imminently, with action resuming in only five days’ time. Practice starts for their home race at the Sepang International Circuit on Friday 1st November ahead of Sunday 3rd November’s Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix.
Razlan Razali, Team Principal:
“That was our most challenging weekend of the year in MotoGP. The conditions at Phillip Island were harsh and it was hard work on track for Fabio with his injury and being taken out of the race as well as for Franco finding race pace. Nevertheless, we did get a few valuable points to ensure we are still very much in the fight to be best Independent Team. In Moto3 it was an intense battle over an exciting race. John was right in the mix and Ayumu fought well through the field. In Moto2, Adam continues his learning process with a lot thrown at him over the weekend. Sepang will be a key race as Adam’s home event, so he should be able to push for a further step forward. We have great anticipation for Sepang with a lot of local supporters ready to get their first glimpse of Malaysia’s first MotoGP team. Our target is to maintain the momentum of the season.”
Wilco Zeelenberg, Team Manager:
“It was a bad day at the office for PETRONAS Yamaha SRT. The weekend did not start well with Fabio’s crash on Friday, but Franco also had mixed fortunes all weekend; in some sessions he was fast but in others, he struggled. In the race, Franco couldn’t maintain pace and find the correct strategy to keep his tyres alive. Fabio had a good chance after the disaster of Friday, but he was taken out by Petrucci at turn two. Both were on hard tyres, both had a little slide at the same time, and it was basically the opposite of Silverstone where Fabio took out Dovizioso. The most important thing is that both riders are okay. We need to put this weekend behind whilst learning from it, which was always one of the goals in our rookie year. We share success just as we share the more difficult moments. Now we have a great opportunity to bounce back at the best place possible in only five days’ time in Malaysia.”
“It was a difficult race for us. From qualifying this morning we’ve struggled; I had been feeling good all weekend and I was aiming for a better position on the grid, but this morning we had a big drop in performance. This meant we didn’t start the race from where we hoped and we weren’t able to improve from there. I had to manage the tyres and be precise over every lap, but the pace was not forthcoming. We have to investigate why we lost pace today as the rest of the weekend had looked promising. Obviously, we want to be fast again in Malaysia.”
“It was a tough weekend, with a big crash on Friday and a crash on Sunday. This morning we were able to do something incredible, taking part in my first MotoGP Q1 then going through to the front row. That was a really nice start to the day. In the race, if Petrucci hadn’t hit me I would probably have run onto the grass and lost a lot of positions anyway, but it’s still my rookie year and I’ll learn from it. I’ll now take the opportunity to rest and recuperate as much as possible before the next race in Sepang where I want to reward the circuit and PETRONAS with a strong performance.”
More, from a press release issued by Red Bull KTM Tech3:
Syahrin grinds out one point in Australia – Oliveira has to sit out
Red Bull KTM Tech3 rider Hafizh Syahrin scored a World Championship Point in an action-packed race at Phillip Island today. The Malaysian, who started from P20 on the grid, worked his way towards the points scoring positions with quick and consistent lap times in the second part of the race and eventually had an exciting battle against Karel Abraham in the last laps. He crossed the line in 15th.
Following his heavy crash in turn one caused by the strong winds yesterday, Miguel Oliveira was declared unfit by the medical team, as a swollen left hand and a painful right wrist didn’t allow him to control his bike properly. The Portuguese MotoGP rookie is at the Melbourne hospital at the moment in order to undergo an MRI to his right hand to exclude any further damage and to ensure he can compete again next week in Malaysia.
“I had a really good race. In the beginning, I needed some time to find a good feeling with the hard tyre, but after a few laps I started to find a rhythm and managed to control my rear tyre, but on the straight it was impossible to pass Abraham. Behind Kallio, I couldn’t find a slipstream, so I needed to catch him in the corner and finally I passed him in turn one on the brake and I tried to pass Abraham. Unfortunately, in the last lap it was impossible for me, after I already had him before. In the end, one point is better than nothing, we found back into a rhythm, but we know that we need to be stronger in the beginning of the race.”
“The reason I was unfit today was the swelling on my left hand and the pain on the right wrist. I could not squeeze with power and therefore not grab the handlebars, which lead to this result. Speaking with the doctors in the medical center, they saw it was maybe better to do an MRI today to check if there is any ligament damages on the right wrist, so this is what I’m going to do. I will fly to Malaysia Monday afternoon and as soon as I land, I should already have the reports. Fingers crossed, that everything goes well! My only wish is to ride and hopefully everything will turn out in the best possible way.”