Phillip Island awaits the Repsol Honda Team
The non-stop schedule of the 2023 World Championship season keeps on coming as the Repsol Honda Team head to the most southernly GP of the year.
A short flight and a quick drive from Lombok to Melbourne and down to Phillip Island and Round 16, the Australian Grand Prix, is already here. The Repsol Honda Team are aiming to use the quick turnaround between races to help turn their fortunes after an ultimately unrewarding weekend in Mandalika. Redemption now calls at a circuit famous for tantalisingly close battles and unique situations.
Phillip Island is a track which has traditionally treated Marc Marquez and the Honda RC213V well, the combination taking three wins there in 2015, 2017, and 2019 – making the #93 Honda’s most successful rider around the 4.45km long track. Outside of these wins, Marquez scored a podium at the track last year – his 100th in the premier class with the Repsol Honda Team. Consistency across the weekend will be key, even if the weather looks set to be as volatile as ever.
Joan Mir arrives in Australia, the scene of his World Championship debut back in 2015, with his trademark positivity intact. Despite a late fall while showing some of his best race pace of the year, the #36 arrives happy with what he achieved and remains confident that there is more to come. Phillip Island was also the scene of Joan Mir’s first World Championship, winning the 2017 Moto3 crown on the Honda NSF250RW.
As always, the weather, and particularly the gusty winds, will be a critically important factor to monitor over the course of the Grand Prix weekend. Forecasts suggest it will certainly be a cooler weekend than the consistent 30°C and higher that the World Championship experienced in Indonesia.
“Phillip Island is a circuit with a lot of good memories for me. The place is something really unique on the MotoGP calendar and I have also enjoyed many memorable races there. Last year we got a really good podium there, my 100th in the premier class. As always, we have to see what happens this weekend and especially here in Australia the weather can change a lot and the wind can make things complicated. It will be important to have a good plan for all scenarios.”
“I think everyone enjoys Phillip Island, so I am looking forward to getting there. On paper Indonesia didn’t look great but honestly, when you look deeper and especially at our pace on Sunday – we need to see the positives and look to make it happen again this weekend. Now we come to one of those tracks where almost anything can happen, on track and in the sky, so let’s begin! It’s an intense schedule to end the year so we have to keep focused to finish well.”