Previews from the Moto2 and Moto3 teams ahead of this weekend's Australian GP at Phillip Island:
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 head to Australia off the back of Japanese podium
After the great job done at Motegi, where Navarro gave Estrella Galicia 0,0 their second podium of the season with a third place finish, the riders and team travel to Phillip Island to contest the sixteenth round of the season. Fabio Quartararo expects to arrive in Australia further recovered.
The flyaway tour for the Moto3 World Championship reaches its next stop this week: The Australian circuit of Phillip Island. It is a track at which Estrella Galicia 0,0 placed second and third last season, through Álex Márquez and Álex Rins, respectively..
This year, the team go Down Under after a third place in Japan for Jorge Navarro, who after a spectacular fightback in a wet Grand Prix, took won his second podium of the season.
The Spaniard is very motivated after the result at Motegi and the upward progression he is experiencing this season -the result of the synergy between his hard work and the team's experience.
Teammate Fabio Quartararo, who decided against participating in the Japanese race because of the injury to his right ankle, will use days prior to this round trying to recover and get into the best condition possible for Friday’s first practice -which takes place at 1am CET.
Circuit of Phillip Island
Did you know…?
The Phillip Island circuit is located on the island of the same name in Australia. The tricky and fast Australian track is 4.4km long, with 7 left corners and 5 righthanders; It has the same length as the Jerez circuit and is nearly 10 seconds faster. It is a circuit where the cold Siberian wind is a factor to consider, especially on Turn 3, called ‘Stoner Corner.’ The most spectacular and fast corner of the track is the opening turn, which the Moto3 riders take in fifth gear.
The Australian Grand Prix was first held in 1989. The following year it returned for a second event, but it was not until 1997 that the round was reincorporated into the calendar –where it has remained until the present day.
Estrella Galicia 0,0 rider
10th in the overall standings with 92 points
"The Phillip Island circuit seems spectacular. I hope to go there as recovered as possible "
"I think we can do quite well in Australia. We have a few days before starting, so during this time I will implement the instructions given to me for my recovery, raising my foot to keep the swelling down and walking a little every day. The Phillip Island circuit is very close to the sea, so I will take the opportunity to walk barefoot on the sand to get a little more strength in my ankle and calf, to try and prevent the shaking from my leg when on the bike. The circuit seems spectacular. I hope to go there as recovered as possible. It's a circuit that I think I'll like a lot, because of its fast corners; at first it will be a little tricky for my riding style, but it will be fun to gain experience there."
Estrella Galicia 0,0 rider
8th in the overall standings with 108 points
"In Australia I achieved my best result last year, and I think we go there in good shape"
"Phillip Island is a track I like. Last year, on the first few laps, I was impressed with the speed that you reach. It's a circuit that is so fast that you take corners in fifth or sixth gear. Last season I did well in Australia, with my best result this year, and now I think we go there in good shape. We’re on a run of two good races, in which I have been on the podium. Now we will continue working and, if we continue like we have been, I’m sure that next week we can be back fighting for the podium -and perhaps for the win."
Moto3 - Phillip Island new opportunity for San Carlo Team Italia
Stefano Manzi and Manuel Pagliani in Australia for the second Grand Prix of the extra-European tryptich
From Japan to Australia, the traditional extra-European tryptich of the 2015 Moto3 World Championship continues. After having finished the weekend at the Twin Ring Motegi with several positive points, Stefano Manzi and Manuel Pagliani are ready to go back in action in the weekend of 16th-18th October at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, theatre of the sixteenth seasonal round that should represent a real chance to prove their worth.
Both at the debut on the famous track of Victoria, the two riders of the Italian Motorcycling Federation count on the technical potential of their Mahindra MGP3O and the commendable work of the team in order to improve their positions in the standings at Phillip Island. In the points at Misano Adriatico and MotorLand Aragon, Stefano Manzi wants to play his cards to reach again these convincing levels of competitiveness, maximising a great state of form.
Same situation for Manuel Pagliani, who was already able to get a remarkable place in qualifying (18th) at Motegi, at his second participation in the World Championship and with San Carlo Team Italia, and he was author of a race of experience that will be useful to him also in Australia.
Cristiano Migliorati (Sport Manager - San Carlo Team Italia Moto3)
"We leave behind the weekend of Motegi with several positive points, ready for this new extra-European round in Australia. On paper, the track of Phillip Island suits well with the characteristics of the Mahindra: it's a kind of track medium-fast, with big curves that should exalt the frame dotes of our bike. In normal weather conditions, I think that there's the potential to show off, as we proved in the excellent qualifying in Japan. We hope that our riders will immediately learn the secrets of the track: at Motegi they were very good, so it shouldn't be a problem to do it also this weekend.".
MIR will replace ONO for the Australian race
Following the recent announcement of Hiroki ONO’s injury, the Leopard Racing Team is happy to welcome Joan Mir to compete the race at Philip Island alongside Danny Kent and Efren Vazquez.
The 18 years old young Palma de Mallorca born rider Joan Mir Mayrata is already part of Leopard Racing’s junior programme in the FIM CEV Repsol Junior World Championship in Moto3 class this year and he will make his step to World Championship level next year with the team.
#36 Joan MIR
“I’m really happy to join Leopard Racing for Philip Island. For sure the first goal this weekend will be to gain experience for next year. I would like to thank the team warmly for this great opportunity."
Miodrag KOTUR (LR)
“We are pleased to welcome Joan with us for the Australian race. We know Joan very well of course as he is part of our junior program. He has a ‘big heart’ and we know that he will give his best. His aim is to become familiar with us for next year. On behalf of the entire team, I would like to wish a speedy recovery to Hiroki, we hope we will see him racing soon.”
BASTIANINI AND LOCATELLI READY TO FIGHT DOWN UNDER
Left Japan, the Gresini Racing Team Moto3 heads this weekend to Phillip Island to face the Australian Grand Prix, second of three consecutive races outside Europe. After a good seventh place finish in the wet at Motegi, Enea Bastianini will attack to try to keep open the fight for the world title with Danny Kent. The 17-year-ol rider from Rimini will also have to defend the second position in the Championship from Miguel Oliveira, now only 9 points behind him.
His team mate, Andrea Locatelli, back in the points in Japan thanks to a determined race, will try instead to be stronger since the first practice session if his physical conditions will allow it.
“Phillip Island is a difficult track on which it is crucial to find the best set-up in order to be fast. Last year I had a good feeling with the bike, even though unfortunately I had a technical problem in the race which forced me to retire. At Motegi we defended ourselves well in the wet, but Oliveira is now closer in the standings, so our main goal is to take back some points. In addition, we will try to keep alive the fight for the title with Kent, although it won’t be easy. We will attack, hoping for dry conditions, those where I am more at ease”.
“Last year, when I saw Phillip Island the first time, I was fascinated: it’s a beautiful place and I cannot wait to arrive there. In the days preceding the race weekend I will also try to train to try to be more fit, so I hope to be able to give something more since the first practice. I’m confident: the result in Japan was very satisfying considering my condition and gives me a big charge. And also because Phillip Island is one of my favourite tracks with all those fast corners!”.
“Despite a rain affected race, Enea did well in Japan: in Australia, however, we would like to return to attack in an effort to keep open the games for the title, although we know it will not be easy. In addition, we also need defend the second place in the championship. The result in Japan gives a great confidence boost to Locatelli: I’m glad that he started well this long trip and I’m convinced that thanks to the kilometers he put in at Motegi, in Australia Andrea will be in better shape”.
THE ISLAND CALLS FOR TEAM FEDERAL OIL GRESINI MOTO2
The Australian round of the 2015 Moto2 World Championship awaits this weekend Xavier Siméon and the Team Federal Oil Gresini Moto2: in one of the most evocative races of the season, on fast and flowing circuit of Phillip Island, the 26-year-old Belgian rider will try to follow up the progress he put on display during practice for the recent Japanese GP. At Motegi Xavier found a good feeling with his Kalex machine, improving himself session after session and getting his best qualifying since his front row start at the German Grand Prix last July.
“At Motegi I was able to found a good feeling with the bike and during practice we returned to a reasonable level of competitiveness, improving session after session. The situation has been much more positive than the previous races, therefore at Phillip Island we want to continue in this direction, to try to be back in the fight for the top positions. The track is very particular: surely one of the most beautiful on the calendar, with the sea in the background, but also one of the coldest... A fast and technical track where we will give our best to do well”.
“Unfortunately the Motegi race has been conditioned by weather, something that made many riders struggle with an unusual wear of the front wet tyre. For this reason we have not had the opportunity to show the good things we did during practice. At Phillip Island we hope to meet more stable weather conditions and be able to resume our work from the good base achieved in Japan: if we do it we will be able to fight for a good placement in the top ten and, why not, try to be closer to the front runners. We have proven to have the potential to stay on top: we remain committed and surely the result will come”.
World Champion heads to Australia
Johann Zarco faces the GP at Phillip Island as newly crowned World Champion, but does not want to lose concentration and wants to take another victory.
10/14/2015 - Phillip Island Circuit, Australia
Johann Zarco wants to continue breaking records in the three remaining Grands Prix on the calendar in 2015. The Ajo Motorsport travels from Japan to Australia to compete this weekend at Phillip Island, in the sixteenth round of the year. Zarco arrives at the Australian track as the French rider with the most wins in the history of the World Championship –1 in 125cc and 7 in Moto2– with 13 podiums in 15 races and a total of 309 points this season, but the new champ is still hungry for more.
The Frenchman has said that in Phillip Island he has managed to be quick over a single lap, but lacks pace. The Ajo Motorsport rider has, however, placed on the podium –with a third position in 2011– taking pole the same year. Last season he qualified on the front row. Riding for the first time with his Kalex at the track, with his team behind him, gives Zarco confidence that he will be fast and competitive throughout the weekend.
This Grand Prix will be an opportunity to close in on the record for most points in a season in Moto2: 346, set by Tito Rabat last year. For now, Zarco is 37 away, with 3 rounds remaining. This weekend’s race will take place at 2:20pm local time on Sunday -5:20am CET.
5 JOHANN ZARCO
"I am very happy to return to Phillip Island; it's fantastic to ride at this circuit. It was amazing and unbelievable to win the title in Japan last weekend, but we must be focused. We have to try to win all three remaining races and prepare for next year. Everything we do well in these three races will certainly serve us well in the future.
The truth is that at Phillip Island, in the past, I've only been quick over one lap and have lacked pace overall, so we'll work on that. I believe, however, that this year, with the Kalex, things will be different and we can be quick. I can’t wait to test myself there."
Phillip Island beckons for Red Bull KTM Ajo
Miguel Oliveira, Brad Binder and Karel Hanika seek to continue team’s streak of 3 consecutive years on the podium at the Australian track.
10/14/2015 - Phillips Island Circuit, Australia
Red Bull KTM Ajo are on a run of three consecutive podiums in the 2015 season, courtesy of Miguel Oliveira. The most recent of these was second position last weekend in Japan. Both the Portuguese and his teammates, Brad Binder and Karel Hanika, will be aiming for the rostrum this weekend in Australia. With this trio of riders, Red Bull KTM Ajo will also try to extend their good run of results at Phillip Island. Since the Moto3 class was introduced, the team has managed 2 wins at the Australian GP, through Sandro Cortese (2012) and Jack Miller (2014) –plus another 2 podiums with Arthur Sissis (2012) and Luis Salom (2013).
Oliveira is on his best ever streak in Moto3, and after the podium at Motegi is only nine points off second place in the World Championship. More comfortable than ever over his KTM, the Portuguese has already been on the podium at Phillip Island –placing second on his first visit in 2012– and that is the goal for this weekend.
Two crashes in the last two Grands Prix –at Aragon and Japan– whilst riding in podium positions, have prevented Binder from adding to his rostrum tally. Having always finished in the points on recent visits to Phillip Island, the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider this weekend hopes to fight for one of the top three positions.
Hanika comes to Australia happy with his eighth place in Japan. The Czech made a big comeback at Motegi that allowed him to forget recent unlucky races. In Australia last year he took thirteenth place on his first visit. This year, the goal is to fight amongst the leading group.
Time changes in Australia mean the Moto3 race will begin at 1pm local time –4am CET.
44 MIGUEL OLIVEIRA
"The race in Japan was difficult due to the track conditions, but we managed a very important podium. Now we go to Australia, where normally the races are contested between large groups of riders. If the weather permits, it will be a hotly contested race, to be decided as usual in this category on the last lap. The aim is to work well from Friday and get the maximum enjoyment out of the bike to add a fourth consecutive podium."
41 BRAD BINDER
"I finished the Japanese Grand Prix very disappointed with the end result, because we had the podium in our grasp and had had a very good weekend. Luckily we have another race soon after to forget about everything that happened. Phillip Island is a track where I really enjoy myself on the bike. Last year I was very strong there and I'm sure this weekend, if all goes well, we can fight to be on the podium again. After not getting a rostrum in Japan, I am more motivated than ever."
98 KAREL HANIKA
"After the Top 10 in Japan, I can’t wait to get to Australia. I love both the country and the circuit. I hope to feel comfortable with the bike, since last year it was not too bad for us there. I finished thirteenth on the first time I rode there, and the truth is that I enjoyed riding there.
It is a circuit with fast corners that are the key to setting good times. I think if we find a good setup, we can be in the leading group. It will be important to have a good QP to be at the front in the race. I hope to continue what we started at Motegi."
The Sky Racing Team VR46 heads Down Under
Fenati one step away from the victory in last year’s Pramac Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix. Second time at Philip Island for Migno
The Sky Racing Team VR46 heads Down Under for the Pramac Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix, third last round of the Moto3 World Championship.
The Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit is one of the fastest, most fluid tracks on the calendar featuring fast corners, hard braking points and slope variations that offer the riders several overtaking chances with an average speed of over 160km/h on the single qualifying lap and speed peaks up to 250km/h down the longest straight named after Wayne Gardner.
Last year, Romano Fenati did shine at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit: in the lead for long stretches of the race and in the chase for the win, he was run over by Efren Vazquez thus seeing all his winning chances vanish just in the thick of it.
This will be Andrea Migno’s second participation as a Moto3 rider in the Austrialian GP. Last year, debuting on the Philip Island track, he almost reached the point-scoring zone (17th) at the end of a remarkable comeback from 26th spot on the grid.
PABLO NIETO / Team Manager
We are going into one of the best tracks of the whole calendar! Coming off a not very positive race at Motegi, we will now face the Australian GP with an even greater motivation, eager to make up for the lost points and ready to prove our talent. With Romano we’ll carry on with the work strategy implemented as of recently as it has brought about satisfying results so far: he is in high spirits and very determined, he has what it takes to fight for the podium. Andrea’s aim is still to stay in the top 10 and he will certainly make the most of the progress made last weekend at Motegi.
ROMANO FENATI / Rider
Australia is a wonderful country. I like it not only for the Phillip Island circuit, which is particularly suited to my driving style, but also for the breathtaking scenery and beautiful ocean views which is the setting of the race: riding here is an amazing experience. We have now left the Motegi weekend behind where we found great satisfaction for our first pole, despite having been a bit unlucky during the race. We’ll try to make up for it in Australia. I am convinced that we will be able to do well right from the start.
ANDREA MIGNO / Rider
I already had the chance to ride at Phillip Island last year and I liked the circuit very much: it is fast, technical, just as I like it. As always, the team will be working from the very first free practice session to find the best set-up solution, so that we can deliver at best in the race. Of course, we will also take qualifying very seriously: getting away as high up as possible on the grid is key to pull off a great race.
LEOPARD RACING’S DANNY KENT SEES A BIG CHANCE TO LEAVE PHILLIP ISLAND AS WORLD CHAMPION
This weekend’s Australian Grand Prix, round 16 of this year’s Moto3 campaign, might be a crucial occasion for the still young Leopard Racing project with it’s hero Danny Kent close to clinch the World Championship title. On the other hand Efren Vazquez arrives at Phillip Island with good memories from 2014 whilst the team’s third rider Hiroki Ono has to sit out the championship’s visit to Down Under due to an ankle injury. He will be replaced by talented Spanish rider Joan Mir.
The Australian venue for it’s Motorcycle Grand Prix is a well-visited place by most of the teams and riders. The Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit is located on a small Island, approximately 200 kilometres southwest of Melbourne and blessed with breath taking picturesque and beautiful ocean view. But the most likes are coming from its fast and flowing track layout.
In any case it would be a perfect scenery in front of enthusiastic Australian race fans to secure the hard fought Moto3™ title for Danny Kent, who was in such a dominant role throughout the first part of the season before he struggled in the last race but always riding very clever to collect as much important points for the championship as possible. Last time out in a wet race at the tricky Twin Ring Motegi in Japan, Kent brought home a safe sixth place thanks to a brave last lap move over his main rival for the title shot, Enea Bastianini. In doing so he extended the championship lead by a single point but this increased the chances for the remaining three races, including this weekend’s Australian round. With 75 points to earn Kent has to collect 19 with three races left to be crowned Moto3™ World Champion 2015.
No matter what happens this Sunday, if Kent crosses the line in second place at least he will leave the Island crowned as champion, the first British world champion since the great Barry Sheene back in 1977.
Apart of all eyes focussed on his teammate, Efren Vazquez looks forward to the race weekend at the amazing Phillip Island Circuit thanks to good memories from 2014 when he delivered one of this best performances last year.
Unfortunately Hiroki Ono suffered a small crack in his right foot, close to the ankle sustained in the race accident last Sunday in his home race. The Japanese rider will be substituted by Joan Mir, a successful Spanish rider in FIM CEV Respol Moto3™ Junior World Championship, backed by the support of Leopard Racing Junior programme in motorcycle racing. It is the very first appearance on world stage for the 18-year old from Palma de Mallorca, who currently lies in second place in the Junior World series’ overall standings thanks to four race wins to his hands thus far.
The Australian round this weekend means an early wake-up call again with a time difference from nine hours to Central European time.
#7 Efren VAZQUEZ - World Championship position 6th (135 points):
“The circuit at Phillip Island is definitely one of my favourite tracks, so I really look forward to the upcoming weekend to go out on track there aboard my Honda machine. I did one of my best races at the Australian round last year as I was able to fight for the podium but I missed an even possible victory by a whisker. So for this time we have to wait and see how the weather will be, but I think we will have a good chance to do well. In any case memories are good to this track so I’m eager to leave the Island in the same way how things went last time.”
#52 Danny KENT - World Championship leader (244 points):
“Well, we had a chance to win the championship already last weekend in Japan but we would have needed a lot of luck for which we were very well aware. So going into the Australian Grand Prix the chance to leave Phillip Island this Sunday crowned as World Champion is much higher, so there are a lot more possibilities for us for which motivation is very high for the entire team. We came here with a lot less pressure on my shoulders as we extended the championship lead by one point last time in Japan, so I think Enea (Bastianini) has to concentrate on Miguel (Oliveira) from now on because he sits in his neck with just a nine point’s gap. In any case, I look forward to this weekend not only due to fact that I like the Phillip Island circuit very much. It is indeed a good track and the layout suites my riding style a lot with its fast and flowing corners. You know that we struggled a lot during the last three races in which we were coming out from corners in first gear up to six and this is where we are losing compared to more smaller riders, but here at Phillip Island we are coming from corners in fifth gear flat out many times, so we shouldn’t have that much disadvantage in this area this time. But it also depends on the wind for which the conditions are very changeable at this place. But in general Phillip Island is a track, which I enjoy a lot and I think we have a great change to leave the Island as World Champions.”
#36 Joan MIR:
“I’m so proud and grateful at the same time to all people who gave me this great opportunity to race for the very first time on World Championship level. Honestly speaking it came as a surprise when I received the call to jump into the plane and take the long travel to Australia. I was once out of Europe when I was racing in Texas in my first year in Red Bull Rookies Cup. I remember the trip to the USA well that was easily done in comparison to this time when I spent 27 hours to come here. This is a completely new experience for me and a good taste of what will wait for me next year. After my arrival, I feel a bit tired of course, but I’m pretty sure that I will be fit tomorrow after a long and good sleep in bed instead of the airplane seat. I already did a sighting lap by a scooter too and it seems this track is super-fast but also very beautiful. In any case I’m excited to go out for the first time tomorrow morning to explore the real secrets because I know the layout from the play station so far but it looks very tight and I think it’s the truth that this circuit is very tight because it is so fast. It was just one lap by a scooter but everything looks incredible. The main objective for me is to enjoy this weekend and to learn for next year, but of course I want to perform as much as possible I’m capable of. Anyway, if I feel comfortable at all immediately I’m maybe able to fight with more experienced riders for strong positions.”
KENT GETTING CLOSER TO MAKING HISTORY
Danny Kent is inching closer and closer to re-writing the history books. The 21 year old Wiltshire-based rider has a 56 points lead in the Moto3™ World Championship with three rounds remaining, starting at the legendary Phillip Island circuit and the Pramac Australian Grand Prix on Sunday.
The Leopard Racing Honda rider has won six grands prix this season and is on course to become the first British world champion since the legendary Barry Sheene won his second 500cc World title in 1977.
The following scenarios will result in Kent taking the world championship in Australia:
If Kent wins the race or finishes second
If Kent is third and Bastianini does not win the race
If Kent is fourth or fifth and Bastianini does not finish either first or second
If Kent is sixth and Bastianini does not finish either first or second and Oliveira does not win the race
If Kent is seventh, eighth or ninth and Bastianini does not finish on the podium and Oliveira does not win the race
If Kent is 10th or 11th and Bastianini does not finish in the top four and Oliveira does not win the race
If Kent is 12th, 13th, 14th or 15th and Bastianini does not finish more than six places ahead of him and Oliveira does not finish either first or second
If Kent fails to score any points and Bastianini does not finish in the top nine and Oliveira does not finish on the podium
Twenty one year old Scotsman John McPhee faces those last three races with renewed confidence after a morale–boosting ninth place in Japan as he chases a grand prix ride for next season.
In Japan Cal Crutchlow fought a tremendous battle with Bradley Smith for sixth place in the MotoGP™ race. Crutchlow came out on top riding the LCR Honda but Smith, riding the Monster Tech3 Yamaha, is still both the top British and Satellite factory rider although he dropped one place to sixth in the championship after finishing seventh in Japan. Last year Crutchlow crashed out of third place in Phillip Island moving Smith into third place for his first ever MotoGP podium finish.
Gloucestershire’s Scott Redding will be looking to complete his Marc VDS career on a high before joining the Octo Pramac Ducati next season. He finished tenth in Japan and is closing up on the Suzuki pair of Maverick Viñales and Aleix Espargaro in the fight for tenth place in the championship. Eugene Laverty knows the Phillip Island circuit well from his World Superbike days and has secured his place in the Aspar team next season, who look likely to be switching to Ducati machinery.
Lincolnshire‘s Sam Lowes moved back into fourth place in the Moto2™ World Championship after finishing eighth in Japan. The Speed Up rider also knows the Phillip Island circuit well from his World Supersport appearances.
EIGHTEEN POINTS – THREE TO GO AT PHILLIP ISLAND
Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo arrive at the magnificent Phillip Island circuit for the Pramac Grand Prix of Australia separated by 18 points with three rounds of the amazing 2015 MotoGP™ World Championship remaining. The Movistar Yamaha team-mates have been involved in a title fight that twists and turns at every corner and the battle round the 2.764 mile circuit situated 80 miles south of Melbourne is likely to continue the trend.
The weather has played a big part in the outcome of the last few races and the 27 lap race on Sunday will probably be no exception as Rossi defends that precious lead over his team-mate. Both love Phillip Island and Rossi has a great record around the cliff top circuit. The 36 year Italian has won six premier class races at the circuit including last year while Lorenzo has just one MotoGP win there two years ago and he hopes for a change of luck with the weather which has certainly been against him.
Other riders, especially the Repsol Honda pair of Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, could help or hinder the Yamaha pair. Pedrosa arrives fresh from his first win of the season in Motegi just 14 days after finishing second in Aragon. Team-mate, world champion Marc Marquez, who has not won a MotoGP race at the legendary circuit, is still nursing a broken finger on his left hand as he fights to hang onto third place in the world championship. Ducati have a great record at the Island with Australian world champion Casey Stoner and both Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso are capable of getting among the front men to re-calculate those championship positions.
Pedrosa moved into fifth place in the championship after his Japanese win, just two points in front of Bradley Smith who in turn leads Andrea Dovizioso by the same margin. Australian Anthony West returns to MotoGP to replace the injured Karel Abraham in the Cardion AB Honda team.
Twenty five year old Frenchman Johann Zarco will celebrate his Moto2™ world title after winning his seventh grand prix in Japan in a mighty impressive season. The 2014 world champion Tito Rabat hopes to return to the track after losing his title when he could not ride in Japan after breaking a bone in his left arm following a training accident. His second place in the championship is coming under pressure from countryman Alex Rins who trails him by 17 points. Britain’s Sam Lowes moved back into fourth place following his eighth place in Japan and Tom Luthi crashed out.
The Moto3™ World Championship could be decided in the 23 lap race on Sunday. Britain’s Danny Kent has a precious 56 point advantage over Italian Enea Bastianini with three rounds remaining. The rider in form is Italian Niccolo Antonelli who won his second grand prix in Japan to move into fourth place in the Championship 18 points behind Miguel Oliveira in third place.
This will be the 27th Australian Grand Prix, which has been held every year since the first visit in 1989. Below are some facts and statistics from the previous Grand Prix events held in Australia:
The first two Australian Grand Prix were held at Phillip Island, before visiting the Eastern Creek circuit for six successive years, then returning to Phillip Island in 1997 where it has since remained. This is the 21st time that the grand prix has taken place at Phillip Island.
Honda are the most successful manufacturer at Phillip Island in the MotoGP era with five victories, the last of which was with Casey Stoner in 2012.
Ducati have had four MotoGP wins at Phillip Island all with Casey Stoner in the years 2007 to 2010.
Yamaha have had four MotoGP wins at Phillip Island, including the last two years.
The only podium for Suzuki at Phillip Island came in 2006 when Chris Vermeulen finished second.
Valentino Rossi is the rider who has had most grand prix wins at Phillip Island, with eight (2 x 250cc, 1 x 500cc, 5 x MotoGP), followed by Casey Stoner with six wins, all of which have been in the MotoGP class.
Casey Stoner won the MotoGP race at Phillip Island for six successive years from 2007 until 2012, the last five of which were from pole position.
The only two current riders who have won in the MotoGP class at Phillip Island are Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo.
Five current riders have started from pole in the MotoGP class at Phillip Island; Valentino Rossi in 2003, Nicky Hayden in both 2005 and 2006, Dani Pedrosa in 2007, Jorge Lorenzo in 2013 and Marc Marquez last year.