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Newly crowned World Champion takes celebrations to the island

The newly crowned 2010 MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo leads his victorious team down under to Phillip Island this weekend, for the sixteenth round of the season. His team-mate Valentino Rossi, returned to winning ways after Sunday’s epic win, is in equally high spirits and it is a happy Fiat Yamaha Team that lands on Australian shores today.

Third place for Lorenzo on Sunday was enough to secure the 23-year-old his first premier-class crown and the Spaniard celebrated his championship in style alongside his ecstatic crew in Kuala Lumpur. With his lifelong goal achieved Lorenzo can now relax and concentrate on racing for the final three rounds of the season and he is determined to start this weekend with a strong result at the Island. He won there in both his 250cc championship-winning years but has never had a MotoGP podium, crashing out at turn one last year in a race he will be keen to forget this weekend.

Sunday may only have been Rossi’s second win of the season but the emphatic victory had all the hallmarks of a classic, as the nine-time champion charged through the field after dropping to eleventh at the start. It was his 46th victory for Yamaha but the Italian has no plans to stop there and would like to add to the number in the last three races of the season. He is something of a Phillip Island specialist, having ruled supreme for five unbeaten years, and he has eleven podiums in all classes, including a second place last year.

Perched on the cliffs above the Bass Strait, Phillip Island is one of the most dramatic racetracks in the world and its precarious position always makes for changeable and often chilly weather. The circuit is also one of the sternest tests of rider and bike, with its sweeping and flowing nature making for the ultimate challenge of machine control and throttle accuracy, not to mention the sheer bravery required from the rider.

Jorge Lorenzo – “One of the happiest people in the world!”
“I am one of the happiest people in the world! We got it! I am very proud of my team, partners and sponsors, but it is not really ‘game over’ because we have to continue, we still have three more races. We have to focus in the same way as we have until now, fighting for the podium and without the pressure of the championship we hope to get some good results. I like Philip Island, it’s one of my favourite tracks and maybe the fastest on the calendar. It’s always amazing to ride there, so close to the sea, but the weather is very different to Malaysia, always very cold.”

Valentino Rossi – “A fantastic place to ride”
“Sunday was a truly fantastic day; to win again was wonderful, my 46th for Yamaha and I think one of the best victories of my career, I am so happy. Now I really want to try to finish the season strongly and I’m excited about getting to Phillip Island, which is one of the most fantastic places in the world to ride a motorcycle. I haven’t won there for a few years and I would really like to change that. It’s always special to go there because many of my team are Australian and the fans are great. I can’t wait!”

Wilco Zeelenberg – “Still on a high”
“We’re still on a high from the championship, what a great day it was for us! Now that’s done however we can go racing, and we’re excited. Jorge has achieved his goal and now he can just relax and enjoy riding the bike and pushing hard with nothing to lose, we really want to try to win some more races this season. Phillip Island hasn’t been the best track for him even though he likes it – he’s never had a MotoGP podium there – but we’re aiming to change that this weekend.”

Davide Brivio – “Looking forward to more of the same”
“We are coming to Australia very happy after the fantastic result of Sunday. It was great to see Valentino back riding at his best and we are looking forward to more of the same this weekend. Phillip Island is one of his best tracks and we always enjoy racing there, it’s a spectacular track. We haven’t won there for a few years and it would be great to get another good result this weekend so we will see what we can do.”

Valentino Rossi : Information
Age: 31
Lives: Tavullia, Italy
Bike: Yamaha
GP victories: 105 (79 x MotoGP/500cc, 14 x 250cc, 12 x 125cc)
First GP victory: Czech Republic, 1996 (125cc)
First GP: Malaysia, 1996 (125cc)
GP starts: 238 (178 x MotoGP/500cc, 30 x 250cc, 30 x 125cc)
Pole positions: 59 (49 x MotoGP/500cc, 5 x 250cc, 5 x 125cc)
World Championships: 9 Grand Prix (1 x 125cc, 1 x 250cc, 1 x 500cc, 6 x MotoGP)

Jorge Lorenzo: Information
Age: 23
Lives: Barcelona, Spain
Bike: Yamaha
GP victories: 33 (13 x MotoGP, 17 x 250cc, 4 x 125cc)
First GP victory: Brazil, 2003 (125cc)
First GP: Jerez, Spain, 2002 (125cc)
GP starts: 143 (48 x MotoGP, 48 x 250cc, 46 x 125cc)
Pole positions: 41 (14 x MotoGP, 23 x 250cc, 3 x 125cc)
World Championships: 3 (MotoGP 2010, 250cc, 2006/7)

Phillip Island: Record Lap
N. Hayden (Honda) 2008, 1’30.059

Phillip Island: Best Lap
C. Stoner (Ducati) 2008, 1’28.665

Grand Prix Results: Phillip Island 2009
1. C.Stoner (Ducati) 40’56.651
2. V.Rossi (Yamaha) +1.935
3. D.Pedrosa (Honda) +22.618

. J. Lorenzo (Yamaha) NF