With no rest the Yamaha Factory Racing team and riders moved directly from Malaysia to Australia this week for the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island on Sunday. The second of the triple-header races will see Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi looking to take the fight to their rivals in the final rounds as the championship heads into its final three races.
Defending world champion Lorenzo has yet to take a premier class win at the Phillip Island circuit but does claim two 250cc victories there in 2006 and 2007 and retains good memories having sealed his 2012 world title there.
Nine-time world champion Rossi claims two 250cc wins in 1998 and 1999, a 500cc win in 2001 and an unbroken four year premier class win streak from 2002 to 2005.
The Phillip Island race circuit was constructed in 1956 and hosted the motorcycle Grand Prix until 1968. A revamp of the track saw it return in 1989. The track remains one of the favourites on the calendar for both riders and fans, delivering exciting riding on fast fluid corners against a stunning backdrop of ocean and green countryside.
“I’m still a bit disappointed after Malaysia because we thought we could get a better result. The championship is very difficult now with three races remaining but at least we fought and we put all our efforts to win it. Phillip Island is a pretty track that I like a lot. Last year I achieved my second MotoGP world title there and that was a fantastic feeling. This time hopefully the weather is not so bad and we can have some fun. I would like to win as many races as possible until the end of the season at Valencia. That’s our main goal and also to fight with Dani for second place in the championship, that is if we can’t get the title; that is looking quite difficult now. I guess this circuit can suit us better than Aragon or Malaysia so I look forward to riding in a good shape in Australia.”
“I really like the Phillip Island circuit, it is great fun to ride here. The track is very different from Sepang and I think that for us it will be better. We are improving with every race and I’m curious to see what happens in Australia. I made good races here and I won a lot. My goal is always the same: fight with Jorge, Dani and Marc. Now we will try to do the best in the next three races. We are ready to do this!”
Wilco Zeelenberg – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
“Phillip Island is one of Jorge’s favourite tracks and he did a great race there last year when Casey Stoner was the only one who could be stronger than Jorge. Hopefully we can pick up a little bit more this year. I think here Jorge could be able to fight in a better conditions with colder temperatures and on a track where the important thing is to have a good balance with the bike, especially in the fast corners.”
Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
“Fortunately Phillip Island comes immediately after the race in Malaysia, where we have suffered more than we expected. We have good memories and results from here. This is a very suitable track for the characteristics of our bike so we expect a good result. Last year we won the world title here and the memory is very motivating. We are ready to do our best to close the season in a positive way. The riders are motivated and the respective crews too.”
2013 MotoGP Australia
Phillip Island 16/10/2013
(Nicky Hayden, 1-1-2008)
Fastest Lap Ever:
(Casey Stoner, 5-10-2008)
Last Years Winner: