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Andrea Dovizioso and Hector Barbera join up again in the Ducati Team for the Australian GP at Phillip Island

Just a few days after the GP of Japan, the Ducati Team has arrived at the Phillip Island circuit in Australia, the venue for round 16 of the MotoGP World Championship, and the second leg in this challenging series of three end-of-season overseas races on two different continents.

Coming off the back of a superb second place at Motegi, at Phillip Island Andrea Dovizioso will again be joined by Hector Barbera, who replaced Andrea Iannone in Japan, before the rider from Vasto makes his return to the Ducati Team at Sepang.

Andrea Dovizioso has stepped onto the Phillip Island podium three times in the different categories, including one win in 125 cc in 2004 and a third place in MotoGP in 2011. Last year the Italian rider had a difficult race, which he finished in thirteenth place. Barbera was runner-up in 250 in 2009 and his best result in MotoGP was an excellent fifth place in 2014 with the Desmosedici GP14 of the Avintia Racing team.

Situated close to the Bass Strait in the state of Victoria, the Phillip Island track runs in a counter-clockwise direction and has a series of extremely quick curves that make it one of the fastest on the world championship calendar. Despite the fact that weather conditions in spring in the southern hemisphere are often unpredictable, the event is always a favourite for teams, riders and fans alike. Like Motegi, the Ducati Team has also notched up four wins at Phillip Island, all at the hands of Casey Stoner.

With three rounds remaining until the end of the 2016 championship, Dovizioso is currently sixth overall with 124 points, while Iannone lies ninth on 96 points, 12 ahead of Barbera in tenth.

The weekend schedule at Phillip Island kicks off on Friday morning with the first free practice session at 10.55am local time (01.55 CET), while the 27-lap race is scheduled for Sunday at 4pm (07.00 CET).

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 6th (124 points)
“Last year at Phillip Island I probably had my worst race in the entire championship! Even though it’s not one of my favourite tracks because of its characteristics, I have to say that it’s a marvellous circuit and this year, after the good result at Motegi, I will have a lot more confidence when I go out on track and will be even more determined to do a good race.”

Hector Barbera (Ducati Team #8) – 10th (84 points)
“Phillip Island is a track that is good for my riding style, and it’s also good for the Desmosedici GP, because it has fast corners and other corners where the engine counts a lot. When I joined the Ducati Team at Motegi, it was all new for me: now I know the team and the bike better, and I know that we have everything we need to do well. The reality is that for me this is an incredible opportunity, and I’d like to thank Ducati and Avintia once again. Over the past few days I’ve been very calm, trying to take in all the information I picked up last weekend, but it’s obvious that we will be aiming to make a further step forward at Phillip Island.”

The Phillip Island Circuit
Phillip Island, which is around 150 km south of Melbourne, is steeped in motor racing tradition, with the first car races having been held there on public roads in the 1920s. The first motorcycle races took place in 1931 and a permanent track was built in 1956. The circuit fell into disrepair during the late 70s and early 80s until it was bought in 1985 and given a major facelift. MotoGP returned in 1989 and 1990 before becoming a regular fixture once more from 1997 onwards. The Phillip Island circuit is blessed with breathtaking scenery and beautiful ocean views and is one of the fastest tracks on the calendar.

Fastest Lap: Lorenzo (Yamaha), 1’27.899 (182.1 km/h) – 2013
Circuit Record: Marquez (Honda), 1’28.108 (181.7 km/h) – 2013
Best Pole: Lorenzo (Yamaha), 1’27.899 (182.1 km/h) – 2013
Top Speed: Dovizioso (Ducati), 348.0 km/h – 2015
Track Length: 4.4 km
Race Distance: 27 laps (120.1 km)
Corners: 12 (7 left, 5 right)
Race Start: 7 am (14.00 CET)

2015 Results
Podium: 1st Marquez (Honda), 2nd Lorenzo (Yamaha), 3rd Iannone (Ducati)
Pole Position: Marquez (Honda), 1’28.364 (181.214 km/h)
Fastest Lap: Marquez (Honda), 1’29.280 (179.354 km/h)

Andrea Dovizioso
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP
Race Number: 04
Age: 30 (born on March 23rd 1986 in Forlimpopoli, Italy)
Residence: Forlì (Italy)
Races: 255 (157 x MotoGP, 49 x 250cc, 49 x 125cc)
First GP: 2001 Italian GP (125cc)
Wins: 10 (1 x MotoGP, 4 x 250cc, 5 x 125cc)
First Win: 2004 South African GP (125cc)
Pole Positions: 16 (3 x MotoGP, 4 x 250cc, 9 x 125cc)
First Pole: 2003 French GP (125cc)
Titles: 1 (1 x 125cc)

Hector Barbera
Bike: Ducati Desmosedici GP
Race Number: 8
Age: 29 (born on November 2nd 1986 in Dos Aguas, Spain)
Residence: Andorra
Races: 240 (118 x MotoGP, 75 x 250cc, 47 x 125cc)
First GP: 2002 GP of Japan (125cc)
Wins: 10 (4 x 250cc, 6 x 125cc)
First Win: 2003 British GP (125cc)
Pole Positions: 9 (8 x 250cc, 1 x 125cc)
First Pole: 2004 Brazilian GP (125cc)