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Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Prepare to Push on Phillip Island


Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi had little time to rest after last weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix. The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP teammates arrived in Victoria, Australia, just a few days later for the second race of the triple header.

Viñales continues to show great determination as he enters round 16 of the MotoGP World Championship on Phillip Island, one of his favourite circuits. Currently third in the championship standings, he aims to keep fighting to close in on the rider in second place, who is 30 points ahead of him.

The Spaniard got to lift a trophy after a race in Australia three times prior. He scored a Moto3 second place in 2013, secured a Moto2 win the year after, and stood on the premier class podium last year celebrating a third place.

Teammate Rossi is eager to bounce back from the misfortunes he experienced in Motegi last week by scoring a top result in Australia this weekend, in order to climb up from fifth place in the championship rankings.

After securing 250cc victories in 1998 and 1999 and a 500cc third place in 2000, the Doctor continued to work on an impressive résumé, enjoying a five-year winning streak from 2001 to 2005 in the premier class. This was followed by five more consecutive podium finishes, taking second place in 2008 and 2009, and third place in 2006, 2007 and 2010. The Italian revisited the Australian podium in 2013, 2014 and 2016, claiming a third, first and second place respectively.

Phillip Island began staging motorcycle races in 1931 and became a permanently constructed circuit in 1956. It continued to host motorcycle Grand Prix events until an extensive renovation took place in 1968. The circuit made an intermediate comeback in 1989-1990, to become a regular fixture once more from 1997 onwards. Thanks to its terrific location, right next to the ocean, and its flowing lay-out (featuring seven left and five right corners and a 900m longest straight), the Phillip Island track is a very popular destination for MotoGP fans, who travel from far and wide to cheer on their heroes.

Maverick Viñales
Championship: 3rd – Points: 203

“We did our best in Japan, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough. Now it’s time to focus on Australia in order to make another important step for the championship. For me, Phillip Island is one of my favourite tracks, I like the lay-out a lot and I love being here, it’s amazing. When I was here in February I was the fastest on my YZR-M1, so I’m really motivated for the race. The championship isn’t over until all the points have been distributed, so anything is still possible and I can’t wait to be on the bike again to give my 100%.”

Valentino Rossi
Championship: 5th – Points: 168

“I have arrived in Australia after a complicated race, but I’m in a good mood because I want to work in the best way possible with my team and fix the issues we had in Japan as quickly as possible to do nice races again. Phillip Island is a circuit I really like and I hope that the weather here will be good to start working straight away in dry conditions. After the crash in Japan I’m feeling pretty good, just a little bit of pain. Now I hope for good weather for the entire weekend!”

Massimo Meregalli
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – Team Director

“The team has travelled straight to Australia after the race in Motegi. Last Sunday didn’t go according to plan, but we have another race to look forward to this weekend. We will use the Japanese GP as a source of motivation to get good results at the Phillip Island circuit, which is one of the team’s favourite tracks on the MotoGP calendar. Not only does the sweeping lay-out suit our bike more, but also the atmosphere there – with the track being so close to the shore – is really enjoyable. Earlier this year, we collected quite a lot of data during the pre-season test on Phillip Island and this week we will add on to it. We look forward to putting the free practice time to good use, and hope to hit the ground running on Friday.”

Zarco Primed for Australian Grand Prix Challenge – Parkes to Step in for Folger

Fresh from the gruelling Japanese Grand Prix, Johann Zarco confidently eyes up the second back-to-back race at the legendary Phillip Island circuit. The high-flying rookie had a strong weekend in Japan, where he clinched his second pole position of the year. Last winter, he produced some impressive performances at the Australian track during the testing, and as a result, he firmly targets a top-tier finish this Sunday.

Meanwhile, local hero Broc Parkes will fill in for the recovering Jonas Folger, who is undertaking medical tests in Germany. Parkes, who has achieved many successes and competed in the MotoGP World Championship in 2014, aims to build up his confidence over the weekend and then seal a point scoring finish in front of his fans.

Johann Zarco
Championship: 6th – Points: 125

“The Australian Grand Prix is already approaching, immediately after Japan, and Phillip Island is a wonderful track which I think every rider loves. I really like it too because it’s very impressive to ride. I am happy that we tested here at the beginning of the season when I was discovering the bike, but now that I have more experience, I am curious to see how competitive I will be this time. Let’s see what happens with the weather, because it can be very cold in that region during October. So I will take it easy but the race in Japan was good, as was the whole weekend, so I need to stay on the pace and I hope for a nice result in Australia.”

Broc Parkes

“Of course, I would like to thank the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team for giving me the amazing opportunity to race at my home Grand Prix in front of all of my supporters, fans and family. I am really looking forward to getting on the Yamaha YZR-M1 at Phillip Island and giving it my all!”

Hervé Poncharal
Monster Yamaha Tech3 – Team Manager

“It’s now time for the Australian Grand Prix which will be another interesting round for the whole Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team. After the great qualifying performance and start of the race, by Johann Zarco, I expect another very strong showing. Hopefully, the weather will be dry this time and we know that the Yamaha YZR- M1 is a bike that is always fast at Phillip Island. Therefore, everyone is looking forward to the weekend with Johann. Due to the unfortunate illness of Jonas Folger, we will have another new rider joining Tech3 at this round. He is a local boy from Australia and his name is Broc Parkes, who is already a Yamaha and Monster Energy sponsored rider. He has previously tested the M1 on Michelin tyres at this track so everything will not be completely new for him. We are more than happy to welcome Broc and to give him the chance to show his true potential. Clearly, an Australian rider will bring more media attention to the team and that is something that is going to be exciting for us. Phillip Island is always a very special circuit that many MotoGP riders regard as the best track in the world. It’s just incredible with amazing scenery and there are also a lot of enthusiastic fans here in Australia. So let’s start on Friday and hopefully, the weather will be kind to us.”

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