Movistar Yamaha Ready to Push in Phillip Island Race Weekend
Following the Motul Grand Prix of Japan, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team look forward to an action-packed race at the Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix round, where Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales aspire to feature at the front of the pack.
Currently holding third place in the championship standings, Rossi looks forward to fighting for second by bridging the 9-point margin at one of his most successful circuits on the MotoGP calendar.
The Doctor has secured numerous trophies at the Phillip Island venue and his experience will certainly come in handy during this weekend's battle. In the premier class the nine-time World Champion has won at the Australian track from 2001 until 2005 and scored an additional victory in 2014, he claimed second place in 2008, 2009, 2016, 2017, and scored five third places in total, in 2000, 2006, 2007, 2010, and 2013.
Viñales arrives at Phillip Island full of energy as it is also one of his favourite rounds. Currently in fourth position in the championship rankings, he aims to keep fighting to enter the top-3. The rider in second place is 39 points ahead of him, whilst teammate Rossi is in third place with a 30-point advantage over the youngster.
The Spaniard's excitement about coming to Australia is backed up by statistics. He stood on the podium there four times prior. He scored a Moto3 second place in 2013, secured a Moto2 win the year after, and stood on the premier class podium in 2016 and 2017, celebrating third places.
Phillip Island hosted its first motorcycle race in 1931. In 1956 a permanently constructed circuit continued to host motorcycle Grand Prix events until it fell into disrepair during the late 70s and early 80s. After extensive renovation, the circuit made an intermediate comeback in 1989 and 1990, to become a regular fixture once more from 1997 onwards. Thanks to its terrific location, right next to the ocean, and its flowing 4.4km lay-out (featuring seven left and five right corners, and a 900m longest straight), the Phillip Island track is loved by fans and MotoGP riders alike.
Championship: 3rd – Points: 185
"I like the Australian GP, I'm always very happy to come here. I like the place and also the Phillip Island circuit. We did a nice race last year, I arrived second and Maverick third. We will try to do a positive race also this year, but the Australian GP is a bit particular. The track is unlike any other circuit, and above all we will have to wait and see what the weather conditions will be like. We will do our best, as always."
Championship: 4th – Points: 155
"We did our best in Japan, but unfortunately it wasn't enough. Now it's time to focus on Australia. Phillip Island is one of my favourite tracks. I like its lay-out a lot, and I love being there, it's amazing! I had a good experience last year, when we had a double podium with me in the third position, so I'm really motivated for the race. Phillip Island is a circuit that brings me good memories. I managed to be on the podium in three categories of the World Championship and I won in 2014 in Moto2. Last year the bike accelerated really well. The team have been working very hard at the last races, so we have to try to be strong, as always, and try to be on the podium again in Australia. We're going to try to make the bike work and have one of our strongest weekends of the season."
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - Team Director
"After the race in Motegi last Sunday, the team has headed to Australia. The Japanese GP didn't play out like we intended, so we are determined to join the battle at the front this weekend at the Phillip Island circuit, which traditionally is a good track for us. The team is always looking forward to this round, because the atmosphere is great and the sweeping corners suit our bike. In previous years we would have visited Phillip Island in the pre-season for testing, but this year that was not the case. This means we will have to work hard from the very start of the first practice to find a comfortable bike setting for the riders, so we can move on to choosing the right tyre for the race as soon as possible. Luckily, we have a good basis to start from, as last year we secured a double podium here with Vale and Maverick taking second and third place. The team will give their all to have both riders scoring top results again this weekend."
Monster Yamaha Tech3 Duo Heads Over to Phillip Island Full of Motivation
Just a few days after a very successful Motul Grand Prix of Japan, Johann Zarco and Hafizh Syahrin are on their way to Australia for the 17thround of the 2018 MotoGP World Championship season, which will see the green flags waving for FP1 at 11.55 local time (2.55 CET) on Friday.
Following a strong race in Motegi, Monster Yamaha Tech3 star Zarco is more than eager to arrive at Phillip Island to repeat his amazing rookie performance from last year, fighting at the top of the premier class in order to bring home as many points as possible, challenging the independent riders' championship.
Meanwhile, MotoGP class rookie Syahrin arrives at the Island full motivated after his second top 10 finish of the year. With an amazing performance at the Japanese GP in his pocket, the Malaysian newcomer aims for a similar great result, before his much anticipated home round.
Championship: 6th – Points: 133
"Phillip Island is an amazing track, pretty fast and with the MotoGP it feels like pure adrenaline on every lap. I had a fantastic race there last year and it would be nice to have a race in the front group again this time. I know, that my team likes this track a lot as well and this helps me to give me a strong bike. It's a nice place to race, I hope we are going to have some good weather, because if it's rainy and cold, the conditions are quite tricky, but when it's sunny, it will be funny for sure."
Championship: 17th – Position: 34
"I'm looking forward to Phillip Island, because we've just done a very good race in Motegi and we are in great shape with the bike and had a decent rhythm. It's not my best track, but I'll try my best for sure. I aim to be in front of my rookie rivals in order to get closer in the points. But most of all, I hope to have good weather there."
Monster Yamaha Tech3 - Team Manager
"We've just had time enough to pack everything at the circuit in Motegi, rush to Narita Tokyo airport and fly to the next round, which is in beautiful Phillip Island, Australia. Personally, myself and I think the whole Monster Yamaha Tech3 crew enjoy the three back-to-back races and it's always a pleasure to fly to Phillip Island, which is such a beautiful place and has such a beautiful circuit. We can't help thinking about the 2017 MotoGP race there when we arrive, because it was probably the best race of the last season and everybody is hoping the same thing will happen this year. Clearly, this is a circuit, which is always producing unbelievable racing. Johann was one of the masters last year in this race, one of the strongest riders. Unfortunately he lost the podium and a potential second position on the last straight like a few years ago - some of us might remember - was what happened to Nakano when he lost the 250cc World Championship title. Phillip Island is always a special place for this. We have to see what Hafizh, who just had an incredible strong and exciting race here in Japan, will do on the MotoGP bike there. I don't think that it's his favourite circuit, but anyway, we are already almost on the Island and we just can't wait to start running there. The only thing, I would like to say is, that I hope for the whole paddock, for the spectators and people behind their TV that we'll have a dry track and sunshine."