A host for motorcycle racing since 1931, Phillip Island is a thrilling track for riders with its high-speed layout rewarding precision lines, but its clifftop location makes it particularly susceptible to the elements with strong winds not only providing their inherent challenge but hastening rapid weather change too.
The high-speed undulation and a blind brow make for a circuit beloved of many riders, but one which can have quite a sting in its tail too. Phillip Island sits as the middle of the triple-header, so there is only a momentary respite since the Grand Prix of Japan, where Morbidelli just missed out on equalling his season-best finish position of fifth after matching his season-best grid placing in second and Quartararo went from third to second place on the podium.
Both riders have reason for confidence heading to Australia: Morbidelli has a strong record at Phillip Island having twice finished on the podium in Moto2, with second place in 2016 and third position in 2017 whilst newly crowned 2019 Rookie of the Year Quartararo continues to show exceptional form.
Following confirmation of Quartararo’s best newcomer title last time out, he is targeting another title in Australia he heads into the weekend with his first mathematical chance to clinch the Independent Riders’ championship, which he currently leads by 38 points. PETRONAS Yamaha SRT will also be looking to extend their lead in the Independent Team fight, heading to the race with a 76 point lead in the classification.
The Australian Grand Prix starts on Friday 25th October with practice starting at 1050 local time (0750 Malaysian time) ahead of Sunday’s 27-lap race.