Rampant Rossi wins at Phillip Island
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi won his first race at Phillip Island in ten years as the Italian rider led a Yamaha clean sweep of the top three podium positions at the Australian Grand Prix.
Rossi started from eighth on the grid but was able to make up positions in the opening laps of the race and by the third lap was in third position. Rossi then got involved in an entertaining battle with teammate Jorge Lorenzo and after trading places a few times with his teammate, eventually seized second place from Lorenzo with ten laps remaining. Rossi then found himself in the lead of the race after Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez came unstuck at turn 10 on lap eighteen and the Italian rider went on to cross the finish line 10.836 seconds ahead of his Movistar Yamaha MotoGP stablemate Lorenzo. Finishing in third place for his first premier-class podium was Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Bradley Smith a further 1.5 seconds behind Lorenzo.
A cool change in the afternoon dramatically lowered ambient temperatures for the race, creating challenging conditions for the riders. The track temperature peaked at 34°C at the start of the twenty-seven lap race and then with a strong wind blowing off the sea, continued to cool further as the race progressed. The cool change resulted in some riders that originally opted for the soft compound front slick options electing to change to the extra-soft front slick, although rear race tire choice wasn’t that different to what the riders used in race simulations yesterday. Of the twenty-three riders twelve selected the extra-soft compound front slick for the race, nine chose the soft compound asymmetric front slick, while just two riders selected the soft compound symmetric front slick. For the rear tire, fifteen riders selected the medium compound rear slick and the other eight riders selected the soft compound rear.
2014 World Champion Marc Marquez’s DNF at Phillip Island sees him remain on 312 championship points while behind him, Rossi now moves into second place in the standings on 255 points. In third place is Lorenzo on 247 points with just two rounds remaining.
Hiroshi Yamada – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department
“Well done to Valentino on taking the top step of the podium at Phillip Island and continuing Yamaha’s excellent run of success to four consecutive victories. The fight for second place in the championship took an exciting turn this weekend but there is no time to catch our breath as the last leg of the triple-header takes place next weekend at Sepang. The new rear slick tires that we developed for Phillip Island proved to work well for all the riders and we were able to complete a full race distance with good durability and performance. I would like to thank the teams and riders for their efforts to adapt to our new tires this weekend.”
Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle tire Development Department
“After fine conditions in this morning’s Warm Up session, a cool change in the afternoon saw ambient and track temperatures fall quickly just before the start of the race. The cooler weather did result in more riders choosing the extra-soft front slick than if conditions had remained the same as this morning, but overall the tire combinations utilized during the race were similar to what we saw yesterday in FP4. I am pleased with our rear tire performance this weekend as the consistent performance and durability matched our expectations and all riders from all the manufacturers were able to adapt to using this tire. The cool ambient temperatures and strong wind combined to create tricky conditions which resulted in a few riders crashing in the final stages of the race. We will now analyze the data we collected to determine if any changes need to be implemented next year at Phillip Island.”
Valentino Rossi, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – Race Winner
“It’s fantastic to win today because it was a great race. Unfortunately I had to start from far back on the grid but I knew I had quite a good pace. After the second corner I saw that Marc and Jorge were already in front and I thought it would be hard to catch them, but I was able to overtake many riders and catch Jorge. It was difficult to pass him at first, but in the end it was a great battle and I was a little bit faster and could pass him. Marc wasn’t too far ahead of me so I tried to stay focused on staying in second place, but after Marc crashed it meant I could win the race so it was great to be back on top of the podium at Phillip Island after my last victory here ten years ago.”