Michelin Australian Grand Prix 2017
Posted on Oct 17, 2017 by Nick Harris
ROUND SIXTEEN 2017 MotoGP™ WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP SUNDAY 22nd OCTOBER
Cal Crutchlow will be seeking a change of fortune when he returns to the scene of his greatest triumph at the Michelin Australian Grand Prix on Sunday. Last year the Isle of Man – based Midland took his second MotoGP™ victory of his career at the magnificent Phillip Island circuit riding the LCR Honda. He returns to the 2.764 mile circuit after crashing out of the last two grands prix, seeking that change of fortune in the last three races of the season.
It’s a similar story for Oxfordshire’s Bradley Smith. Three years ago he took his first MotoGP™ podium on the Island when he finished third and like Crutchlow he seeks a change of fortune. He’s failed to score points at the last two rounds but will be encouraged by his Motegi qualifying performance on the KTM when he finished seventh fastest, just a few days after KTM confirmed he will remain with the team next year.
Gloucestershire’s Scott Redding is desperate to end his Octo Pramac Ducati career on a high before he joins Aprilia next season. He has a couple of Moto2™ podium finishes in Australia while the man he replaces at Aprilia, Sam Lowes, has also tasted success at Phillip Island. He finished second in the Moto2™ race two years ago and he arrives after scoring some vital points with a 13th place in Japan.
Scotsman John McPhee picked up some important Moto3™ Championship points with a tenth place in Motegi. The British Talent Honda team rider is sixth in the championship as he seeks to secure his grand prix future. British Supersport Champion Tarran Mackenzie grabbed his first ever World Championship point after finishing 15th in the rain-soaked Motegi Moto2™ race. He makes his Phillip Island debut on Sunday.
Did you know?
•This will be the 29th Australian Grand Prix, which has been held every year since the first visit in 1989.
• The first two Australian Grand Prix were held at Phillip Island, before visiting the Eastern Creek circuit for six successive years, then returning to Phillip Island in 1997 where it has since remained. This is the 23rd time that the grand prix has taken place at Phillip Island.
• Honda are the most successful manufacturer at Phillip Island in the MotoGP era with seven victories, including the last two years.
• Ducati have had four MotoGP wins at Phillip Island all with Casey Stoner in the years 2007 to 2010. Iannone’s third place finish two years ago in Australia is the only podium for Ducati at Phillip Island since Stoner’s win in 2010.
• Yamaha have had four MotoGP wins at Phillip Island, three with Valentino Rossi and one with Jorge Lorenzo. The last Yamaha victory at Phillip Island was in 2014 with Valentino Rossi.
• Suzuki have had just two podium finishes at Phillip Island in the premier-class: in 2006 when Chris Vermeulen finished second and last year when Maverick Viñales was third.
• All three riders that finished on the MotoGP podium in Australia last year were riders who had appeared in the Q1 qualifying session.
• All three podium finishers of the MotoGP race at Phillip Island in 2014 were Yamaha mounted – the last all Yamaha podium in MotoGP.
• Valentino Rossi is the rider who has had most grand prix wins at Phillip Island, with eight (2 x 250cc, 1 x 500cc, 5 x MotoGP), followed by Casey Stoner with six wins, all in the MotoGP class.
• Casey Stoner won the MotoGP race at Phillip Island for six successive years from 2007 until 2012, the last five of which were from pole position.
• Four current riders have started from pole in the MotoGP class at Phillip Island; Valentino Rossi in 2003, Dani Pedrosa in 2007, Jorge Lorenzo in 2013 and Marc Marquez for the last three years.
The epic battle continues on the island
The epic MotoGP™ World Championship battle continues at the magnificent Phillip Island circuit in Australia on Sunday. World Champion Marc Marquez arrives down under with a slender 11 point lead over Andrea Dovizioso for round 16 at the 2.74 miles Phillip Island circuit situated 80 miles south of Melbourne. They fought a duel that went down to the last lap at the previous round in Motegi with Dovizioso, riding the factory Ducati coming out on top for the fifth time this season.
The championship is turning into a two rider battle with Maverick Vinales, a Moto2™ winner at Phillip Island, slipping to 41 points behind Marquez and the Repsol Honda after a disappointing ninth place in the Japanese rain. His team-mate and six times Premier class winner at Phillip Island, Valentino Rossi crashed out in Motegi but he held onto fifth place in the championship. He is just two points behind Dani Pedrosa who retired from the Japanese race
Former Moto2™ and Moto3™ Phillip Island winner Alex Rins produced his best MotoGP™ result with a fifth place in Japan while his team-mate Andrea Iannone was fourth in a great day for Suzuki. Italian Danilo Petrucci still chases that elusive first MotoGP™ win after his fourth podium finish of the season in Japan on the Octo Pramac Ducati. If it rains on Sunday, he will again be pushing for at least a podium and perhaps a victory. Moto2™ World Champion Johann Zarco continues to impress and started on pole in Motegi. He’s joined by Australian Broc Parkes in the Monster Tech3 team replacing Jonas Folger who has returned to Germany for treatment of a virus. Jorge Lorenzo has tasted success at Phillip Island but he slipped to sixth in the Japanese rain after leading the way in the early stages of the race on the factory Ducati.
Italian Franco Morbidelli saw his lead in the Moto2™ World Championship reduced to 19 points despite his safe eighth place in Japan. With Dominique Aegerter's victory in Misano being disqualified because of a technical infringement his nearest challenger Tom Luthi picked up an extra five points and a win. Luthi has a good record at the Island beating Morbidelli to victory last year. Morbidelli’s Estrella Galicia Marc VDS team-mate Alex Marquez scored his first Moto2™ win outside Spain in Japan. He’s third in the Championship 14 points off former Moto3™ winner Miguel Oliveira.
Italian Romano Fenati kept the Moto3™ World Championship alive with a superb victory in the Motegi rain. With runaway championship leader Joan Mir finishing out of the points in 17th, Fenati closed the gap to 55 points but the 20 year old Leopard Honda rider still has a great chance to taking the title on Sunday.
BT Sport 2
Friday 20th October 0.00am – 7.00am
Saturday 21st October 0.00am – 7.15am
Sunday 22nd October 00.30am – 7.15am
Channel 5 Highlights
Monday 23rd October 19.00pm
Live commentary of the race on Sunday