Pramac Australian Grand Prix 2015
Posted on Oct 12, 2015 by Nick Harris
ROUND SIXTEEN 2015 MotoGP™ WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP – SUNDAY 18TH OCTOBER
Kent getting closer to making history
Danny Kent is inching closer and closer to re-writing the history books. The 21 year old Wiltshire-based rider has a 56 points lead in the Moto3™ World Championship with three rounds remaining, starting at the legendary Phillip Island circuit and the Pramac Australian Grand Prix on Sunday. The Leopard Racing Honda rider has won six grands prix this season and is on course to become the first British world champion since the legendary Barry Sheene won his second 500cc World title in 1977.
The following scenarios will result in Kent taking the world championship in Australia:
• If Kent wins the race or finishes second
• If Kent is third and Bastianini does not win the race
• If Kent is fourth or fifth and Bastianini does not finish either first or second
• If Kent is sixth and Bastianini does not finish either first or second and Oliveira does not win the race
• If Kent is seventh, eighth or ninth and Bastianini does not finish on the podium and Oliveira does not win the race
• If Kent is 10th or 11th and Bastianini does not finish in the top four and Oliveira does not win the race
• If Kent is 12th, 13th, 14th or 15th and Bastianini does not finish more than six places ahead of him and Oliveira does not finish either first or second
• If Kent fails to score any points and Bastianini does not finish in the top nine and Oliveira does not finish on the podium
Twenty one year old Scotsman John McPhee faces those last three races with renewed confidence after a morale–boosting ninth place in Japan as he chases a grand prix ride for next season.
In Japan Cal Crutchlow fought a tremendous battle with Bradley Smith for sixth place in the MotoGP™ race. Crutchlow came out on top riding the LCR Honda but Smith, riding the Monster Tech3 Yamaha, is still both the top British and Satellite factory rider although he dropped one place to sixth in the championship after finishing seventh in Japan. Last year Crutchlow crashed out of third place in Phillip Island moving Smith into third place for his first ever MotoGP podium finish.
Gloucestershire’s Scott Redding will be looking to complete his Marc VDS career on a high before joining the Octo Pramac Ducati next season. He finished tenth in Japan and is closing up on the Suzuki pair of Maverick Viñales and Aleix Espargaro in the fight for tenth place in the championship. Eugene Laverty knows the Phillip Island circuit well from his World Superbike days and has secured his place in the Aspar team next season, who look likely to be switching to Ducati machinery.
Lincolnshire‘s Sam Lowes moved back into fourth place in the Moto2™ World Championship after finishing eighth in Japan. The Speed Up rider also knows the Phillip Island circuit well from his World Supersport appearances.
Eighteen Points – Three to go at Phillip Island
Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo arrive at the magnificent Phillip Island circuit for the Pramac Grand Prix of Australia separated by 18 points with three rounds of the amazing 2015 MotoGP™ World Championship remaining. The Movistar Yamaha team-mates have been involved in a title fight that twists and turns at every corner and the battle round the 2.764 mile circuit situated 80 miles south of Melbourne is likely to continue the trend.
The weather has played a big part in the outcome of the last few races and the 27 lap race on Sunday will probably be no exception as Rossi defends that precious lead over his team-mate. Both love Phillip Island and Rossi has a great record around the cliff top circuit. The 36 year Italian has won six premier class races at the circuit including last year while Lorenzo has just one MotoGP win there two years ago and he hopes for a change of luck with the weather which has certainly been against him.
Other riders, especially the Repsol Honda pair of Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, could help or hinder the Yamaha pair. Pedrosa arrives fresh from his first win of the season in Motegi just 14 days after finishing second in Aragon. Team-mate, world champion Marc Marquez, who has not won a MotoGP race at the legendary circuit, is still nursing a broken finger on his left hand as he fights to hang onto third place in the world championship. Ducati have a great record at the Island with Australian world champion Casey Stoner and both Andrea Iannone and Andrea Dovizioso are capable of getting among the front men to re-calculate those championship positions.
Pedrosa moved into fifth place in the championship after his Japanese win, just two points in front of Bradley Smith who in turn leads Andrea Dovizioso by the same margin. Australian Anthony West returns to MotoGP to replace the injured Karel Abraham in the Cardion AB Honda team.
Twenty five year old Frenchman Johann Zarco will celebrate his Moto2™ world title after winning his seventh grand prix in Japan in a mighty impressive season. The 2014 world champion Tito Rabat hopes to return to the track after losing his title when he could not ride in Japan after breaking a bone in his left arm following a training accident. His second place in the championship is coming under pressure from countryman Alex Rins who trails him by 17 points. Britain’s Sam Lowes moved back into fourth place following his eighth place in Japan and Tom Luthi crashed out.
The Moto3™ World Championship could be decided in the 23 lap race on Sunday. Britain’s Danny Kent has a precious 56 point advantage over Italian Enea Bastianini with three rounds remaining. The rider in form is Italian Niccolo Antonelli who won his second grand prix in Japan to move into fourth place in the Championship 18 points behind Miguel Oliveira in third place.
This will be the 27th Australian Grand Prix, which has been held every year since the first visit in 1989. Below are some facts and statistics from the previous Grand Prix events held in Australia:
• 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 21st 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 five victories, the last of which was with Casey Stoner in 2012.
• Ducati have had four MotoGP wins at Phillip Island all with Casey Stoner in the years 2007 to 2010.
• Yamaha have had four MotoGP wins at Phillip Island, including the last two years.
• The only podium for Suzuki at Phillip Island came in 2006 when Chris Vermeulen finished second.
• 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 of which have been 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.
• The only two current riders who have won in the MotoGP class at Phillip Island are Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo.
• Five current riders have started from pole in the MotoGP class at Phillip Island; Valentino Rossi in 2003, Nicky Hayden in both 2005 and 2006, Dani Pedrosa in 2007, Jorge Lorenzo in 2013 and Marc Marquez last year.
Friday October 16 12.00am – 2.45am (first practise) - 4am – 7am (second practise)
Saturday October 17 12.00am – 7.00am (practice and qualifying)
Sunday October 18 12.30am – 2.15am (warm –up) - 2:45am – 7:15am (races)
ITV 4 Highlights
Monday October 19 8.00 - 9.00 pm