Tissot Australian Grand Prix 2014
Posted on Oct 13, 2014 by Nick Harris
ROUND SIXTEEN 2014 MotoGP™ WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP - SUNDAY 19 OCTOBER
Bradley Smith goes into the MotoGP™ race full of confidence. The Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rider may have finished ninth at Motegi but he was only just over 20 seconds behind race winner Jorge Lorenzo despite a couple of mistakes. Smith also has a 125cc podium finish at the magnificent 2.764 miles circuit.
Isle of Man based Midlander Cal Crutchlow finished second in Australia two years ago and returns on the Ducati after crashing out in the early stages at Motegi. Gloucestershire’s Scott Redding has two podium finishes at Phillip Island but has memories of his qualifying crash last year that cost him the Moto2™ World Championship. He arrives full of confidence with the news he will return to the Marc VDS team next season riding in MotoGP with a factory supported Honda.
Ulsterman Michael Laverty continues his MotoGP adventure on the Paul Bird Motorsport machine after finishing 18th in Japan. Londoner Gino Rea picked up some welcome Moto2 points after finishing 14th in Japan on the AGT REA Racing Suter while Sam Lowes will not need reminding of his Motegi crash at the circuit he knows well from his World Supersport Championship winning days.
Phillip Island focuses on battle for second
While Marc Marquez is certain to continue his world championship winning celebration the spotlight focuses on the battle for second place at the Tissot Australian Grand Prix at the magnificent Phillip Island circuit on Sunday.
With just three rounds of the 18 round MotoGP™ World Championship remaining Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa are tied on points with Motegi winner Jorge Lorenzo just three points adrift. Both Movistar Yamaha riders Rossi and Lorenzo have good records at the 2.764 miles circuit situated 70 miles south of Melbourne.
Rossi has won seven times at his favourite circuit on the calendar which includes five MotoGP victories. The 35 year old Italian was third in the previous round in Motegi and certainly the momentum is with Yamaha. Lorenzo won in the flag to flag race at Phillip Island last year and has won the last two races in Aragon and Motegi this year. Pedrosa has never won in Australia and needs to make better starts to keep Rossi and particularly Lorenzo at bay.
Andrea Dovizioso looks a safe bet for fifth in the championship after giving Ducati their first pole position for almost four years in Motegi and he is a previous 125cc winner at the track. The Espargaro brothers are separated by a single point in their battle for sixth. Older brother Aleix may hold the advantage on the NGM Forward Racing Yamaha but Pol has all the momentum in his debut MotoGP season and has won the Australian Moto2 race for the last couple of years.
Back to World Champion Marquez – the 21 year old Repsol Honda rider has nothing to lose as he chases just his second win in Australia. He needs one win to make it 12 grands prix victories in one season to continue to re-write the MotoGP history books.
Phillip Island Shorts
Phillip Island has not always been the venue of the Australian Grand Prix. Eastern Creek in Sydney staged the grand prix for six years between 1991 – 1996.
Australian Casey Stoner won the MotoGP race at Phillip Island for six consecutive grands prix between 2007-2012. Four for Ducati and two for Honda.
The closest ever MotoGP podium finish was at Phillip Island. Just 0.124s separated Tadayuki Okada, Max Biaggi and Regis Laconi when they crossed the line after the 1999 27 lap 74.628 miles race.
The classic 2000 250cc encounter between team-mates Olivier Jacque and Shinya Nakano is the closest ever intermediate class finish at Phillip Island but six years later just 0.009s separated Jorge Lorenzo and Alex De Angelis in the 25 lap 68.609 miles 250cc race.
Facts and Figures
Circuit Length: 4.448m/2.764 miles
Pole Position: Left
Longest Straight: 900m/0.559 miles
Left Corners: Seven
Right Corners: Five
Pole Position Record: Jorge Lorenzo/Yamaha 1.27.899 (2013)
Lap Record: Marc Marquez/Honda 1'28.108 (2013)
BT Sport Schedule (unless stated this will be on BT Sport 2)
Friday 17th October
12.00am – Grand Prix of Australia – FP1 - LIVE
4.00 am – Grand Prix of Australia – FP2 - LIVE
Saturday 17th October
12.00am – Grand Prix of Australia – Free Practice – LIVE
3.15am – Grand Prix of Australia – Qualifying – LIVE
Sunday 19th October
2.45am – Grand Prix of Australia - Moto3/Moto2/MotoGP Races – LIVE
Tuesday 21st October
8.00pm - MotoGP Tonight: (BT Sport 1)
Monday 20th October
8.00pm – MotoGP Highlights Programme