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Phillip Island: MotoGP Post Race Review

This last Sunday at Iveco’s Phillip Island, in the land down under, induced yet another challenging show, not only by the riders, but with the elements as well! Dealing with rain, high winds, freezing cold temperatures and even hail; the boys took it in stride as they went through their rounds in preparation over the weekend for race day. It got so precarious with the first free practice round on Friday that Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Ben Spies sat it out.

Luckily the weather cooperated on race day and the home-town boy, Marlboro Ducati’s Casey Stoner delivered yet another win for his faithful fans by claiming his fourth, first place victory at Phillip Island since 2007. Celebrating his 25th Birthday and a 25th pole position in his Grand Prix career, it was a win that was clearly meant to be!

To quote Casey:

“This feels really nice. I think when I won two in a row here nobody expected me to make it three but having done that I felt there was a lot of expectation on me today,” said Stoner, who has won three out of the last four races (he crashed last weekend at Sepang).

“To be fair we have been going for the win at the last four races – unfortunately I slipped off on the first lap at Sepang but we’ve made up for that this weekend. Everything has gone well for us, we have been happy with the bike from the first practice and the support from the fans has been fantastic.

“I have to admit that before the race I was feeling the pressure, I was more nervous than I normally am but maybe I should be like that more often because I didn’t make mistakes!

“I am really happy with the way I rode today but every single person in the team has done a great job this weekend so my thanks go to them and I hope we can keep it going to the end of the season.”

 

Second in line on the podium was confirmed World Champion Jorge Lorenzo, giving way to the Aussie before the half way point in the 27 lap race, furnishing Stoner with nearly a nine second lead over the finish line. In two weeks time, the GP teams will load up and head to Portugal, where Lorenzo has proven his talents well in past seasons. Although it is unlikely we will see any gut wrenching action from the Spaniard since clinching the World title. Why risk it?

To quote Jorge:

“We knew Casey would be hard to beat today! I tried my best, riding as hard as I could at the start and occasionally it seemed like I was closing a little bit, but then on the next lap Casey would extend his lead again by a few tenths,” said Lorenzo. “I kept trying but I didn’t have much hope and half way through I decided it was better not to take risks.”

 

Next in line for the third spot and giving the fans what the paid for once again was the invincible Fiat Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi, this time battling it out with Ducati’s Nicky Hayden right down to the final lap. consistently making it a habit, Rossi struggled with his set-up and less than favorable starting position on the grid The come back kid moved up the ranks in his signature form, vacillated back and forth, with Hayden, but Nicky lost it in the end when the “doctor” made an emergency call and over took the American at the Honda Hairpin turn, possessing once again the third position.

To quote Valentino:

“To start eighth and finish third is not a bad result and, considering the trouble we had this weekend, we can be happy. Today Casey was riding in a different sport and I want to say congratulations to him – the podium was the maximum for us but it was still a hard fight to get there. We made some good changes to our set-up this morning and I knew I had a better chance, but we still lacked grip and the bike started to slide a lot after a bit. I had great fun with Nicky at the end because in some places he was faster than me and I really had to push, but the podium here is so important for me and I couldn’t give it up easily. This is my 13th podium in 14 years racing at Phillip Island and I am very proud of this record. We have had three podiums in a row, including one win, and after this difficult season I am happy about this. Today we won the Team title and I am happy for us all and for Yamaha.”

To quote Nicky:

“It was a good, hard battle in the sunshine and I am very disappointed to have lost. It would have been a lot cooler if it was for the win but fighting with Valentino Rossi for any position is never easy. We made a few changes to the bike today but this morning in the warm-up I ran off the track and we missed the opportunity to try them, so it took me a few laps just to get used to the bike. I have to say the team did a fantastic job because once I got going it felt great and I was able to recover the gap.

I don’t want to make excuses or be a cry baby and say ‘maybe if I did this or that it would be different’ because the bottom line is I got fourth, I got beaten. I feel down because this is a track I love, I felt good and to beat Rossi on the last lap would have been really good for me but I can’t dress it up. I feel like I let the team down today because they gave me the bike to do the job but I didn’t get it done.”

 

Another American rider Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Ben Spies put in a good effort with a 5th place result. Spies achieved an impressive accomplishment early in, overtaking Hayden and Simoncelli by lap 5, but with a bad judgement in heavy braking, it dropped the soon to be factory rider to 6th by the 8th lap. Finishing his 8th top 5 finish and 2 races to go, all is not lost. The Yamaha rider is set to become the Rookie of the Year for 2010 along with fellow premier class rookie, Marco Simoncelli and set to start the next season as a Factory team member!

To quote Ben:

“Jorge and I got super close coming out of the first corner and he almost touched my brake lever. It made me run wide in turn two and a couple of people came by. It didn’t ruin the race but it ruined me building up some momentum. I fought my way back into third and was pretty comfortable when I ran wide at the first corner on lap seven. I got in there a bit hot and the rear came round. Everybody got a run on me and came by and dropped me back to sixth. I then had a good battle with Simoncelli. I kind of towed him around and h e picked up his pace and came by me. Once I knew nobody was behind me, I just waited until a few laps from the end to push and pass him back. I made sure I got a decent gap and chilled out in fifth. At the end I was running times that if everything had gone smoothly, I feel like we could have battled for the podium. Towards the end of the race I was running similar times to those ahead of me and that’s all I can do. I’m happy to be Rookie of the Year too. I beat a lot of good guys for that and it will be an achievement I can be proud of at the end of the season. I’ve had some good results on this three-week stretch and I’m now looking forward to the last two rounds.”

To quote Marco:

“It was a really nice race and I enjoyed it a lot, so I am happy. I got a good start and moved into third place on the first lap and then stayed in the group with Rossi, Hayden and Spies. We had a great battle and it was really good fun. When
Hayden passed me and went after Valentino I was left with Spies for the rest of the race but I managed to keep my pace up and make an attempt to pass him at the end, although unfortunately he was a little too fast for me. Anyway, as I said I am delighted with a really nice race.”

Phillip Island was to be Repsol Honda free, with Dani Pedrosa, who participated in the practice round, but decided it was too risky to race in his continuance to recover from a collarbone surgery from Japan’s Motegi race. Dani, still holds his second Championship position. His team-mate, Andrea Dovizioso did not race because of a steering damper mounting issue, causing him to also to retire early, making it just that more of a challenge to obtain a 3rd spot for the Championship.

Rizla Suzuki’s Loris Capirossi, has had a series of bad luck with sustaining yet another injury during a practice session, making him the third DFN for race day.

Look for the 17th round to take place in two weeks time in Estoril, Portugal

Final Race Results:

Pos. Rider Team Bike
1 Casey Stoner Ducati Marlboro Ducati
2 Jorge Lorenzo Fiat Yamaha Yamaha
3 Valentino Rossi Fiat Yamaha Yamaha
4 Nicky Hayden Ducati Marlboro Ducati
5 Ben Spies Tech 3 Yamaha Yamaha
6 Marco Simoncelli San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda
7 Colin Edwards II Tech 3 Yamaha Yamaha
8 Aleix Espargaro Pramac Racing Ducati
9 Marco Melandri San Carlo Honda Gresini Honda
10 Randy De Puniet LCR Honda Honda
11 Mika Kallio Pramac Racing Ducati
12 Alvaro Bautista Rizla Suzuki Suzuki
13 Hiroshi Aoyama Interwetten Honda MotoGP Honda
14 Hector Barbera Paginas Amarillas Aspar Ducati

 

Points in Standing:

POSITION RIDER TEAM POINTS
1 Jorge Lorenzo Fiat Yamaha Team 333
2 Dani Pedrosa Repsol Honda Team 228
3 Casey Stoner Ducati Marlboro Team 205
4 Valentino Rossi Fiat Yamaha Team 197
5 Andrea Dovizioso Repsol Honda Team 179
6 Ben Spies Monster Yamaha Tech 3 163
7 Nicky Hayden Ducati Marlboro Team 152
8 Marco Simoncelli San Carlo Honda Gresini 102
9 Randy de Puniet LCR Honda 100
10 Marco Melandri San Carlo Honda Gresini 93
11 Colin Edwards Monster Yamaha Tech 3 90
12 Hector Barbera Aspar Racing Team 76
13 Alvaro Bautista Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 73
14 Alex Espargaro Pramac Racing Team 60
15 Hiroshi Aoyama Interwetten Honda MotoGP 47
16 Mika Kallio Pramac Racing Team 43
17 Loris Capirossi Rizla Suzuki MotoGP 41
18 Alex de Angelis Interwetten Honda 11
19 Roger Lee Hayden LCR Honda 5
20 Kousuke Akiyoshi Interwetten Honda MotoGP 4
21 Wataru Yoshikawa Fiat Yamaha Team 1
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October 18, 2010 - Posted by | Alvaro Bautista, Andrea Dovizioso, Ben Spies, Casey Stoner, Colin Edwards, Dani Pedrosa, Ducati, Jorge Lorenzo, Loris Capirossi, Mika Kallio, Motegi, MotoGP, motorcycle racing, motorcycles, Nicky Hayden, phillip Island, Valentino Rossi, Yamaha

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