Motoette -in forward motion

Feeling the thunder in the land down under

Phillip Island- Iveco Grand Prix Pre Race Review:

Australia’s Phillip Island was constructed in 1928 and later became known as the Australian Grand Prix, hosting races up until 1935, just before closing in 1940. In 1951, a group of businessmen came together to reconstruct a new track, making an executive decision to move it a mile or so away from the original location. The only land available at the time was a parcel that sat on a small, coastal cliff overlooking the Bass Strait.

The circuit continued to go through several transitional periods; opening and closing and even being moved to New South Wales because of the harsh exposure to the elements from where it sits.

In 1989 the challenging track once again landed on the GP calendar after a decade of hosting the 500cc GP legends like Wayne Gardner and Wayne Rainey in the late sixties and into the late seventies.

Twenty two years later the 2.76 mile fast flowing track still holds up today and is considered to be one of the most exciting to the fans and premiere riders alike.

Native Australian, Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner is one such rider looking forward to racing on his home turf and with good reason after winning there for the last 4 years. With  Stoner’s 40 point lead in standings, Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo is the only threatening competition for the Aussie as the season comes down to its last 3 races. So, it’s paramount that Casey scores at least 10 points ahead of Lorenzo to seal the Championship.

This time last year Lorenzo created his own destiny when he clinched second on the podium, and successfully secured the 2010 World Championship for his team. Now, being within arms reach of another Championship, you better believe, he’s going for it!

Casey Stoner’s teammates, Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa will be crossing swords for the next 3 rounds in who will be the second Repsol rider to partake in the Championship with only one point dividing the two riders. Pedrosa is sitting pretty with another trophy on his mantle from Motegi and feeling physically stronger compared to last year after making Iveco his debut return after undergoing surgery on a multiple fractured collarbone. Unfortunately, it was premature planning for Pedrosa and he could only make it through a practice round before returning home with a DFN.

Dovizioso’s third in standings makes it hard to believe his factory team is giving him up after this season. The invaluable rider made a surprising decision to sign a one year deal with Monster Yamaha Tech 3 satellite team just after Moto2 star rider Bradly Smith cunningly resigned a 3 year deal with his current Tech 3 team. The cleaver Brit will remain with the Moto2 team for one more year and then will move over to the satellite team in 2013 for two more years, kicking Dovi out of the playground once again.

It just forces the question; why didn’t he consider Rizla Suzuki?? Didn’t Dovi swear up and down about his refusal to go with a Satellite team? He just could have been the ticket to keep Suzuki in the GP paddocks.

“If I have to come back on a satellite bike there is no possibility to fight for the victory next year and I am not racing to do fourth, fifth, sixth. The level is high so if you don’t have one of the best bikes, then you can’t fight for the podium.” Dovizioso stated just prior to the Aragon race.

Okay, so maybe the obvious answer for Suzuki is BSB rider, John Hopkins. True, the American rider is burning up the track right now and he has publicly stated he wants to return to Rizla Suzuki. But his history with the GP division has been bittersweet to say the least, with debilitating injuries, the GSV-R’s mechanical failures and a global downward economic crisis that left him out in the cold with Kawasaki.

Three years later and finally finding his niche in a seven-year career of hard knocks, would it be wise for Hopper to make the transition back to the Grand Prix? With Rizla Suzuki threatening to bow out of the MotoGP for good, it could just make the decision for him.  But, then again, there is LCR Honda….

Hopkins saying:

“My goal is to get back to MotoGP. My mind is set so that anything else is just a stepping stone to MotoGP.”

Hopkins substituted for Alvaro Bautista back at Jerez while the Spaniard recovered from a broken hand and will once more be a guest rider for the factory team in Malaysia later this month.

Speaking of the solo Suzuki rider, Bautista will be awaiting his fate this weekend when the factory team announces whether they will return to the GP circuit for 2012. The loyal Spanish rider will not make any decisions until he knows if he still has a seat on a Suzuki or not. LCR Honda have recently expressed great interest in Bautista after Dovizioso turned them down for Yamaha Tech 3, saying he is their first choice over John Hopkins and Randy de Puniet. It has also been rumored that one of the satellite Ducati teams have also been vying for the prized rider.

Ducati’s Valentino Rossi was unable attend his scheduled test with the GP12 at Jerez on Tuesday at a result of an injured little finger on his right hand from his crash at Motegi. Teammate, Nicky Hayden took his place for the testing, but not for Sunday’s race with a track record of 13 podium finishes out of 14 races at Iveco.

Rossi saying: “Phillip Island is another track where the Ducati has always gone well, as have I, so we hope to be able to work as well as we did in Japan. As far as my hand is concerned, the swelling is reduced, and we still have a couple of days before we go on the track. We just have to wait for Friday morning to see how it reacts.”

For San Carlo Honda Grisini’s Marco Simoncelli it will be business as usual coming off the Motegi track and onto the Australian tarmac. The afro haired Italian capitalized on a chance to test his future factory ride, Honda’s 1000cc prototype for 2012. It’s fair to say the diamond that has been in the rough at the beginning of the season has polished up very nicely as the year winds down to a close.

Marco Simoncelli saying: “After a bittersweet Grand Prix at Motegi, I had the opportunity to test the RC213V, the bike I will be riding in Team San Carlo Honda Gresini colours next year. It was an amazing experience – 50 laps of pure adrenaline!”

Australian rider Damian Cudlin will be gracing the fans again with his presence as a GP replacement. The multi faceted rider filled in for the recovering Pramac Ducati’s Loris Capirossi at Motegi and this weekend will return representing the injured Hector Barbera.

Off the subject of MotoGP (slightly); British team owner, Paul Bird has expressed his desire to put together a new British-based team for the inaugural 1000cc world championship in 2012. Bird has his sights set on Aprilia after his relationship with Kawasaki runs out at the end of this year with WSBK, but will be continuing forward with a two-rider factory team with BSB next year. Recently, he met with Dorna’s CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta at Aragon, where he proposed his objective to exclusively run the British project.

The shrewd businessman’s goal is to pair a British team with a British rider for the GP grid and Dorna are very interested and awaiting his proposition.

This leads me to WSBK’s Yamaha rookie, Eugene Laverty. With Yamaha’s secession with WSBK at the end of this year, Laverty announced that he possibly will be joining Aprilia over BMW Italia for 2012. With Max Biaggi standing firm and Laverty most likely in place, where does that leave the Leon Camier and does MotoGP fall into the mix? Things that make you go hmmmm?

In addition:  follow @girlracerlive @girlracerWSBK and @girlracerMotoGP on Twitter for all your racing news updates, and for racing information in its entirety, check out Girlracer.co.uk and our fan based blog on Girlracerlive.com

Look for all the racing action to get underway this Friday, October 14th, starting with the first free practice round at 11:10am (GMT+11)

MotoGP World Standing 2011

Pos. Rider Bike Nation Points
1 Casey STONER Honda AUS 300
2 Jorge LORENZO Yamaha SPA 260
3 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Honda ITA 196
4 Dani PEDROSA Honda SPA 195
5 Ben SPIES Yamaha USA 156
6 Valentino ROSSI Ducati ITA 139
7 Nicky HAYDEN Ducati USA 123
8 Marco SIMONCELLI Honda ITA 119
9 Colin EDWARDS Yamaha USA 98
10 Hiroshi AOYAMA Honda JPN 94
11 Hector BARBERA Ducati SPA 77
12 Alvaro BAUTISTA Suzuki SPA 67
13 Cal CRUTCHLOW Yamaha GBR 57
14 Karel ABRAHAM Ducati CZE 50
15 Toni ELIAS Honda SPA 47
16 Randy DE PUNIET Ducati FRA 39
17 Loris CAPIROSSI Ducati ITA 29
18 Kousuke AKIYOSHI Honda JPN 7
19 John HOPKINS Suzuki USA 6
20 Shinichi ITO Honda JPN 3
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October 13, 2011 - Posted by | Alvaro Bautista, Andrea Dovizioso, Aprilia RSV4, Aragon, Ben Spies, Casey Stoner, Dani Pedrosa, Ducati, Eugene Laverty, girlracer, history of MotoGP, Jorge Lorenzo, Loris Capirossi, marco simoncelli, Motegi, MotoGP, motorcycle racing, Nicky Hayden, phillip Island, Red Bull, Valentino Rossi, WSBK, Yamaha

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