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.
Valentino Rossi scheduled to equal Loris Capirossi
At the Australian Grand Prix Valentino Rossi is scheduled to equal fellow Italian Loris Capirossi at the top of the table of riders with most grand prix starts.
The following list shows the eight riders who have made more than 250 GP starts:
Loris Capirossi 328 – 217 x MotoGP/500 – 84 x 250cc – 27 x 125cc
Valentino Rossi 327 – 267 x MotoGP/500 – 30 x 250cc – 30 x 125cc
Jack Findlay 282 – 157 x 500cc – 83 x 350cc – 34 x 250cc – 6 x 125cc – 2 x 80/50cc
Alex Barros 276 – 245 x MotoGP/500 – 14 x 250cc – 17 x 125cc
Angel Nieto 265 – 1 x 500cc – 16 x 250cc – 160 x 125cc – 88 x 80/50cc
Brno Kneubuhler 264 – 71 x 500cc – 46 x 350cc – 52 x 250cc – 86 x 125cc – 9 x 80/50cc
Alex de Angelis 262 – 61 x 50cc – 136 x 250cc – 65 x 125cc
Randy de Puniet 253 – 140 x MotoGP/500 – 80 x 250cc – 33 x 125cc
Dani Pedrosa levels with Angel Nieto
Dani Pedrosa’s win in Japan was his 139th grand prix podium finish. This is the same number of podium finishes as fellow Spanish rider and multi World Champion Angel Nieto.
As shown in the following table, the only two riders with more GP podium finishes than these two Spanish riders are Italians Valentino Rossi and Giacomo Agostini.
1 Valentino Rossi 210 – 112 x 1st – 55 x 2nd – 43 x 3rd
2 Giacomo Agostini 159 – 122 x 1st – 35 x 2nd – 2 x 3rd
3= Angel Nieto 139 – 90 x 1st – 35 x 2nd – 14 x 3rd
3= Dani Pedrosa 139 – 50 x 1st – 50 x 2nd – 39 x 3rd
5 Jorge Lorenzo 132 – 60 x 1st – 44 x 2nd – 28 x 3rd
6 Phil Read 121 – 52 x 1st – 44 x 2nd – 25 x 3rd
7 Mike Hailwood 112 – 76 x 1st – 25 x 2nd – 11 x 3rd
8 Max Biaggi 111 – 42 x 1st – 41 x 2nd – 28 x 3rd
9 Loris Capirossi 99 – 29 x 1st – 34 x 2nd – 36 x 3rd
10 Jim Redman 98 – 45 x 1st – 33 x 2nd – 20 x 3rd
Danny Kent’s title winning chances at Phillip Island
Danny Kent arrives at Philip Island with a great chance of becoming the first British world champion since Barry Sheene in the 500cc class in 1977. The following scenarios will result in Kent taking the world championship in Australia:
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
Grand Prix racing numbers
200 – Mike di Meglio is scheduled to make his 200th grand prix start at Phillip Island this weekend. He will be just the second French rider, alongside Randy de Puniet, to make 200 grand prix starts. Di Meglio is the fourth youngest rider to reach the milestone of 200 GP starts, after Jorge Lorenzo, Andrea Dovizioso and Dani Pedrosa.
94 – Jorge Lorenzo’s third place finish at Motegi was the 94th time he has stood on the podium in the MotoGP class. This is just one less premier-class podium than five times 500cc world champion Mick Doohan. Only two riders have stood on the podium in the premier-class more often that Lorenzo and Doohan: Valentino Rossi with 174 podium finishes in the top class and Dani Pedrosa with 98.
57 – Yamaha lead the MotoGP Constructors Championship by 57 points and will clinch the title (for the first time since 2010) in Australia if any of their riders finish either first or second.
50 – Dani Pedrosa’s win at Motegi was the 50th time in grand prix racing that he has stood on the top step of the podium. He is the eighth rider to reach the milestone of 50 grand prix victories across all classes, along with: Giacomo Agostini (122 GP wins), Valentino Rossi (112), Angel Nieto (90), Mike Hailwood (72), Jorge Lorenzo (60), Mick Doohan (54) and Phil Read (52).
14 – With his win in Motegi, Dani Pedrosa has now won at least one grand prix race in each of the last fourteen seasons, starting with 2002 when he took his maiden GP win in the 125cc race at Assen. The only rider in the 67 year history of grand prix racing who has a longer run of successive years with at least one GP win is Valentino Rossi, who had at least one GP win in the fifteen years from 1996 through to 2010.
13 – New Moto2 world champion Johann Zarco has finished on the podium thirteen times so far in 2015 and he needs just one more top three finish in the remaining three races to equal the record of 14 podiums in a season in the intermediate-class (Moto2™/250cc), held jointly by Marc Marquez (2012) and Tito Rabat (2014).
10 – By taking the win in Motegi, Dani Pedrosa has maintained his record of winning at least once in all ten seasons since he moved up to the MotoGP class in 2006. Only two riders have won in more successive seasons in the premier-class than Pedrosa; Giacomo Agostini won in twelve successive years (1965 to 1976) and Valentino Rossi who had eleven successive years with at least one premier-class win (2000 to 2010).
8 – Johann Zarco’s victory in Motegi was the eighth time he has stood on the top step of a grand prix podium (7 x Moto2, 1 x 125cc). This makes him the most successful French rider of all-time in terms of grand prix victories, taking the record from Christian Sarron (1 x 500cc, 6 x 250cc wins), Olivier Jacque (7 x 250cc wins) and Arnaud Vincent (7 x 125cc wins).
2 – The Moto2 race at Motegi resulted in Jonas Folger finishing second and Sandro Cortese third. This is the first time that two German riders have stood on a podium together in the intermediate-class of grand prix racing since the Rio Grand Prix of 1996 when Ralf Waldmann was second and Jurgen Fuchs third.
2 – Phillip Island is one of just two circuits where Marc Marquez has not had a win in the MotoGP class, along with Motegi.
2 – Hector Barbera had his best result of the year at Motegi, finishing in ninth place, which moves him above Loris Baz in the battle for leading Open Class rider, with just two points separating them.
2 – Following Andrea Iannone’s retirement from the race at Motegi with technical problems, there are now just two riders in the MotoGP class who have scored points at every race in 2015: Valentino Rossi and Bradley Smith.
0.242 seconds – The Moto3 race in Australia last year was another fantastic battle with the first six riders crossing the line within a quarter of a second of the race winner. This set a new record for the closest top six finish of all-time.
Moto2 stats and facts
None of the riders currently competing in the Moto2 class have won an intermediate-class grand prix at the Phillip Island circuit.
Johann Zarco has had one podium finish at Phillip Island – third in the 125cc race in 2012, when he also started from pole position. He has crashed out in Australia in each of the last two years.
Tito Rabat qualified on pole and finished third last year in Australia – his first podium finish at Phillip Island.
Alex Rins has finished on the podium in the Moto3 class for the last two years in Australia, third last year and a race victory in 2013.
Sam Lowes finished fifth last year in Australia – the best result of his rookie season in the Moto2 class.
Tom Luthi won the 125cc race at Phillip Island, from pole position, on his way to taking the world title in 2005. He has finished second in the Moto2 race at Phillip Island in each of the last two years.
Sandro Cortese has twice won at Phillip Island in the lightweight-class – in the 125cc race in 2011 and in Moto3 in 2012. His third place finish at Motegi was his first podium since he was third at the Czech GP last year.
Julian Simon won the 125cc race at Philip Island in 2009 to clinch the world championship title.
Alex Marquez set a new lap record on his way to finishing fourth in the Moto3 race at Phillip Island in 2013. Last year he qualified on pole in Australia and finished the race second, but just 0.029 seconds behind race winner Jack Miller.
Azlan Shah finished fourth at the Japanese Grand Prix, a great improvement on his previous best GP result of 11th earlier this year in Indianapolis. Fellow Malaysian rider Hafizh Syahrin finished one place further back – the first time that two Malaysian riders have finished together in the top five of a grand prix race.
Ricard Cardus finished sixth in Motegi – the best result this year in Moto2 by a rider using a Suter chassis.
Moto3 stats and facts
All three Moto3 grand prix races that have taken place at the Phillip Island circuit have been won by KTM riders. The last Honda winner in the lightweight-class at Phillip Island was Tom Luthi in 2005.
Danny Kent’s best result at Phillip Island is fifth in the Moto3 race in 2012. He finished in 20th place last year in Australia after crashing at the Honda hairpin on the 22nd lap when he had a collision with Brad Binder while battling in the leading group.
Enea Bastianini retired from the Moto3 race in Australia last year on lap thirteen with technical problems.
Miguel Oliveira’s finished second in Australia in 2012, which was his best grand prix result at that time. He finished 26th at Phillip Island in 2013 after crashing and re-starting, and last year he was the first Mahindra rider across the line in 7th after qualifying down in 15th place on the grid.
Nico Antonelli has finished on the podium four times in the last five races, including two race wins, after never being on the podium in his previous sixty-one GP starts.
Romano Fenati’s best result at Phillip Island is sixth in 2012. Last year he crashed out of the race at the start of the penultimate lap when battling with the leading group of riders.
Zulfahmi Khairuddin finished fifth at Motegi – his best result since he was third in the final race of 2012 in Valencia.
MCNEWS.COM.AU is a specialist on-line resource that provides motorcycle news for motorcyclists. MCNews covers all areas of interest for the motorcycling public including news, reviews and comprehensive racing coverage.