MotoGP riders talk Phillip Island MotoGP Race

Images by AJRN

MCNews.com.au MotoGP coverage brought to you by Honda Genuine Oils and Chemicals
MCNews.com.au MotoGP coverage brought to you by Honda Genuine Oils and Chemicals
motogp-2016-phillip-island-marquez_16gp16_3742_an
Marc Marquez took a strong early lead at Phillip Island before crashing out.
Cal Crutchlow – P1

“I was terrified when Marc crashed out in front of me, I braked really weakly into that corner for the whole race. I knew it was critical, because I crashed there from second a couple of years ago when I had a ten-second gap behind me, so I was quite scared to be honest. With that in mind, I also knew I had to keep pushing because otherwise I would lose heat in the front tyre. I was actually quite confident that I could have caught Marc today, but once he crashed I just carried on at the same pace and then the last ten laps or so I didn’t really push, I just made sure I kept heat in the front. I actually pushed more on the laps when the sun wasn’t out, because when it was I could be a little more relaxed. It might sound strange, but this is Phillip Island and anything can happen. I’m really pleased for the LCR Honda Team, they have done a great job this weekend. I was confident I could have won even with Marquez in the race, but Honda have done a really good job with our bike, there’s no doubt about that. We can now look forward to the last two races, and then see what happens for next year.”

motogp-2016-phillip-island-crutchlow_16gp16_4182_an
Cal Crutchlow, P1, Phillip Island
Valentino Rossi – P2

“This morning we discovered that we had a good pace in good conditions and step by step I came back. At the beginning of the race, the first lap was very funny and I tried and hoped to go to Cal, but he was too fast and too strong. The first ten laps I enjoyed a lot. Cal was also my target and I thought that I could beat him because this morning I was a bit stronger. When I saw Marquez crash I thought I might be able to win and tried but unfortunately Cal was too fast. He is always very fast in Phillip Island and interprets this track in the maximum way. For me the second half of the race was more difficult and I couldn’t make a move, but this race is what we needed after the mistake in Motegi and the bad day we had yesterday, which I think was the most frustrating day of the season. It was a very positive day for the team and Yamaha and it’s been a positive race. Congratulations to Cal and thank you to all my team, to all the guys who did a great job.”

motogp-2016-phillip-island-rossi_16gp16_4452_an
Valentino Rossi, P2, Phillip Island
Maverick Viñales – P3

“This podium has a very good taste to it, the weekend had been very hard this morning, but finally I was happy when I woke up today and saw the sun. We had very little time to finalise a set-up for the race, but finally the machine was very good to me and the tyre choice proved to be the right one, allowing me to recover and go for the third. I only had to be careful in the very early stages of the race because not having had the time to test the tyres I was not totally sure the front would support me, but after two or three laps I realised I could trust it. My pace was very good, I’m sorry for Aleix’s crash because we were having a strong race and we had a good pace. At the end, I also thought I could catch-up for second place, my pace was good enough to do it, but unfortunately I’d lost too much time in getting from sixth to third and the race was gone. Anyway, I’m really happy with the result, I want to thank my team because they did a very good job having such a short time to prepare.”

motogp-2016-phillip-island-vinales_16gp16_4122_an
Maverick Viñales, P3, Phillip Island
Andrea Dovizioso – P4

“I am satisfied with my race today, even though when you are fighting for the podium with just a few laps remaining, it is disappointing not to be able to reach it. However, if I think that last year here I did one of my worst races, managing to finish the race at Phillip Island with a fourth place is something really positive for me. I am pleased with the way we worked throughout the weekend, but especially with the way we are constantly improving the bike. I managed my race well, making the best use of the strong points of the Desmosedici GP in the parts of the circuit which were most favourable to us, and I was able to stay among the battle for the podium right until the end. Over the last one and a half laps, I decided to back down because I was taking too many risks in catching Viñales, but a fourth place at this circuit is a really good result for me.”

Andrea Dovizioso, P4, Phillip Island
Andrea Dovizioso, P4, Phillip Island
Pol Espargaro – P5

“Today I played all my cards and we have to leave Phillip Island feeling pleased about our performance over the weekend. The start itself was good and I put myself at the front of the field, plus I didn’t make any mistakes. In addition, I tried to brake smoothly and not take unnecessary risks throughout the GP. However, I can’t help but feel a bit frustrated when I think about how the factory riders passed me, whilst I was trying to fight with them, but I guess that’s how things go. Yet, I know that we gave our all and I have to say that the team is continuing to work in the same way that they did on our first day together, even if there are only a couple more races left together, and I appreciate that a lot. I think we were probably a bit lucky that there was limited dry track time this weekend because I believe this is why we were in front of a few factory guys today. However, looking at the results we have to be happy with what we are taking away from this GP and we will keep fighting for another strong result next week in Malaysia.”

Pol Espargaro, P5, Phillip Island
Pol Espargaro, P5, Phillip Island
Jorge Lorenzo – P6

“The temperatures were the same as during the warm-up and we gave more or less the same performance and I made the same lap times, a 1’30.4s. The grip level drop on the rear has been huge, from the beginning I didn’t have grip, but that’s the way it is. As soon as the track has less grip, we struggle more and the problems we have with the bike double or triple. In Malaysia we shouldn’t have a problem with the cold, or grip as the track is new. It should have more grip than last year so I really look forward to a better result.”

motogp-2016-phillip-island-lorenzo_16gp16_4130_an
Jorge Lorenzo, P6, Phillip Island
Scott Redding – P7

“I am happy with this result because during the morning warm up I was not able to find a good feeling. We changed a lot and took risks that have paid. Unfortunately, I have not had a good start but I was calm, I put my head down and I just thought to ride. After the first five laps I started to get a good rhythm and this has given me a lot of confidence. At the end, the seventh place is very positive.”

Scott Redding, P7, Phillip Island
Scott Redding, P7, Phillip Island
Bradley Smith – P8

“First of all, I have to say that the result is very positive. It was definitely a lot of hard work and in the last few laps, I was fortunate enough to find some opening gaps which allowed me to finish in 8th. Initially, I was a bit disappointed with myself because I wasn’t aggressive enough at the start. This may have been because of my injury and perhaps I was over thinking a bit about what to do, plus I was very careful with warming up the tyres. However, once I found my rhythm, I was able to catch the group, even if it was a challenge to do this, and when I got onto the back of them, I just tried to be smart and save the tyres, because I knew that the rubber was going to be vital for the last three laps. I made a few passes in the closing stages of the race and then finally in the last corner, I just went full attack mode on the outside and I got some good grip which allowed me to beat Petrucci and Miller to the line. Once again, I have to say big thanks to the Tech3 team because they did a super job, especially after yesterday’s crash. Also, with the limited track time that we had in the dry, the guys were fantastic and gave me a solid setting. For the moment everything is going according to plan. We came back in Japan, then here, we went a little better, so now let’s see what Sepang brings.”

Bradley Smith, P8, Phillip Island
Bradley Smith, P8, Phillip Island
Danilo Petrucci – P9

“It has been very difficult. I started great but I did not have enough traction to stay with the leading group. It was a great battle with Hayden, Redding and Miller. In the end, I was getting ready to attack Scott but during the penultimate lap Miller overtook me very aggressively, pushing me wide. I managed to overcome him but the gap with Scott was too big. The final overtaking by Smith was a pity: now I want to focus on Sepang.”

Danilo Petrucci, P9, Phillip Island
Danilo Petrucci, P9, Phillip Island
Jack Miller – P10

“I think that’s what you call a heavy battle! It was an intense race and I enjoyed it. It got a bit scary at times because you have no idea who is going to lunge up the inside from one corner to the next. Going into Doohan Corner at over 330kph it was getting a bit crazy because it was a case of who dared brake the latest. It was a lot of fun and good to have a good old-fashioned scrap because it helped me learn a lot. The important thing was to finish with some decent points and I did that. I also think the home fans could see how determined I was to put on a good show for them and they definitely got good value for money from us. I felt I could have been in a better position after qualifying in fifth but I got a bit messed up on the last lap. I took a risk to race the hard front Michelin tyre and I’d not done one flying lap with that option before the lights went out. But it was the rear tyre that was causing me a few issues because I had a few moments. I was losing the rear on entry and ran wide a few times but I’m happy with a top 10.”

Jack Miller, P10, Phillip Island
Jack Miller, P10, Phillip Island
Alvaro Bautista – P11

“This was definitely not an easy weekend. I was never able to practice on the dry except in the warmup this morning, where I did not have a good feeling. It felt like I was riding on ice. At the start, I did not know what to expect. We made a few changes to the bike that improved my confidence, especially with the rear tyre. Toward the end I battled with a few riders, having fun in the duel with Hernandez, despite the fact that I was not at 100% like in recent races. It was a strange weekend for everyone, but we were able to bring home some points anyway”.

Alvaro Bautista, P11, Phillip Island
Alvaro Bautista, P11, Phillip Island
Stefan Bradl – P12

“After the warmup session I had some doubts. Last year we had struggled and it seemed like it could be a repeat of that situation, since I had big grip problems. We made a lot of changes before the race and 27 laps later, I can say that I am satisfied. We finished in the points and our times were good. Unfortunately, I was unable to attack the riders ahead of me because our gearbox was a bit short, so in the straight I struggled to stay in the slipstream. In any case, eleventh place is still a good result. I am leaving for Malaysia looking at the positive sides of this strange weekend”.

Stefan Bradl, P12, Phillip Island
Stefan Bradl, P12, Phillip Island
Yonny Hernández – P13

“I am happy because I think this has been my best race of the season. We have managed to keep the tyres working until the end, which allowed me to have a nice battle with Álvaro Bautista. I kept trying to pass him right up until the last lap, we fought hard and in the end I lost out by just 0.015 seconds. I had great fun so hopefully we can keep going in this way.”

Yonny Hernández, P13, Phillip Island
Yonny Hernández, P13, Phillip Island
Eugene Laverty – P14

“It was really a tough race. From early in the race I knew I was having some difficulty. In the fluid parts of the track I was really struggling; where I could use the brakes and push the front I was strong but otherwise I was struggling and around this track that is extra difficult. I did what I could but it was probably our most difficult race of the season.”

motogp-2016-phillip-island-gpstart_16gp16_3708_an
Eugene Laverty, towards the back of the pack, P14, Phillip Island
Mike Jones – P15

“It is an incredible feeling to get my first World Championship point in MotoGP, especially here at Phillip Island, my home track and in front of my home crowd. I’m very, very happy and very excited. It was a really great race for me. I made a big improvement in comparison to Motegi, I got a much better start and I got away with the guys at the back of the field. All in alI, I was able to gain a lot more experience and improve as a rider on this bike. On Friday and Saturday, it was difficult due to the mixed conditions and today really was the only dry day, so I just got 30 minutes in the warm-up to get ready for a dry race. It was difficult, but thanks to everybody in Avintia Racing and especially my crew, I was able to learn quick and adapt to the bike. This weekend has been good, and all I can say is thank you!”.

Mike Jones, P15, Phillip Island
Mike Jones, P15, Phillip Island
Tito Rabat – P16

“Today’s race was the end to a very difficult and frustrating weekend but I am happy to have ridden sensibly and finished the race to get some data and experience that will help me in the future. But it was probably the most difficult weekend of the season for me. The weather hasn’t helped me at all this weekend with almost every session not running in normal conditions. That cost me laps to improve my confidence on the bike and I started the race not really knowing how the bike or the Michelin tyres were going to perform. I will keep learning and pushing to try and be more competitive in the final two races but to finish more than one minute behind the winner is a disaster.”

Tito Rabat, P16
Tito Rabat, P16
Marc Marquez – DNF

“First of all I want to say sorry to my team because I made a mistake today. We were doing everything perfectly, and we were just missing capping it with a result on Sunday. If I had been fighting for the title it would’ve been an entirely different race, as I wouldn’t have risked so much. Today I started strong because I knew I had to make a difference at the beginning. I was maintaining the distance, but at one of the hard braking points I braked too late and instead of taking a wider line, which is what I had been doing throughout the year, I tried to keep going. In such cases the limit is a fine one. We remain happy of course because we had already won the title but of course we wanted to win more races. It was completely my mistake; during the whole season I’ve been very careful on the braking points and this time I risked more so this crash has nothing to do with the Michelin tyres. Now we have another race next week, and we’ll just think about that. Congratulations to Cal for his great victory”.

Marc Marquez, DNF, Phillip Island
Marc Marquez, DNF, Phillip Island
Nicky Hayden – DNF

“It’s been a very challenging weekend with so many changes of conditions but finally we at least got a few laps in the dry in the warm-up. At the beginning of the race it was a little bit tough to get my rhythm but as it went on I started feeling better and better. I was in a group fighting for seventh position and I was quite enjoying the battle. Everybody was going back and forth and I felt good. I felt like I had the best tyres left in that group and that I could win that battle… but then in the Honda hairpin, Jack knocked me down. That’s racing. I didn’t actually see him, I just felt him when it was too late to do anything. But that’s racing, especially in a group like that, where it makes a big difference winning the battle and getting seventh or losing it and finishing out the top 10. After qualifying seventh on the grid and having not ridden the bike until Friday morning, seventh place would’ve been a very respectable result. Nonetheless, I’ve enjoyed the weekend; it’s been a pleasure to come back on the Repsol Honda Team and ride this bike again. It was awesome and I feel I did a decent job. I just would’ve liked to finish it off with a good result.”

Nicky Hayden, DNF, Phillip Island
Nicky Hayden, DNF, Phillip Island
Hector Barbera – DNF

“It was a difficult race, because I was only able to lap in the dry in this morning’s warm-up and so for me all the race settings were completely new. After the start I made a recovery that took me into the group with Redding and Petrucci fighting for seventh place, but three laps from the end I made a mistake trying to pass Miller: I went too long, finished on the grass and crashed. It was really a pity, because today I tried to do my best, but it wasn’t sufficient. Again I’d like to thank Ducati, my team Avintia Racing, and everyone who gave me this chance. I didn’t have much luck but now I must look ahead and try and do better in the next two races”.

motogp-australia-qp-barbera-rossi-miller-bradl
Hector Barbera, DNF, Phillip Island
Loris Baz – DNF

“Overall the weekend has been tough for me. The first two days, the weather was crazy and we couldn’t really work on the set up. After the warm-up today I had some good expectations, as my pace was quite encouraging. But then we had some electronic issues and my race was finished after just one lap. It is a real shame because today I had the pace to fight for a top 12 result. Now I have to forget this weekend and think about Sepang, where I want to score a good result to boost my confidence ahead of the final round in Valencia.”

Loris Baz, DNF, Phillip Island
Loris Baz, DNF, Phillip Island
Aleix Espargaro – DNF

“I’m really sad because once again, just like in Japan, we were fighting for the podium until the last laps… it’s difficult because I felt I had the pace to catch-up for second, but I lost much time to keep my rhythm as I had to recover from overtakings on the straight. After the warm-up we took a gamble, going with the hard tyre at the front without having tried it properly in the warm-up, but also the team did a very good job improving the machine a lot for the race. I’m sorry also for them, I hope we will come strong again in Malaysia to be competitive again. We proved we can be a lot more competitive recently, so we will work to keep this positive performance.”

Aleix Espargaro, DNF, Phillip Island
Aleix Espargaro, DNF, Phillip Island
Massimo Meregalli – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director

“Following this morning’s warm up we understood there were good premises for a positive race. Since the beginning of the session this morning, Valentino had a really good feeling and that’s why we kept the bike as it was before the race. The two remaining variables were the tyres and the start from the fifth row, but Vale did great to manage both! Valentino’s second place is a great relief after a very difficult and challenging weekend. Jorge did his best to recover from 12th on the grid and, although I am sure he’s not happy with his sixth place, he did a very good job to ride around the difficulties he experienced throughout the whole weekend. I really want to congratulate with and thank all team members, who worked hard all weekend to provide Valentino and Jorge the best weapons for today’s race. Their work has been crucial to recover from a bad Saturday!”

Massimo Meregalli
Massimo Meregalli
Ken Kawauchi – Suzuki Technical Manager

“This weekend has been very difficult, as the weather was totally unstable and made our job very hard. Only this morning we had 30 minutes in totally dry conditions, and it was all the time we had to try to find proper set-ups before the race. These hard conditions also made Maverick to jump from 13th place, but he could pull-off many overtakes and finally got the podium; with this he did a super job and we’re very proud of him. Also, Aleix had an extraordinary weekend, he managed to exploit the hard conditions to his best and performed very competitively for the whole race, consistently fighting for the podium. Unfortunately, he crashed and this is a huge pity because he was doing a very good job. We will keep this positive feeling going to Malaysia, which will be the next race on next week and also the last one of this three-in-a-row fly-away rounds, as a further push to keep our performance at the top.”

Romano Albesiano – Aprilia Racing Manager

“The impossibility of fine-tuning the settings because of the bad weather during practice weighed on us more than on the other teams. We still have Stefan’s good result this weekend, the best qualifiers of the season for us, and the reaction of both riders in the race. Today it was quite easy to make mistakes, but the entire team stayed focused, finishing in the points and maintaining the continuity of our results”.

motogp-2016-phillip-island-bradl_16gp16_3666_an
Stefan Bradl, Phillip Island
Michael Bartholemy – Marc VDS Team Principal

“I think Jack certainly gave his home crowd here in Australia some fantastic entertainment. He was involved in a really tough battle and he would have gained a lot of experience racing in such a big group of riders who were willing to make and take some hard moves. He finished inside the top 10 and I am satisfied with his performance because he fought right to the end for seventh place. It was good for him to get a strong finish under his belt after a difficult period through injury and a lot of crashes in Japan. Today will give him a lot of confidence and we can look forward to him fighting for the top 10 again in Sepang. It was a difficult weekend for Tito and all the disruption from the weather didn’t help him because he needs time on track to get a better feeling with the bike. He still rode a determined race and made sure he gained valuable experience by not making mistakes and bringing the bike home to a finish. But his pace has to improve and he understands that.”

Jack Miller, Phillip Island
Jack Miller, Phillip Island
MotoGP 206 - Phillip Island - Race Results - MotoGP
MotoGP 206 – Phillip Island – Race Results – MotoGP
MotoGP 206 - Phillip Island - Championship Points Standings - MotoGP
MotoGP 206 – Phillip Island – Championship Points Standings – MotoGP