Australian Grand Prix Facts and MotoGP Statistics

By Dr. Martin Raines

This will be the 29th Australian Grand Prix, which has been held every year since the first visit in 1989.

Kevin Schwantz on the Suzuki at the Phillip Island Grand Prix in 1989 - Image by Phil Aynsley
Kevin Schwantz on the Suzuki at the Phillip Island Grand Prix in 1989 – Image by Phil Aynsley

The first two Australian Grand Prix were held at Phillip Island, before visiting the Eastern Creek circuit for six successive years.

Wayne Gardner - Honda NSR500 - Eastern Creek - 1991 Australian Grand Prix - Image by Phil Aynsley
Wayne Gardner – Honda NSR500 – Eastern Creek – 1991 Australian Grand Prix – Image by Phil Aynsley

The Australian Grand Prix then returned to Phillip Island in 1997 where it has since remained.  This is the 23rd time that the GP has taken place at Phillip Island.

Honda are the most successful manufacturer at Phillip Island in the MotoGP era with seven victories, including the last two years.

Ducati have had four MotoGP wins at Phillip Island all with Casey Stoner in the years 2007 to 2010. Iannone’s third place finish two years ago in Australia is the only podium for Ducati at Phillip Island since Stoner’s win in 2010.

Casey Stoner at Phillip Island 2007 - Image by AJRN
Casey Stoner at Phillip Island 2007 – Image by AJRN

Yamaha have had four MotoGP wins at Phillip Island, three with Valentino Rossi and one with Jorge Lorenzo. The last Yamaha victory at Phillip Island was in 2014 with Valentino Rossi.

Suzuki have had just two podium finishes at Phillip Island in the premier-class: in 2006 when Chris Vermeulen finished second and last year when Maverick Viñales was third.

Chris Vermeulen - Phillip Island - 2006
Chris Vermeulen – Phillip Island – 2006

All three riders that finished on the MotoGP podium in Australia last year were riders who had appeared in the Q1 qualifying session.

All three podium finishers of the MotoGP race at Phillip Island in 2014 were Yamaha mounted – the last all Yamaha podium in MotoGP.

Phillip Island - Australian GP 2014 - Bradley Smith, Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi on the podium
Phillip Island – Australian GP 2014 – Bradley Smith, Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi on the podium

Valentino Rossi is the rider who has had the most wins at Phillip Island, with eight (2 x 250cc, 1 x 500cc, 5 x MotoGP), followed by Casey Stoner with six wins – all 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.

Four current riders have started from pole in the MotoGP class at Phillip Island; Valentino Rossi in 2003, Dani Pedrosa in 2007, Jorge Lorenzo in 2013 and Marc Marquez for the last three years.

2017 MotoGP content on MCNews.com.au brought to you by Honda Genuine Oils
2017 MotoGP content on MCNews.com.au brought to you by Honda Genuine Oils

Andrea Dovizioso moves above Mick Doohan

Andrea Dovizioso’s victory in Japan came more than eight years after his first MotoGP victory at Donington in 2009.

With this win Dovizioso moves above Mick Doohan into ninth place in the following list of riders with the longest winning careers in the premier class of Grand Prix racing.

Rider First GP win Last GP win Length of winning GP career
  1. Valentino Rossi Great Britain/2000 Dutch TT/2017 16 years 351 days
  2. Alex Barros FIM/1993 Portugal/2005 11 years 204 days
  3. Phil Read Ulster/1964 Czech/1975 11 years 16 days
  4. Giacomo Agostini Finland/1965 West Germany/1976 11 years 7 days
  5. Dani Pedrosa China/2006 Spain/2017 10 years 358 days
  6. Loris Capirossi Australia/1996 Japan/2007 10 years 338 days
  7. Jorge Lorenzo Portugal/2008 Valencia/2016 8 years 214 days
  8. Eddie Lawson South Africa/1984 Hungary/1992 8 years 110 days
  9. Andrea Dovizioso Great Britain/2009 Japan/2017 8 years 81 days
  10. Mick Doohan Hungary/1990 Argentina/1998 8 years 53 days
Andrea Dovizioso - Image by AJRN
Andrea Dovizioso – Image by AJRN

MotoGP Facts and Stats

The second place finish in Japan by Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) was the 100th time he has stood on the podium in Grand Prix racing. At the age of 24 years 240 days he is the youngest rider to reach this milestone, taking the record from Valentino Rossi, who was 25 years 244 days old when he scored his 100th GP podium finish.

After only finishing on the podium twice in the opening six races of the year, Marc Marquez has had eight podium finishes in the last nine races; the only occasion he has not finished on the podium in the last eight races was at Silverstone when he suffered a technical failure.

MotoGP 2017 - Round 15 - Motegi Race Results DOVIZIOSO Andrea 4 ITA 25 Ducati Team 47'14.236 MARQUEZ Marc 93 SPA 20 Repsol Honda Team 0.249 PETRUCCI Danilo 9 ITA 16 Octo Pramac Racing 10.557
MotoGP 2017 – Round 15 – Motegi Race Results
DOVIZIOSO Andrea 4 ITA 25 Ducati Team 47’14.236
MARQUEZ Marc 93 SPA 20 Repsol Honda Team 0.249
PETRUCCI Danilo 9 ITA 16 Octo Pramac Racing 10.557

Marc Marquez lost out on the sprint to the line with Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) in Japan after starting the final lap of the race in the lead. This is the first time since he moved up to the MotoGP class in 2013 that he has started the final lap leading a race and has not gone on to take the race victory.

Dovizioso crossed the line ahead of Marquez at the Japanese Grand Prix with a winning margin of just 0.249 seconds. This is the fourth time in the last five races that less than one second has separated the first two riders across the line in the MotoGP class.

Dovizioso’s victory in Japan was his seventh win in the MotoGP class, the same number of wins in the four-stroke MotoGP era as Loris Capirossi. Dovizioso needs one more win to equal the number of MotoGP victories achieved by Sete Gibernau.

Andrea Dovizioso - Image by AJRN
Andrea Dovizioso – Image by AJRN

The win by Andrea Dovizioso at Motegi was the 41st time he has stood on the podium in the MotoGP class. He needs one more top three finish to equal the number of premier-class career podiums achieved by Loris Capirossi.

With his win at Motegi, Andrea Dovizioso joins an elite group of riders who have won five or more premier class Grand pPrix races in a single season during the MotoGP era. The other five riders who have done this are: Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), Jorge Lorenzo, Casey Stoner, Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team).

With three races of the 2017 season remaining, Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing) has already accumulated 111 points this season. He needs to score just five more points during the remainder of the season to surpass the previous best single season total for a Ducati rider in an Independent Team – 115 points by Alex Barros in 2007.

Danilo Petrucci leads Marquez and Dovizioso at Motegi 2017 - Image by AJRN
Danilo Petrucci leads Marquez and Dovizioso at Motegi 2017 – Image by AJRN

Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) had his best result of the season so far at the Japanese Grand by finishing in fourth position, just ahead of his teammate Alex Rins. This was the first time that Suzuki have had both riders finish in the top five since the Japanese Grand Prix last year, when Maverick Viñales was third and Aleix Espargaro fourth.

Ducati have already scored 273 points in the Constructors Championship this year, which with three races remaining is the highest total for the Italian manufacturer since 2010 when they scored 286 points for the full season.

Following the Japanese Grand Prix Johann Zarco has a 41 point lead in the Rookie of the Year classification. With teammate Jonas Folger out of action in Australia, Zarco will clinch the 2017 Rookie title with a top six finish.

Johann Zarco - Aragon MotoGP 2017
Johann Zarco – Aragon MotoGP 2017

No Yamaha rider has finished in the top three at the last three MotoGP races. This is the first time since 2007 that Yamaha have not had a podium finisher in three successive races.

Cal Crutchlow’s win in Australia last year was the first in a dry MotoGP race by an Independent Team rider since Toni Elias won the 2006 Portuguese Grand Prix at Estoril.


Moto2 Facts and Stats

Álex Márquez (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) won at Motegi for the third time since he stepped up to the Moto2 class back in 2015, which is his seventh podium finish in this class, equalling Dominique Aegerter and Alex De Angelis (who won the very first two Moto2 races at Phillip Island).

Álex Márquez did not start the race last year at Phillip Island following a heavy crash with Julian Simon in qualifying on Saturday.

Moto2 - Motegi 2017 - Alex Marquez
Moto2 – Motegi 2017 – Alex Marquez

Second across the line in Japan, Xavi Vierge (Tech 3 Racing) scored his first podium finish of his career; the best result for the Mistral 610 Tech 3 machine since Bradley Smith was second at Silverstone in 2011.

Fourth at Motegi, Francesco Bagnaia (Sky Racing Team VR46) won the Rookie of the Year award, the second Italian rider to do so since the introduction of the Moto2 class in 2010 when it was Andrea Iannone.

Championship leader Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) finished in eighth at Motegi, equalling his worst finishing result this season at the restarted race at Brno, also in wet-weather conditions. He was second last year in Australia, just 0.010s behind Tom Lüthi, and recorded the fastest lap of the race.

Moto2 Motegi 2017 Race Results Alex Márquez (SPA - Kalex) 32'08.901 Xavi Vierge (SPA - Tech3) +1.465 Hafiz Syahrin (MAL - Kalex) + 3.134
Moto2 Motegi 2017 Race Results
Alex Márquez (SPA – Kalex) 32’08.901
Xavi Vierge (SPA – Tech3) +1.465
Hafiz Syahrin (MAL – Kalex) + 3.134

Tom Lüthi (CarXpert Interwetten) finished 11th at Motegi. which is his worst result across the line since he was 15th in Phillip Island back in 2015 – when he crashed while he was second, but managed to restart to complete the race.

Tom Lüthi is the only rider currently competing in Moto2 who has won in the class at Phillip Island and who has started from pole position.

In addition to Tom Lüthi in 2005, other riders who are currently competing in the Moto2 class who have won at Phillip Island in the lightweight class are Miguel Oliveira (2015–Moto3) and Sandro Cortese (2011 and 2012 – 125cc/Moto3).

Maverick Viñales, in 2014, is the only rider who managed to win without starting from pole position at Phillip Island since the introduction of the Moto2 class in 2010.


Joan Mir could clinch the Moto3 title at Phillip Island

After failing to score points at Motegi, Joan Mir still has an opportunity to become the third Spanish rider to win a Moto3 title after Álex Márquez in 2014 and Maverick Viñales in 2013 at the Australian Grand Prix. It would also be the 18th title in the lightweight category for Spanish riders. The most likely scenarios to give Mir the title are as follows:

  • If Mir finishes first or second, he will be world champion irrespective of where Romano Fenati finishes.
  • If Mir finishes third, he will be champion if closest rival Romano Fenati does not win the race.
  • If Mir finishes fourth or fifth, he will be champion if Fenati does not finish either first or second.
  • If Mir finishes sixth, seventh or eighth, he will be champion if Fenati does not finish on the podium.
  • If Mir finishes ninth or tenth, he will be champion if Fenati does not finish better than fifth.
  • If Mir finishes eleventh, he will be champion if Fenati does not finish better than sixth.
  • If Mir finishes twelfth, he will be champion if Fenati does not finish better than seventh.
  • If Mir finishes thirteenth, he will be champion if Fenati does not finish better than eighth.
  • If Mir finishes fourteenth, he will be champion if Fenati does not finish better than ninth.
  • If Mir finishes fifteenth, he will be champion if Fenati does not finish better than tenth.
  • If Mir fails to score points, he will be champion if Fenati does not finish better than eleventh.
Joan Mir - Aragon 2017 - Image by AJRN
Joan Mir – Aragon 2017 – Image by AJRN

Moto3 Facts and Stats

Romano Fenati (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers) won for the third time of the season at Motegi, the tenth victory of his career. He is now the most successful Moto3 rider with 10 wins, and he also equals Álex Rins on the podium tally.

Fenati’s win at Motegi is the 14th for a Honda rider this year. This is the first time ever that the Japanese manufacturer has achieved this in the lightweight class of Grand Prix racing. This is the greatest number of wins by one manufacturer in the Moto3 class since KTM won 17 races in 2013.

Romano Fenati - Motegi MotoGp 2017 - Image by AJRN
Romano Fenati – Motegi MotoGp 2017 – Image by AJRN

Niccolò Antonelli (Red Bull KTM Ajo) stood on the podium for the sixth time in his career at Motegi; the fourth podium for a KTM rider this year. He will start his 100th Grand Prix race at Phillip Island.

With his third-place finish in Japan, Marco Bezzecchi (CIP) is now leading the battle for the Rookie of the Year award in the Moto3 class by four points from Ayumu Sasaki (SIC Racing Team).

KTM (or KTM powered machinery) have won every race at Philip Island since the introduction of the Moto3 class in 2012, and have missed out on pole position only twice (2014 and 2015). The last Honda winner in the lightweight class at Phillip Island was Tom Lüthi in 2005.

At Motegi, it was the first podium with the three manufacturers since Sepang last year.

Joan Mir (Leopard Racing) failed to score points at the Japanese Grand Prix for the first time since Sepang last year, when he crashed at turn 7 while he was in the leading group alongside Brad Binder, Lorenzo Dalla Porta and Fabio Di Giannantonio.

Joan Mir - Brno 2017 - Image by AJRN
Joan Mir – Brno 2017 – Image by AJRN

Joan Mir made his first Grand Prix appearance at Phillip Island in 2015, replacing Hiroki Ono, injured at Motegi, but crashed on the seventh lap. He also crashed last year at Turn 2 right after the race start from ninth on the grid, alongside Darryn Binder, Khairul Idham Pawi and Livio Loi.

None of the riders currently competing full-time in the Moto3 class have won a Grand Prix race at Phillip Island.

Third last year at Phillip Island, Arón Canet (Estrella Galicia 0,0) is the only rider of the current grid who has stood on the podium at this track.