Australian MotoGP 2018

Yamaha resurgent as Vinales from Iannone, Dovi wins

Riders and Team managers talk the Phillip Island GP


Maverick Vinales – P1

“This is the best feeling ever, honestly! We‘ve been in the dark all year, and suddenly we came into the light! I couldn‘t show my potential in the previous races, but today I could. Being first in Australia is always amazing! It‘s the best track ever, and I like to be at the front there. To win here and break this long none winning period of Yamaha is unbelievable! I was riding on the bike like I was in FP4. I got a really good feeling from the bike, so I knew I could maintain 1‘29s. That‘s what I did for most of the middle of the race. I tried to escape as far as I could, because I knew my tyre wasn‘t going to last until the end. I knew opening that gap would be difficult, I had some moments with some riders, and some shaking on the bike – I was struggling, but I still made it through anyway. It was amazing! I have to say ‘thank you’ to the team, because this weekend they worked for the win. We will try to be the best and we‘ll try to work in a good way. We don‘t want to lose the concentration, because we don‘t know what will happen in Malaysia, but for sure the level of motivation will be high after this weekend.”

MotoGP Australia Vinales
Maverick Vinales
Andrea Iannone – P2

“I’m really happy, especially as we were at the top almost all weekend long, and this gives us a lot of positivity. We worked together on improving my feeling with the bike and it meant I was able to finish really close to the top. I felt able to win but it was a hard fight with the others and I was losing ground with them. When I managed to overtake them and keep them behind I realised I couldn’t catch Viñales, so I just tried to defend and manage the tyres. At the end I pushed at 100% to make sure I could get 2nd place.”

MotoGP Australia Iannone Dovi Bautista Rins Rossi Miller
Andrea Iannone
Andrea Dovizioso – P3

“I’m really satisfied with the way the race went. Even though we knew we had good speed, managing to get a podium here is another thing. I’m pleased I got myself immediately into an ideal position in the race, because if you start from the third row here at Phillip Island anything can happen, as we saw. Instead with a bit of luck I immediately managed to make up some positions and after a few laps I was first: I never expected that! Then I had a chance to manage the tyres and reach the end of the race in a good state, even though we were all in trouble a bit. I’m very pleased with the work we’ve done here: Phillip Island was a fundamental test to understand our level of competitiveness and now we know we have made a good step forward over last year.”

MotoGP Australia Dovizioso UC
Andrea Dovizioso
Álvaro Bautista – P4

“At the end of a difficult weekend in which I crashed three times, this fourth place is a great reward for me. To come into a new team and step onto a new bike at a circuit like this was for sure not going to be easy, but I think we’ve worked well together, making steps forward in every session. I started the race really focussed and relaxed because I had no real targets to aim for, except for enjoying riding the Desmosedici GP18. After quite a complicated start, I was able to soon catch up with the leading group and fight for the front positions. In the last few laps I made a few small mistakes and lost contact with Dovizioso and Iannone, but in any case I’m very happy with my overall result, especially for the team and for Ducati, whom I would like to thank once again for the trust they have shown in me.”

MotoGP Australia Bautista UC
Álvaro Bautista
Alex Rins – P5

“It was an interesting race and I was able to learn a lot. During the first part, when I was inside the group, I was feeling good but then when I got the contact from Maverick I lost a lot of ground and it cost me a lot because the group got away, but this is racing. I also lost further time trying to overtake Miller. But we want to focus on the positive points, and there were many, for instance the way I was able to battle with Rossi and defend my 5th place. We’re going to Malaysia with good feelings and we are prepared, so we hope for another nice result there.”

MotoGP Australia QP Vinales Rossi Rins Dovi
Alex Rins chases down Vinales and Rossi
Valentino Rossi – P6

“Unfortunately from the first lap I already started to slide a bit too much on acceleration. I lost some grip compared to yesterday and this morning. It’s a shame because for sure we wanted to try to do better. I tried to ride smoothly and manage the tyres, but unfortunately after 15 laps I was in trouble, because when exiting left corners I had too much spin. We need to understand why this happened and then try to improve, but having Maverick win a race is good news for the team and Yamaha, because it gives great motivation.”

MotoGP Australia Rossi
Valentino Rossi
Jack Miller – P7

“If I have to be honest I was expecting a little more but I am still happy with this result and being the first Independent rider. I got off to a good start even though I honestly didn’t think I would be in the lead so early. In the middle of the race I tried to save my tyres but in the end I didn’t have any room to attack the podium group.”

MotoGP Australia QP Jack Miller
Jack Miller
Franco Morbidelli – P8

“I am very happy with this result, my personal best result in MotoGP. We did a god job to exported the situation with riders going out of the race. Our tyre choice was the right one and I had good pace especially from half-race and I was able to get into the tope ten. I want to thank my crew for a great job this weekend to sort out the set-up of the bike for the race.”

MotoGP Rnd Thailand Morbidelli GP AN
Franco Morbidelli
Aleix Espargaro’ – P9

“On the straight, I was in the slipstream of a lot of riders and at a certain point, a piece of Marc’s bike struck my left hand. I began to feel pain, but fortunately in MotoGP we only use the clutch for the start, so I was able to finish the race. We’ll assess the situation in view of Malaysia. After a less-than-easy weekend, in warm up we made a big step forward and in the race I was able to ride very incisively. This is demonstrated by the fact that we lapped faster than in qualifying, but unfortunately on the final laps, the soft rear tyre began to suffer and I was unable to hold onto eighth place. In any case, the result is good, considering the hard work done this weekend with two different bikes.”

MotoGP Aragon Espargaro Aleix GP AN
Aleix Espargaro – AJRN Image
Bradley Smith – P10

“We did a good job. We saw Phillip Island as an important weekend for KTM because we knew the bike would work quite well here. The team did a fantastically because the main aim of the weekend was to try and set up the bike as best as we could to look after the rear tyre. It meant we had to sacrifice qualification a little bit yesterday but it paid off today. I had a great first lap to come from sixteenth to eighth and then tried to hold the position for as long as possible. Unfortunately towards the end I just didn’t have anything left for Morbidelli or Aleix. Sepang now and it is a difficult track but I think we have some good confidence and the bike has a good setting and it working well for me. I’m optimistic we can keep the same level and take some good points.”

MotoGP Australia Bradley Smith
Bradley Smith
Karel Abraham – P11

“We have to be happy with this race, we have doubled our points score for the season in just round. I am happy to have had the chance to ride the Ducati GP17, I could see how much potential the bike has but you also have to consider that it is difficult for any rider or chief mechanic to find the perfect set-up for a new bike in just one weekend. In any case we have done a good job and you could see that at the start of the race, when I felt really good. After that the bike started to slide and pump, I changed the mapping and it helped for a couple of laps but then it started again. I didn’t want to use the last two maps because they are for emergency use and we still had a lot of laps to go. The riders behind me were closing in and I wanted to push harder but I couldn’t get any more out of the bike. In the end, luckily, I managed to stay ahead of them.”

MotoGP Australia Abraham
Karel Abraham
Danilo Petrucci – P12

“It’s really a shame. I felt like I had a great feeling right from the warm-up. I went on track very focused and made my best start in my career. Unfortunately at turn two I had a problem with the clutch. I am really sorry but these are the races: once it is the rider who makes a mistake, another time it is the bike that betrays you. We’ll try again in Sepang.”

MotoGP TBG Rnd Phillip Island Petrucci ALI
Danilo Petrucci
Scott Redding – P13

“I am happy with the way the race went. To be honest, I didn’t expect it. Even in warm up, I didn’t have any particularly good feeling. Apparently, staying in the slipstream of the other riders helped me warm up the front tyre better. Maybe in terms of pace I could have done a bit better too, but when I found myself leading the group, I began to have some difficulties. In any case, I battled, overtaking Nakagami on the final lap and bringing home important points. A few crashes helped, but we did a good job anyway turning a complicated situation around.”

MotoGP Silverstone Redding GP AN
Scott Redding
Takaaki Nakagami – P14

“It was a difficult weekend. The weather conditions were a little bit better than yesterday, they were less windy and the track temperature was getting higher and higher. We decided to go with a soft compound on the rear and I think that was the correct choice, but I really struggled in the last ten laps. The lap times were quite strong and I couldn’t find the race pace I wanted. In the end I got into the points which is very good, but I was expecting a better result here so now we have to think about the next one in Sepang and try to be more consistent over the weekend.”

MotoGP Australia Takaaki Nakagami AX
Takaaki Nakagami
Xavier Simeon – P15

“I have a lot of problems with the clutch and once again, my start was horrible. I was last again, but this time at least I was able to recover some positions on the first lap. The bike was very good and I had the pace to fight between eleventh and fifteenth position. Ten laps from the end though, the left flank of the rear tyre was destroyed and I had to slow down. Therefore I’m a little bit disappointed. The weekend has been very good and I always felt strong, but we depend too much on tyre wear. Apart from this, I’m super happy about achieving my first MotoGP point and I want to thank my team because they helped me a lot since I got on this bike. In Malaysia we have to improve the start and work more with the tyres for the race. I hope to have fun again like here and score more points.”

MotoGP Aragon Simeon GP AN
Xavier Simeon
Tom Luthi – P16

“I had a good rhythm for the first ten laps and could stay with the group I was in so I’m little disappointed for this result. But then I lost a lot of edge grip and could not keep corner speed in the fast left-hand corners and I was struggling with understeer and that’s where I lost too much time. I’m disappointed to be 16th again and just miss some championship points.”

MotoGP Misano Luthi GP AN
Tom Luthi
Jordi Torres – P17

“The race has left me with a bad taste in my mouth. This morning in the warm-up I felt pretty strong and we had a very promising pace. But it was more windy in the race and tyres maybe did not reach the right working temperature on the first laps because twice I was close to a crash when I tried to push. This affected my confidence and I wasn’t riding comfortably throughout the race. I know what I have to do to go fast, but I lacked the confidence to do it. At least I’m gaining experience in every race and I hope things will go better in Malaysia. Sepang is a very long circuit and I’ll have to learn many things in a short time, because the other riders have done lot of kilometres over there. The heat will also be a new challenge for me. I hope to my level of fitness is high enough.”

MotoGP Rnd Thailand Torres GP AN
Jordi Torres
Mike Jones – P18

“I just wanted to give my best and finish the race, and we achieved our objective. I am very happy and grateful to the Ángel Nieto Team for the opportunity to race in MotoGP in front of the Australian fans. It has been an incredible experience, the power of the bike is crazy and the braking force is unreal. It has been a physically demanding weekend because this is such a different bike to anything I have ridden before.”

MotoGP Australia Mike Jones
Mike Jones
Marc Marquez – DNF

“At first I didn’t understand exactly what had happened, but I was angry because I felt the contact from the rear. I couldn’t continue the race because my seat was broken and moving around. It was impossible to ride. When I arrived in the garage and saw the video, I understood. It was just a race incident because at that point of the track, we arrive really fast, over 300 km/h. I was behind Jack Miller when I braked even a bit later than usual, and then I felt the impact. Zarco had taken the slipstreams from the two of us. You may think he could have considered that, but for me it’s just a race incident and I already spoke with him. What I can say is that today I feel really lucky, and the most important thing for me is that both me and Johann are okay. Today I was really focused, and the race was going as expected. I led for a couple of laps, and then I decided to stay in the group and wait a bit. I had the pace and I felt I was able to fight for the win. It’s unlucky that we got a zero here at Phillip Island, but if next year I can win the title in Japan again and have another DNF here, I’ll sign up for that! Now let’s focus on the next race.”

MotoGP Australia Marquez Damage
Damage to Marc Marquez’s Honda
Dani Pedrosa – DNF

“It has been a difficult weekend. We never had a good feeling over the three days, and unfortunately I crashed out of the race. I wasn’t in a good position, and then I lost the front in the braking point after the straight—quite a big crash, as it’s a fast point. Anyway, we just have to move forward, hoping to have a better race next Sunday.”

MotoGP Australia Pedrosa AX
Dani Pedrosa
Hafizh Syahrin – DNF

“Until lap 19 I had a good race. I just lost the front because I tried to close again on Miller. In the straight it is just impossible, as the Ducati just passes very easily. The guys and myself, we are already working very hard with our package, which is a bit different to the rest of the Yamahas. I was fighting with the faster group in the front, but it was just technically impossible to keep up with them, although I was pushing very hard. It’s a great pity to crash on the 19th lap. Anyway, we keep pushing, working hard and believing in ourselves because my team and me work very hard to be strong in the race. We tried to use our speed for a good result, but in the end we didn’t have a chance to fight with the rest of the riders in front.”

MotoGP Rnd Thailand Syahrin GP AN
Hafizh Syahrin
Johann Zarco – DNF

“It was a bit cold today, but the sunshine made it a nice day. Starting from third position was a good advantage. I got a good start, but in the second corner I slide with the rear and a few guys had the same, I lost a few positions, but then I was really feeling quite ok to attack and try to overtake. I’m happy about the feeling that I was strong and did some good passes. After a few laps, I was still feeling pretty good, I got the slipstream of Jack Miller and Marc Marquez was also there. We were going so fast and when we were braking for corner one, I touched the rear wheel of Marc and totally flew away. I had a big crash, but I’m okay, which is the most important thing, as that crash was really fast It’s a shame about the race, because finish the race would have been important for the independent riders’ championship, but I didn’t. The crash was big and I am sorry that Marc could not finish the race. Thank you to my team, because the bike was competitive today! I did a mistake and I need to make up for it on the next two rounds.”

MotoGP Australia Zarco
Johann Zarco
Pol Espargaro – DNF

“I was super-angry because I think we worked well this weekend and did a lot of laps with the tyres front and rear and we put the Soft options for the race thinking it would be OK. For some reason after six-seven laps it started to drop and I couldn’t open the throttle. After a few more laps it was dangerous to ride the bike so I had to stop. I don’t know what else to say. We made all the processes and procedures to know the tyre 100% but it looks like it can be a lottery. We’ll talk to Michelin and try to learn from this.”

MotoGP Australia Pol Espargaro
Pol Espargaro

Davide Brivio – Suzuki ECSTAR Team Manager

“This has been another very good day for our team, we took another podium, the second in a row and the third in 4 races. Andrea had a great battle with many riders and was able to finish 2nd. Because of this big battle it was hard to catch the leader, but anyway, it was a good race and we scored our 7th podium of the season. Alex finishing 5th was also very positive, Top 5 is really important to us. I really hope we can continue like this for the last two rounds of the season and thanks again to everybody involved for always working hard, especially on difficult times.”

MotoGP Australia Iannone
Andrea Iannone
Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha MotoGP Team Director

“What a thrilling and dramatic race! Maverick is always strong at the Phillip Island circuit, and he once again outdid himself in Australia today. He really deserved the victory, because he had been strong the entire weekend. It‘s a great feeling for the team to secure a win again – we have all been working so hard for this. It‘s not just us who have been waiting, but also our fans, so this is as much for them as it is for us. It was a pity that Vale wasn‘t able to join the podium, because he was showing great potential for the majority of the race. It would have been great to have him up there too. He and his crew have also been pushing to the maximum, but sixth place was really the best he could do today due to tyre wear at the end of the race. Overall this weekend has been a great moral boost, because both riders were competitive, so we‘re all looking forward to the next round, the Grand Prix of Malaysia, in just a week‘s time.”

MotoGP Australia Vinales Forcada
Maverick Vinales with crew chief Roman Forcada
Hervé Poncharal – Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team Manager

“There are some days you wish what you see is a dream – or rather a nightmare. But unfortunately, what we saw today was reality. We had high hopes with a great Qualifying from both of our riders, Johann on the front row and Hafizh with his best ever Qualifying in 10th. The start was difficult as usual, it was a big pack as we saw in the other two classes and clearly, Johann was trying to find his way through the field after a bit hectic lap one. We could see that he was really fast and I think he wanted to use the advantage of the soft-soft choice he had made for front and rear and that was quite intense until that incident, which was unbelievable. When you see a rider going down at such a high speed – I think he touched the ground at 280 km/h – for the few seconds following the incident, you just hope nothing bad will happen. Johann had a really good reflex and although his bottom is quite sore, he was strong to walk back to the garage and be still fully fit and ready to race the next round. That was a big thing. Unfortunate for the fans and the racing overall, Marc and Johann were out of the race, which made it less exciting. So, our focus went on Hafizh, who was behind the leading group until he slowly los the contact. But he was still holding on a good eighth position and we were quite happy because although he was loosing ground he was still keeping a good pace and he crashed without any warning, without really understanding why. That was the end of our weekend. Both of our riders could have been really strong and both of them get no points, which is a big disappointment. I know you always have to keep up the ‘never-give-up-attitude’, but today it is hard, also with Remy in the Moto2 class. The only good thing is, our riders are fit, ok and we have a race next week.”

MotoGP Phillip Island Moto Wayne Remy Gardner GP AN
Remy Gardner
Mike Leitner – KTM Team Manager MotoGP

“Race conditions can be difficult here and so can tyre choice. It went quite well for Bradley and he ran where he we think we can be – between 8-10. We lost ninth position by four hundredths of a second: it was very close. A shame for Pol. He had a different tyre choice but then other riders also had that selection. In the middle of the race he had a very big drop which is not usual and he had to stop. So we need to analyse what happened. He should have also been able to fight for the top ten. We’ll go to Malaysia now and try to make it happen.”

MotoGP Australia Bradley Smith Pol Espargaro
Bradley Smith & Pol Espargaro
Piero Taramasso – Michelin Motorsport Two-Wheel Manager

“Phillip Island is always a big challenge and this year was certainly no different. The strong gusting winds and cold temperatures made it difficult for everyone, but the whole Michelin team worked in a very professional and methodical way with the riders to make sure the tyres which were best suited to the conditions and riding styles were used today. Despite the challenges, the race was very exciting and it is good for Michelin to have another winner, both rider and manufacturer, and it is also pleasing to see all six manufacturers in the top-ten and three different ones on the podium. We are constantly striving to give tyres to all that they can use to the best of their abilities, so having results such as this are very rewarding. The Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix is a very big occasion on the company’s calendar and this has been another great event. We have again learned a lot about the toughest track of the year and this will enable us to come back even stronger next year.”

MotoGP Australia Michelin
Michelin at the Australian MotoGP 2018

RESULTS

2018 Phillip Island MotoGP Results
PosRiderTeamTime
1.Vinales M.Movistar Yamaha40:51.081
2.Iannone A.Team Suzuki Ecstar+1.543
3.Dovizioso A.Ducati Team+1.832
4.Bautista A.Ducati Team+4.072
5.Rins A.Team Suzuki Ecstar+5.017
6.Rossi V.Movistar Yamaha+5.132
7.Miller J.Alma Pramac Racing+6.756
8.Morbidelli F.Marc VDS Racing Team+21.805
9.Espargaro A.Aprilia Racing Team Gresini+22.904
10.Smith B.Red Bull KTM Factory Racing+22.940
11.Abraham K.Angel Nieto Team+34.386
12.Petrucci D.Alma Pramac Racing+35.025
13.Redding S.Aprilia Racing Team Gresini+36.348
14.Nakagami T.LCR Honda+36.389
15.Simeon X.Reale Avintia Racing+44.214
16.Luthi T.Marc VDS Racing Team+48.226
17.Torres J.Reale Avintia Racing+1:04.965
18.Jones M.Angel Nieto Team+1:19.817
DNFEspargaro P.Red Bull KTM Factory RacingDNF
DNFSyahrin H.Monster Tech 3DNF
DNFPedrosa D.Repsol HondaDNF
DNFMarquez M.Repsol HondaDNF
DNFZarco J.Monster Tech 3DNF

 

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

2018 MotoGP Championship Standings
PosRiderTeamPoints
1.Marquez MarcRepsol Honda Team296
2.Dovizioso AndreaDucati Team210
3.Rossi ValentinoMovistar Yamaha MotoGP195
4.Vinales MaverickMovistar Yamaha MotoGP180
5.Crutchlow CalLCR Honda148
6.Petrucci DaniloAlma Pramac Racing137
7.Zarco JohannMonster Yamaha Tech 3133
8.Iannone AndreaTeam Suzuki Ecstar133
9.Lorenzo JorgeDucati Team130
10.Rins AlexTeam Suzuki Ecstar129
11.Bautista AlvaroAngel Nieto Team96
12.Pedrosa DaniRepsol Honda Team95
13.Miller JackAlma Pramac Racing83
14.Morbidelli FrancoMarc VDS Racing Team46
15.Espargaro AleixAprilia Racing Team Gresini39
16.Rabat TitoReale Avintia Racing35
17.Espargaro PolRed Bull KTM Factory Racing35
18.Syahrin HafizhMonster Yamaha Tech 334
19.Smith BradleyRed Bull KTM Factory Racing29
20.Nakagami TakaakiLCR Honda21
21.Redding ScottAprilia Racing Team Gresini15
22.Abraham KarelAngel Nieto Team10
23.Kallio MikaRed Bull KTM Factory Racing6
24.Nakasuga KatsuyukiYamaha Factory Team2
25.Simeon XavierReale Avintia Racing1
26.Pirro MicheleDucati Team1
27.Luthi ThomasMarc VDS Racing Team0
28.Bradl StefanHonda Racing Corporation0
29.Torres JordiMV Agusta Reparto Corse0
30.Jones MikeReale Avintia Racing0
31.Guintoli SylvainPata Yamaha Official WSBK Team0
32.Ponsson ChristophePonsson C.0

 

2018 MotoGP Team Points
PosTeamPoints
1.Repsol Honda Team391
2.Movistar Yamaha MotoGP375
3.Ducati Team353
4.Suzuki MotoGP262
5.Alma Pramac Racing220
6.LCR Honda169
7.Monster Yamaha Tech 3167
8.Angel Nieto Team93
9.Red Bull KTM Factory Racing64
10.Aprilia Racing Team Gresini54
11.Estrella Galicia 0,046
12.Reale Avintia Racing36

 

MOTOGP