— MotoGP 2012 – Round 17 – Phillip Island
— Lorenzo and Márquez crowned as Stoner makes it six in Australia
This weekend’s AirAsia Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island was the setting for not only some tremendous races but also the crowing of two World Champions in the shape of Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo in the MotoGP™ premier-class and Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol’s Marc Márquez in the intermediate Moto2™ category.
Despite Repsol Honda Team’s local hero Casey Stoner taking a dominant sixth win in succession in his final-ever home race, an error from the Australian’s teammate Dani Pedrosa and second place from Lorenzo was enough for the Mallorcan to be crowned 2012 MotoGP World Champion.
It was Lorenzo that got the holeshot into turn one after a lightning start, with Pedrosa close on his tail in front of Stoner. Pedrosa was boisterous from the off and pushed past Lorenzo within a couple of turns as he tried to pull away. Local hero Stoner was soon all over Lorenzo and took him on the home straight heading into lap two. Shortly after there was huge drama as Pedrosa pushed too hard and lost the rear of his bike, with Stoner and Lorenzo closely behind. The Spaniard was able to remount, yet had to pit with the bike too damaged, leaving Lorenzo in a strong position to take the world title.
As Stoner pulled away at the front in dominant fashion, an entertaining battle for third ensued being led by Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow, followed by teammate Andrea Dovizioso, San Carlo Honda Gresini’s Álvaro Bautista and LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl. In the meantime, Paul Bird Motorsport’s James Ellison crashed out of the race, while NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Colin Edwards had to retire due to a technical issue. With 18 laps remaining Crutchlow was on a charge as he was lapping faster than Lorenzo, dropping off Dovizioso slightly, who had Bautista stuck to his rear wheel. Behind them, Ducati Team’s Valentino Rossi was leading a battle of the Desmosedicis ahead of Cardion AB Racing’s Karel Abraham and Ducati’s Nicky Hayden.
Stoner was leading at the front with Lorenzo and lonely second and Crutchlow a lonely third, yet Bautista, Bradl and Dovizioso were at each other’s throat throughout. With eight laps to go Speed Master’s Roberto Rolfo retired with a mechanical issue. Further afield and Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaró was tussling with teammate Randy de Puniet in their battle for CRT supremacy, with the two swapping positions frequently. With five laps remaining Dovizioso went past Bradl into fourth, whilst Bautista capitalised on this and also squeezed past the German for fifth. And two laps before the end the trio provided fairing-to-fairing action with Dovizioso leading into the last lap, and keeping this position until the line.
Yet ultimately it was Stoner who made it six wins in succession at the Australian track on his final bow at his home circuit, with Lorenzo clinching his second premier-class title with one round to go – the only Spaniard to have more than one. Crutchlow put in a terrific ride as he stormed to his second ever GP podium, despite suffering from illness. Dovizioso was the first non-podium finisher, followed by Bautista, Bradl, Rossi, Hayden, Abraham, as well as Espargaró, who came out on top in the CRT battle with his teammate.
The race was a huge draw for the Australian crowd as an estimated 53,100 fans descended on the track on Sunday, making the estimated three-day attendance a record breaking 122,470.
1. Casey Stoner (AUS) Repsol Honda Team 41’01.324
2. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Yamaha Factory Racing + 9.223
3. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) Yamaha Tech3 + 14.570
4. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Yamaha Tech3 + 23.303
5. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Honda Gresini + 23.432
6. Stefan Bradl (GER) LCR Honda + 23.467
7. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Ducati Team + 37.113
8. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati Team + 38.387
9. Karel Abraham (CZE) Cardion AB Motoracing + 52.613
10. Aleix Espargaro (SPA) Power Electronics Aspar + 1’00.299
11. Randy De Puniet (FRA) Power Electronics Aspar + 1’00.342
12. Hector Barbera (SPA) Pramac Racing Team + 1’21.951
13. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Came Iodaracing Project + 1’27.857
14. Michele Pirro (ITA) San Carlo Honda Gresini After 1 laps
15. Ivan Silva (SPA) Avintia Racing After 1 laps
16. James Ellison (UK) Paul Bird Motorsport Not classified (22 laps)
17. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda Team Not classified (26 laps)
18. Roberto Rolfo (ITA) Speed Master Not classified (9 laps)
19. Colin Edwards (USA) NGM Mobile Forward Racing Not classified (21 laps)
1 Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Yamaha Factory Racing 350
2 Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda Team 307
3 Casey Stoner (AUS) Repsol Honda Team 238
4 Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Yamaha Tech3 208
5 Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Honda Gresini 165
6 Valentino Rossi (ITA) Ducati Team 157
7 Cal Crutchlow (GBR) Yamaha Tech3 151
8 Stefan Bradl (GER) LCR Honda 135
9 Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati Team 122
10 Ben Spies (USA) Yamaha Factory Racing 88
11 Hector Barbera (SPA) Pramac Racing Team 83
12 Aleix Espargaro (SPA) Power Electronics Aspar 69
13 Randy De Puniet (FRA) Power Electronics Aspar 58
14 Karel Abraham (CZE) Cardion AB Motoracing 50
15 Michele Pirro (ITA) San Carlo Honda Gresini 32
Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol’s Marc Márquez was crowned Moto2™ World Champion at today’s AirAsia Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island after coming third in an enthralling race won by Tuenti Movil HP 40’s Pol Espargaró with Anthony West second.
Pole-man Espargaró had a bad start as he was taken by Italtrans Racing Team’s Takaaki Nakagami, Márquez and Interwetten-Paddock’s Tom Lüthi in the first few bends. Yet within one lap Espargaró was leading Márquez as the Spanish duo started to spar, in front of Marc VDS Racing Team’s Scott Redding, Nakagami and JiR Moto2’s Johann Zarco.
A lap later and Espargaró already looked in a league of his own as he had pulled out a significant gap over Márquez in second. With 20 laps to go Speed Master’s Andrea Iannone retired with an engine problem, as Redding made his was past Márquez into second. At the same time, QMMF Racing’s Anthony West led a big group for fourth, with Technomag-CIP’s Dominique Aegerter and Came IodaRacing Project’s Simone Corsi in tow.
With 12 laps remaining Lüthi looked to be struggling as he had dropped into 12th, while Espargaró’s teammate Esteve Rabat had fought his way up to sixth. And couple of laps later Lüthi’s race got even worse as he crashed out, citing a rear tyre issue. Eight laps before the end West had dropped off his group and was edging ever closer to Márquez to challenge for third. The pursuing group fighting for fifth saw Marc VDS’ Mika Kallio and GP Team Switzerland’s Randy Krummenacher join the fight as the six of them were bunched tightly.
With three laps left West made his move on Márquez much to the delight of the local crowd. The Australian then tried a move on Redding, but couldn’t make it stick, as Kallio was forced to drop his bike into the gravel after being bumped by Corsi. The action was then back at the front again as West made a brave move into second, only to then be dramatically followed by Márquez in the final corner, relegating Redding to fourth.
Espargaró took the chequered flag with an enormous margin of over 16 seconds, with West taking his second ever Moto2™ podium in front of an ecstatic home crowd. The final spot on the rostrum went to Márquez, who is now the fifth Spanish rider to have won the intermediate-class, and the first to do so on a Suter bike. The first non-podium finisher in fourth was Redding ahead of Aegerter, Zarco, Corsi, Rabat, Krummenacher and Nakagami.
It was also confirmed after the race that NGM Mobile Forward Racing’s Alex de Angelis had undergone successful surgery at the Epworth Richmond Hospital on his finger injuries from yesterday, and was on his path to recovery. His return date has however not been confirmed.
In a thrilling Moto3™ race at the AirAsia Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island it was Red Bull KTM Ajo’s World Champion Sandro Cortese who took a strong victory ahead of Miguel Oliveira and local rider Arthur Sissis.
AirAsia-SIC-Ajo’s Zulfahmi Khairuddin got a lighting start as he led the early stages, followed by RW Racing GP’s Luis Salom, who had made his way up from ninth. Mapfre Aspar Team Moto3’s Jonas Folger and Racing Team Germany’s Louis Rossi were in tow, as Cortese was stalking them from behind. Mahindra Racing’s weekend took a turn for the worse as Ricardo Moretti had to retire after just a few laps.
In a dramatic twist, Folger, Salom, Rossi, Andalucia JHK t-shirt Laglisse’s Alberto Moncayo and Caretta Technology’s Jack Miller were given ride-through penalties for jump-starts. Rossi, before even seeing the board, made an error in the leading pack as he went onto the grass, but managed to stay upright. TT Motion Events Racing’s Niklas Ajo saved a near crash with 16 laps remaining, whilst Cortese had taken over the lead after much of the leading pack had completed their penalties. Also making use of this was Estrella Galicia 0,0’s Miguel Oliveira in second, whilst Blusens Avintia’s Maverick Viñales was tussling with Cortese’s teammate Arthur Sissis for fourth.
13 laps before the end and Ajo was not so lucky again as he dropped his bike in the gravel. Meanwhile, Team Italia FMI duo of Romano Fenati and Alessandro Tonucci, Oliveira’s teammate Alex Rins, JHK t-shirt Laglisse’s Efrén Vázquez and Red Bull’s Danny Kent had joined the group chasing the final podium spot. Folger’s teammate Luca Amato retired from the race at the halfway point. With eight laps remaining it was drama for Viñales as he crashed his bike, putting an end to his charge.
Two laps later and Oliveira made his move on Cortese to take the lead for the first time. On the same lap, Racing Team Germany’s Toni Finsterbusch suffered a mechanical issue and retired from the race. Khairuddin then suffered a similar fate, as Cortese re-took the lead. The last two laps proved a thrilling affair in the fight for the final podium spot between Rins, Sissis, Kent, Fenati and Vázquez, with the riders going fairing-to-fairing at times.
In the end it was Cortese who crossed the line first ahead of podium sitters Oliveira and Sissis, with the Australian particularly pleased to get his first GP podium in front of his home crowd. With the country’s MotoGP star Casey Stoner retiring at the end of this year, the crowd will be happy to see that a possible replacement is coming up through the ranks. Fourth place went to Rins, followed by Kent, Fenati, Tonucci, Vázquez, Ambrogio Next Racing’s Alex Márquez and Ongetta-Centro Seta’s Isaac Viñales. Rins now leads the Rookie standings from Fenati by 5 points.
— Yamaha Report
Yamaha Factory Racing rider Jorge Lorenzo wrapped up a season of domination today with second on the podium in the Grand Prix of Australia to claim his second MotoGP World Championship title, becoming Spain’s first ever double premier-class Grand Prix Champion. Starting from second on the grid, Lorenzo took the hole shot from the start line, but dropped to third initially behind Championship rival Dani Pedrosa and race leader Casey Stoner. As the leading pack ran through turn four Pedrosa crashed out, leaving Stoner and Lorenzo to break away. The Championship leader delivered a textbook race of inch perfect laps, maintaining the gap to Cal Crutchlow chasing in third, eventually crossing the line to claim the 2012 MotoGP Rider’s title.
The win puts Lorenzo on 350 points, 43 clear of Pedrosa going into the final round. Over the season The World Champion amassed an impressive six race wins and ten second place finishes to secure the title. He now heads to his home race free from the pressure to win and happy to deliver one last race of the year in front of his home crowd.
Jorge Lorenzo – Position : 2nd Time: +9.223
“What a day! I’m very happy, it was easier than I expected because Dani made a mistake in a corner and crashed. I wanted to keep with Casey but he was so strong. Today all I had to do was finish the race and I have become World Champion for the second time. It’s such a sweet feeling! I want to thank all the team, Yamaha, my family, my friends, sponsors and fans who support me. Today is an amazing moment. We’ve been very patient, very concentrated and finally the World title arrives!”
Wilco Zeelenberg – Team Manager
“It was a very exciting start to the Phillip Island race, we knew we had to beat Dani and of course he knew as well so he pushed really hard in the beginning. In the end it was a bit too hard, but chapeau to him for trying. We knew we had good pace and think we maybe could have beaten him anyway on consistency. From that point Jorge only had to bring it home. He’s had a great season of wins or second places and now the world Championship title!”
Massimo Meregalli – Team Director
“Jorge has really delivered an amazing season for Yamaha and again today we saw his trademark consistency and dedication to deliver second on the podium. From the first race in Qatar his consistency and dedication have been that of a champion so we fully expected he could achieve the best result possible. I want to thank the whole Team who have also been responsible for the success, working as hard as him to make sure he has had a competitive bike to fight with his rivals at each round. It has been a pleasure to watch him ride this year, he is a worthy champion.”
— HRC Report
Casey Stoner (Repsol Honda RC213V) capped off a dream weekend with his sixth win in a row at his cherished Phillip Island Circuit before a record crowd of his sun-splashed fellow countrymen.
All weekend long it was clear that the reigning world champion was the man to beat and in the end no one could. So certain were the race organisers of his supremacy that they passed out paper crowns to celebrate the king’s final coronation. He did not disappoint.
Though he also did not lead every lap. Team-mate Dani Pedrosa led the first of 27 laps in his quest to keep his championship hopes alive. But in the Honda hairpin on the second lap disaster struck. Pedrosa went into the corner with a bit too much pace and crashed, ending his title hopes. Then it was up to Stoner to fly the Honda flag and he did, proudly.
For the remaining 26 laps he put on a master clinic, easing away from Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo. Stoner’s lead was never in doubt and when he crossed the line first for the sixth time at Phillip Island, and took his fourth win of the season, he had a cushion of 9.223s.
So dominant has Stoner been at Phillip Island that of the 162 race laps run over the past six years, Stoner has led 160 of them.
Lorenzo would go on to finish second to win the 2012 MotoGP World Championship with Yamaha rider Cal Crutchlow third. Pedrosa is guaranteed second in the championship and Stoner third in his final season before retiring.
Alvaro Bautista (San Carlo Honda Gresini RC213V) battled Stefan Bradl to the very end, along with Yamaha rider Andrea Dovizioso. Theirs was the fight for fourth and it went down to the very end. The trio swapped positions on the final two laps, with Dovizioso taking the spot by .129s over Bautista, with Bradl only .035s behind in sixth.
Michele Pirro (San Carlo Honda Gresini FTR) struggled with fairing problems towards the end of the race and finished a lap down in 14th. Still, riding the Honda CBR1000RR-powered FTR he scored points for the sixth race in a row, his most productive stretch of his rookie season.
Marc Marquez (Team CatalunyaCaixa Repsol – Suter) celebrated the Moto2 World Championship by finishing a strong third.
Marquez needed only two points in the final two races to secure the title that he came close to winning last year. Rather than play it safe, Marquez attacked from the start. But early on it was evident that no one was going to match the pace of Pol Espargaro
Taking the lead on the third of 25 laps, Espargaro set a blistering pace that added a second to his lead on a number of laps. He continued to pull away and crossed the finish line with a gaping 16.811s margin of victory.
The win was his fourth of the year, but it could not prevent Marquez from adding the Moto2 crown to his early 125cc World Championship. Marquez returns to Spain with an insurmountable 39 point lead. And Espargaro is guaranteed second; his lead over Andrea Iannone (Speed Master – Speed Up), third in the championship, is 72 points.
Iannone was forced out of the race with a mechanical issue.
For the locals the day belonged to Anthony West (QMMF Racing Team-Speed Up). The veteran had gone seven years between podiums before finishing second last week in Malaysia. But that was in the rain, his specialty. Today he was narrowly second in the dry; second through fourth were covered by .147s. Marquez got a strong drive out of the final corner to pass Scott Redding (Marc VDS Racing Team – Kalex) for third and narrowly miss out on beating Westie.
Redding deserved a podium, but had to settle for a secure fourth. Nine seconds back Dominique Aegerter (Technomag-CIP Suter) won the battle for fifth in a photo finish over Johnathan Zarco (JiR Moto2 – Motobi), with Simone Corsi (Came IodaRacing Project – FTR) a mere .063s behind.
Tito Rabat (Tuenti Movil HP 40 – Kalex) Randy Krummenacher (GP Team Switzerland – Kalex) and Takaaki Nakagami (Italtrans Racing Team –Kalex) finished within .208 secs. of each other to fill out the top ten.
Miguel Oliveira (Estrella Galicia 0,0 – Suter Honda) chased recently crowned world champion Sandro Cortese almost to the stripe to record a career best second place finish in the Moto3 class.
Cortese and Oliveira cleared out on the seventh lap in the 23-lap race, after a number of riders, including the leaders, were docked ride-through penalties after jumping the start.
Oliveira took his time at the point for two laps late in the race, but Cortese saw that the pace was slowing and re-took the lead on lap 20 of 23, running out the string. Oliveira was strong to the finish to take second. His previous best had been third in Catalunya.
Alex Rins (Estrella Galicia 0,0 – Suter Honda) missed out on third by only .053s. The Phillip Island first-timer moved from sixth to fourth on the penultimate lap, holding off Danny Kent (KTM) at the line. Kent, in turn, just shaded Romano Fenati (Team Italia FMI- FTR Honda) by .002s.
Fenati’s team-mate Alessandro Tonucci was seventh.
The season concludes back in Europe, at Valencia, on November 11.
Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda: Race winner
“It was very important for me to win a race before the end of the season and I’m really happy to do it here, at home, in front of the huge crowd. My biggest worry was to be fit again and competitive for this race, but we managed it and we had something over everyone else and this was the perfect way to say goodbye here. I was pretty nervous going into the race, but the conditions were fantastic for a Phillip Island race. When I knew I only had a few laps left and a big lead, I was watching the crowd and it was fantastic to see everyone cheering me on, it made me very proud to be Australian. My biggest congratulations to Jorge [Lorenzo]. He’s ridden an almost perfect season finishing first or second when possible and I’m just disappointed not to be in the championship fight, but I made my own mistakes and this is how things go. My condolences to Dani [Pedrosa] I saw him crash out in front of me but he had to push today and go out and win the race to keep his championship hopes alive. It was a small mistake, easy to do in this corner and I feel very sorry for him. Thanks to everyone for coming down and showing their support.”
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda: DNF
“It’s a sad feeling more than disappointment; I pushed as hard as I could; I did what I had to do and I have no regrets for my riding, especially this season. I feel very proud of my team and of my performance throughout the year. I think after what happened in Misano, we showed a very good attitude, skill and power. So, there is some sadness because we’ve been closer than ever to take the title, but also proud for all we achieved. Concerning the crash, it was nothing strange; I just went wider on the corner, I had some chatter and lost the front; maybe the tyre was not warm enough as well, but it’s like it is. Congratulations to Casey [Stoner] for his sixth win at his home grand prix and to Lorenzo because he deserved the championship, as well as Marc Márquez in Moto2.”
Alvaro Bautista, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 5th “We have achieved our objective here, but I have to recognise that if it wasn’t for the crash from Dani Pedrosa I would have been sixth. I am disappointed for him because he has produced some extraordinary races recently but today he lost the championship on the second lap. This morning in the warm-up we could see that (Cal) Crutchlow had a better pace than us so when I saw Pedrosa crash I just tried my best to stick in the group behind Lorenzo in the hope we could fight for the podium but we were lacking straight line speed. All the time I lost down the straight I had to make up for the rest of the lap, but it was a fun battle with Dovizioso and Bradl, we passed each other many times and the race went quickly for me. I made one last attempt at the end but again Dovizioso got me down the straight and then did a good job to close every door. Anyway it’s a positive result so thanks to all the team and now let’s hope we can seal fifth in the championship at Valencia.”
Stefan Bradl, LCR Honda MotoGP: 6th
“Off course we are all happy because we did not expect such a close fight for the fourth place today after the difficult first day of practices we had here. It’s a shame that we lost the fourth place, because I was on hard tyre today and had a small advantage on my competitors, so I thought I could take it. But the other guys had other advantages on me so we were plus or minus on the same level. But on the last lap I was stopped by Bautista and Dovi (Dovizioso) passed me. I am not the one who usually lost the battle, but I am quite happy anyway because we showed our pace once again and want to thank the team for their excellent job this weekend.”
Michel Pirro, San Carlo Honda Gresini: 14th “The objective was to finish as the third highest CRT, but we had a problem with the fairing that cost us time at the end of the race. It is a shame but I am happy to come away from this race with two points that consolidate my position as the third highest CRT in the championship and that is important.”
Moto2 rider quotes
Pol Espargaro, Tuenti Movil HP 40 – Kalex: Race winner: “Surely I have done and the biggest race of my career, as perfect as when I won the the Spanish Championship. I was able to start fast, with both pace and with such an advantage to beat my opponents. I felt very comfortable in Phillip Island from the first practice and needed a race like this, because to validate my performance in practice. We lost the title mathematically and I congratulate Marc Marquez, who has been a worthy champion, but I said we would fight to the last breath, and I have. I did not want surprises, I started from the first moments and I’ve been running away with a brutal pace that I have not slowed down to the checkered flag. Now I hope to finish 2012 in Valencia, to celebrate with family, friends, and fans in general Espargarins, and then start working hard so that 2013 is my year.”
Anthony West, QMMF Racing Team – Speed Up: 2nd “It’s amazing. It’s crazy how things work. I spent the last ten years fighting for this position and then it just comes twice in a row.
It’s crazy. And to think I started the season without a ride and last minute turn up in Qatar and start riding for this team. So I really have to thank them a lot for giving me the chance to continue and for me this is a much better result that last weekend. Last weekend was just a big confidence booster for me. And that’s what I needed. I’ve been so sort of down and that’s what I needed to pump myself back up and this is the real result that I wanted in the dry. And everyone keeps telling me the wet man and the rain’s coming and it’s good, but I’m happy to be in the dry and have this result. And I want to congratulate Marquez on his title. It’s great.
Marc Marquez, Team CatalunyaCaixa – Suter: 3rd “It’s an incredible feeling, a dream. When you cross the finish line it is a great moment, but it happens very fast. The best bit comes with the celebration with the team. It is very satisfying to win the title. At this time I remember the hard times this year, the injuries, the support of my family and team. I cannot help but get emotional. It was a very difficult title victory, because Pol [Espargaró] has not made it at all easy for me and deserves my congratulations for the great season he’s had. After the serious injury I suffered a year ago, which could taken me away from racing forever, the most important thing is that I was able to get back riding. This season the team formed a magnificent group. I have never felt so comfortable in a team before.
We have full confidence in one another.”
— Ducati Report
The Australian Grand Prix, which today saw Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo crowned world champions in the Moto2 and MotoGP classes, respectively, proved to be particularly challenging for the Ducati Team and its two riders, who brought home seventh and eighth place points.
Despite working hard along with their respective teams, Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden weren’t able to maintain a fast enough race pace to fight with the group of riders whose lap times they had approached over the previous two days.
The Australian race completes the long overseas trip and leaves only the Spanish round in Valencia, which will close out the 2012 season in two weeks.
Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team) 7th
“As far as the result is concerned, I think seventh place is probably the best that was possible, whereas the gap could have been better. Nicky was with me the whole race. I was ahead and I pushed, but I was never able to shake him. The bike I crashed with in the warm-up had some small changes that we wanted to try, but honestly, I don’t think I could have done much more. I’m not able to enter the corners fast because whenever I try, I go too wide. I have to brake earlier, try to keep a bit of margin, and then accelerate as soon as possible, but by opening the gas very early, with the bike leaned over, the tyre heats up a lot on the edges. Today it immediately started sliding too much. Complements to Marquez and Lorenzo for their titles, which both of them certainly deserve.”
Nicky Hayden (Ducati Team) 8th
“It was a really hard weekend. Normally I love Phillip Island, but we did 32.3s in FP1 and haven’t been able to improve grip and turning much since, despite making a lot of changes. I felt a little better in the race and was able to fight with Valentino a little bit. He was faster in the beginning, but once the tyres went away, I could manage, although front-tyre wear hurt me toward the end. I thought I might be able to have a go at him in the last couple of laps, but then I ran wide in turn 11 and he got a break on me. He was going to be tough to beat anyway. It’s frustrating, because I remember battling with Valentino for the win here, and we’ve been on the podium together a few times at this track. Thanks to the team because we really tried everything this weekend.”
Vittoriano Guareschi, Team Manager
“It was a very challenging weekend for the team and the riders, even if everyone tried their best to find a setup that would work on this track. Today’s crash in the warm-up certainly didn’t help Valentino, but anyway, I don’t think things would have gone much differently. Nicky had a difficult time all weekend. Back home, we’ll have to analyse all the data we’ve gathered and do better at Valencia in the last race.”
— Bridgestone Report
Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium. Rear: Medium, Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)
Weather: Dry. Ambient 16-16°C; Track 33-33°C (Bridgestone measurement)
Repsol Honda’s Casey Stoner took his sixth consecutive victory at Phillip Island in a dominating display as Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo claimed the 2012™ MotoGP championship after finishing second in the Australian Grand Prix.
Starting on pole for his last home Grand Prix, Stoner didn’t get the best of starts but inherited the race lead after his teammate Dani Pedrosa suffered an unfortunate low-speed crash at Honda Hairpin on lap two that ended his title aspirations. From that point on Stoner built a comfortable lead and took the checkered flag 9.223 seconds ahead of a jubilant Lorenzo, while Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Cal Crutchlow stepped up to the podium for the second time this year after finishing in third place. Power Electronics Aspar’s Aleix Espargaro again took the honours among the CRT riders, narrowly beating teammate Randy de Puniet to tenth place by just 0.043 seconds.
Track conditions for today’s race were the best they were all weekend, though low ambient temperatures and a persistent sea breeze kept track temperatures in the low 30°C range. The moderate track temperature for the race made softer option slicks the preferred choice, with all riders selecting the soft compound front slick, while every rider except LCR Honda’s Stefan Bradl selected the softer rear option – the medium compound slick.
Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“The weather was better today but still quite cool meaning that softer compound slicks were preferred by almost every rider for the race. Morning Warm Up gave some riders the opportunity to test the harder slick options both front and rear, but it was still too cool for these options to work effectively, especially for the front tyre. Track temperatures increased slightly in the afternoon, though only one rider selected the harder rear slick for the race. Considering the cool, unpredictable weather we’ve had at Phillip Island I am satisfied with tyre performance as there were no complaints about warm-up performance which is always a major consideration at this circuit.”
Casey Stoner, Repsol Honda – Race Winner
“It’s been a fantastic build up and it was very important for me to win a race before I retired and to do it at my home Grand Prix was a fairy tale. The fans have been amazing, I’ve never seen Cowes so busy and I know a big part of that is because of this being my last race here so it gives me a great feeling and pride as an Aussie to go out there and win today.”