A three-way fight for MotoGP Riders’ Runners up spot at Phillip Island

 2014 MotoGP Silverston Dani Pedrosa With the Riders’ Championship already decided, the upcoming Grand Prix of Australia at Phillip Island, Round 16 of the MotoGP Championship, will determine who gets an edge for the runners up position. The runners up slugfest would be between Dani Pedrosa, Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo. Besides the runners spot, there are the Constructors’ and Teams’ titles to slug it out for between Honda and Yamaha and the Repsol Honda team and Yamaha MotoGP. Honda holds the advantage in the manufacturers’ rankings with a 60-point lead, while Repsol Honda has an 85-point advantage over the factory Yamaha team in the teams’ title chase.

Following a second place finish at the Motegi track, Marc Marquez has firmed up his repeat title and became the youngest double Champion in MotoGP’s modern era. Since his ten straight wins and 11th win at Silverstone, Marquez hasn’t won a race in the last few but the low-ranked finishes at Misano and Aragon, undoubtedly, added up precious points to his points total in order to seal another title before the season runs out. His riders’ standings lead of 82 points after the Motegi round puts it beyond the reach of Pedrosa, Rossi and Lorenzo. Marquez’s back-to-back titles feat exceeded Mike Hailwood’s ’62 – ’63 feat, and he is hailed the youngest double champion.

Marquez’s Phillip Island record includes not only a controversial disqualification for a procedural error in last year’s race, robbing him of a chance to tie up the championship early, but also a race win on a 125 in 2010, and successive Moto2 podium finishes in the following two years.

Three-way slugfest for the 2nd best rider in MotoGP between Pedrosa, Rossi and Lorenzo

His team mate has a better record here with a 250cc win in 2005, and two top-three finishes in MotoGP, including second last year. Pedrosa has won a race this season, along with three second places and five thirds to maintain tied second for the runners up spot.

In the Yamaha camp, both Lorenzo and Rossi are vying to supersede Pedrosa for the runners up spot in the last three. Lorenzo who won a fantastic bout at Motegi last time out currently lies third, just three points behind Rossi and Pedrosa. The Yamaha ace holds the record for the fastest lap of 1:27.899 at the Phillip Island circuit from last season. Phillip Island happens to be Lorenzo’s favorite circuit, with wins in 2010, 2012, his championship winning year, and 2013.

Rossi looks forward to defending his second place in the standings from his teammate and Pedrosa. The Doctor’s experience at this track certainly comes in handy as he has amassed five straight wins from 2001 – 05 and seven podium finishes in the previous years.

Satellite Honda riders have their own missions to fulfill at Phillip Island

Satellite riders Stefan Bradl and Alvaro Bautista are locked on their own battles for a better standing. Bradl lies ninth overall, after a season including two fourth places in four top-five finishes. The German has twice been second at Phillip Island, once on a 125 and once in Moto2, and finished sixth in his first MotoGP season in 2012. He missed last season’s race due to an ankle injury.

Bautista has stood on the rostrum this year, with third at the French GP, but six non-finishes have dented his score, and he lies 11th overall, aiming squarely at the top ten. He has a race win in 125 in 2006, a pair of second places on a 250, and was fifth in MotoGP for the past two years at Phillip Island.

Ducati riders Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow look to consolidate their positions in the standings at Phillip Island. Dovizioso ranks fifth with 153 points, ahead of the two Espargaros, in the standings. He should be a consistent front runner in qualifying and the race in Melbourne this weekend. Crutchlow, in this final races for Ducati, lies 12th in the standings with 63 points. The Briton has Bautista ahead of him and faces a challenge for 12th spot from youngster Scott Redding, who’s only two points adrift.