Rossi looks forward to battling at the front of the field once again this weekend at a circuit he lists as one of his favorites. His love for the Phillip Island circuit clearly shows in his résumé. He enjoyed a stunning five-year winning streak starting from 2001, and claimed an additional victory last year, topping a full-Yamaha podium. Rossi also got to pop champagne in 2008 and 2009 when he scored second places and in 2000, 2006, 2007, 2010, and 2013, when he finished third.
After securing his ninth podium of the season in Motegi, Lorenzo is eager to get back aboard his YZR-M1. Though the margin between him and his teammate in the overall standings may have grown last weekend, he has not lost an ounce of his fighting spirit. Conveniently, Phillip Island is also one of his most-beloved circuits and the Spaniard also holds and impressive scorecard there. He claimed three second places in the premier class in 2010, 2012 and 2014, spurted to a supreme victory in 2013 and set the current circuit best lap record of 1:27.899 around the 4.4 km track during qualifying that same year.
Repsol Honda is basking on Dani Pedrosa’s fantastic first victory of the season on Honda’s home ground, last time out. Pedrosa and Reigning Champion Marc Marquez have had mixed results here in the past, Pedrosa celebrating a solitary win here in 2005 (250cc), a 3rd place finish in 2009 (MotoGP) and a 2nd place in 2013 (MotoGP). “It was a great result in Motegi, after a difficult weekend. I am feeling really positive and we have good momentum as we head to Australia for the next race. Phillip Island can be tricky due to the weather conditions so we will work hard and try to get a good qualifying position,” Pedrosa said.
Marquez also only has one win to his name here in 2010 (125cc), and two 3rd place finishes in Moto2 (2011, 2012). Both will be eager to put last year behind them, after the team suffered a double DNF. Despite not racing 100 percent, Marquez plans to take it all the way against the strong Yamaha line-up; starting with Phillip Island. “Now we go to Australia and I really look forward to this weekend because Phillip Island is one of my favorite circuits. I think it will be a better track for us than Motegi so we will work hard from FP1 on Friday to try and find the best setup. Now I will try to rest my hand for a few days as this track is very physical with many hard and fast changes in direction,” Marquez who lists Phillip Island as his favorite track commented.
Ducati riders Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone look to rebound from a rather disappointing Motegi race where Dovizioso finished fifth and Iannone was forced to retire with a power unit failure. Despite the non-finish in Japan, Iannone has 172 points and still commands fourth in the standings, with three races in which to defend his position from Pedrosa; the pair split by 18 points.