PETRONAS Yamaha SRT heads south for Australian GP2019-10-22 08:03
PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team riders Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli head to one of the fastest and most visually stunning circuits on the calendar, Phillip Island, this weekend for the seventeenth round of the MotoGP World Championship at the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix.
A host for motorcycle racing since 1931, Phillip Island is a thrilling track for riders with its high-speed layout rewarding precision lines, but its clifftop location makes it particularly susceptible to the elements with strong winds not only providing their inherent challenge but hastening rapid weather change too.
The high-speed undulation and a blind brow make for a circuit beloved of many riders, but one which can have quite a sting in its tail too. Phillip Island sits as the middle of the triple-header, so there is only a momentary respite since the Grand Prix of Japan, where Morbidelli just missed out on equalling his season-best finish position of fifth after matching his season-best grid placing in second and Quartararo went from third to second place on the podium.
Both riders have reason for confidence heading to Australia: Morbidelli has a strong record at Phillip Island having twice finished on the podium in Moto2, with second place in 2016 and third position in 2017 whilst newly crowned 2019 Rookie of the Year Quartararo continues to show exceptional form.
Following confirmation of Quartararo’s best newcomer title last time out, he is targeting another title in Australia he heads into the weekend with his first mathematical chance to clinch the Independent Riders’ championship, which he currently leads by 38 points. PETRONAS Yamaha SRT will also be looking to extend their lead in the Independent Team fight, heading to the race with a 76 point lead in the classification.
The Australian Grand Prix starts on Friday 25th October with practice starting at 1050 local time (0750 Malaysian time) ahead of Sunday’s 27-lap race.
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“I really like the track at Phillip Island, and I’ve been fast on it for pretty much my entire career. We’re going into the weekend with good speed on the bike and on a positive trend, even if Motegi’s race left us with a little bit of a bittersweet aftertaste after we thought we could have achieved a little bit more. But that also means that we’re going to Phillip Island with plenty of energy and motivation, and we’ll work hard to do a good job again.”
“I feel very confident with the bike right now, and that feeling from the front end of the bike will be important at Phillip Island. I’m arriving at a circuit that I like and where I have good memories. It’s also a track where the Yamaha has historically performed well, as we saw last year when a Yamaha was on the top step. It’s a pretty full-on schedule with the three races in a row, but when you’re getting good results it’s a happy time. I’ve arrived in Australia, I’ll have a day or so of rest and reset, then it’s time to jump back on the bike raring to go!”
Source: SIC Racing Team
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