Great Ocean Road: riding to the Island with Miller and Quartararo2019-10-24 13:35
Off to a flying start, the home hero and the rookie who hopes to beat him saddle up Down Under
Wednesday, 23 October 2019
There are some roads that beg to be ridden, and the Great Ocean Road is one of them. Nearly 250km long and stretching along the coastline of the state of Victoria, every view is a ripper and for that kind of place, you really need to consider heading out on two wheels.
Luckily for Jack Miller (Pramac Racing) and Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT), they're in the business of riding and Ducati and Yamaha are very much in the business of bikes. And so, it was time to saddle up for a trip to the Island, with a little helicopter action thrown in for good measure.
With two stretches of the Great Ocean Road temporarily closed for the event, Miller and Quartararo had the run of the scenery around seaside town Lorne, and the two opened the throttle to blast alongside the ocean for a few kilometers, as well as making a stop off for an awesome ride down Lorne Pier. With blue skies above and the open road ahead, there's hardly a better way to arrive to the spectacular Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit. In reality, however, the adventure didn't quite begin and end there...
On Tuesday afternoon fresh from touchdown in the country, the two riders were whisked off for a pretty special experience - a helicopter tour of the 12 Apostles, flying down from Melbourne before touchdown on the Great Ocean Road. The 12 Apostles, further south along the route they'd ride the day after, is a Victoria classic - and from the air, even more spectacular.
And just as the riding was far from a quick stop-go for the cameras, the helicopter action didn't stop there, either. As well as the aircraft getting some stunning shots of the ride, another helicopter was then waiting to take the two men fighting for top Independent Team rider to their ultimate destination - Phillip Island. By road, it's a good few kms and hours. By air, it's a short hop over the deep blue below with another set of awesome views thrown in - the ribbon of perfect tarmac hugging the coastline kilometer after kilometer.
After a little chance to catch their breath, it's now time to change road bikes for media debriefs on Thursday and then, finally, unleash their MotoGP™ machines on Friday morning. And there, the ocean will still be alongside them and the scenery just as stunning - only this time the 'road' will be far from closed. The pitlane opens for the Pramac Generac Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix at 9am on Friday 25th October, tune in then and stay for what's sure to be one of the premier class races of the year on Sunday at 15:00 (GMT +11).
Top photo: Miller (L) and Quartararo on the stunning road to the Australian GP
Cruisin' but definitely avoiding the bruisin'
Strike a pose (on closed roads)
Miller (L) and Quartararo on Lorne pier with their ride behind them...
The joke's on everyone else because Miller is actually part way through his helicopter licence
Wistful by the waves: energy, models' own
Jack Miller: "There's no better way to start my home Grand Prix than like this. There's a lot of pressure on me this weekend with Pramac Generac being the title sponsor of my home Grand Prix and all the bosses are going to be there! But there was no better way to start the weekend than coming down here, and the weather really turned it on for us! No complaints just yet!
"I'm currently doing my helicopter licence in Townsville whenever I have the chance, but I'd never been in the 130. It was a good flight down here and it's a nice beautiful day going back over with great visibility!"
Fabio Quartararo: "It's been really cool, we came from Melbourne by helicopter, saw the 12 Apostles, and it was really nice. And then we've had a nice time on the R1, I really enjoyed this pre event...and now it's time to head for Phillip Island.
"I'm feeling good, I think Phillip Island is a track I really like but we've seen Jack's also really fast...so we'll try to do our best, just enjoy it and not really looking at the Independent Team rider standings. Just try to get a good result and enjoy this race."
Source: Dorna Sports
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