Australian GP: Fiat Yamaha race report

Rossi roars through the field to take second on the island Fiat Yamaha rider and 2008 World Champion Valentino Rossi recovered from yesterday's mishap to charge through the field from the fourth row at Phillip Island today, eventually taking ...

Rossi roars through the field to take second on the island

Fiat Yamaha rider and 2008 World Champion Valentino Rossi recovered from yesterday's mishap to charge through the field from the fourth row at Phillip Island today, eventually taking second behind Casey Stoner. His team-mate Jorge Lorenzo took a second consecutive fourth place after a race long battle with several other riders.

A mistake during qualifying yesterday had left Rossi with strained neck muscles and a grid position of 12th, but the Italian relishes a challenge and he was already up to eighth by the end of the first lap, despite narrowly missing a collision when Alex de Angelis crashed out in front of him. On lap four Rossi found himself the back marker of a Yamaha trio, behind his team-mate Lorenzo and Tech 3 rider James Toseland. He despatched the Spaniard within two laps and got by Toseland soon after but the Briton put up a spirited challenge, wresting third back and hanging on for five more laps until Rossi eventually got the better of him. With a podium place secure the eight-time champion could have been forgiven for coasting home but he is never one to take the easy option and, with clear air and his M1 and Bridgestone tyres working perfectly, he gradually began to close on Nicky Hayden, who was nearly six seconds ahead. Little-by-little he made up the gap until he was within striking distance, making his move on the very last lap to take second and his 14th podium of the season.

After an intense two weeks the MotoGP paddock now has a two week rest before the penultimate round in Malaysia on 19th October.

Valentino Rossi - Position: 2nd Time: +6.504

"That was a very exciting race for me, from start to finish! Unfortunately I made a small mistake yesterday and I paid a high price for it - both with my starting position and with my body! This morning my neck was okay but I had a lot of pain in my head, so I have to say thank you to Dr. Costa and the Clinica Mobile because they gave me a lot of massage and some medicine and I was in better shape for the race. I got a good start and I was lucky to miss de Angelis by just a couple of centimetres, and then I arrived to Lorenzo and Toseland. The first time I passed James I thought I would be able to go but then he passed me back and I realised that his pace was not so bad, and we had a great battle! He was very strong and difficult to pass but once I did get by I was able to go and then I just kept pushing and gradually Nicky got bigger and bigger. It was fun to keep fighting till the last lap and I am very happy with this second position because it's always a great emotion to be on the podium here. Thanks to my team and to Bridgestone, with Casey as strong as he was I think this was the best we could have done today and I really enjoyed the race."

Davide Brivio - Team Manager

"We didn't win but this was another incredible performance from Valentino, demonstrating once again how he never gives up. The championship is secure, he was starting from the fourth row and the podium would have already been a good achievement but he still pushed at the maximum and was able to come second! He wasn't in perfect shape but the Clinica Mobile helped him a lot and he was able to do his best once again. We're racing to have fun now and we had a lot of fun today in a race that was exciting from start to finish."

Fourth place for Lorenzo after island battle

Jorge Lorenzo was disappointed to miss out on the podium at Phillip Island today, despite prevailing in a race-long battle for fourth place. His Fiat Yamaha team-mate Valentino Rossi stormed through the field after starting 12th to finish second behind Casey Stoner.

Lorenzo started from second on the grid but he did not quite have the outstanding rhythm he had yesterday and he slipped to fourth on lap one. He then traded places with Tech 3 Yamaha rider James Toseland a couple of times before settling in behind the Briton as Rossi loomed behind. By lap 13 of 27 Lorenzo's world champion team-mate had dispatched his Yamaha compatriots and was disappearing off and it then became a battle for fourth between the Spaniard, Toseland, Andrea Dovizioso and Shinya Nakano with the foursome trading passes at times more reminiscent of a 125cc race. In the last few laps Lorenzo was able to take control of proceedings somewhat and he was able to hang on to fourth, just ahead of Nakano with Toseland in sixth.

The rookie is 27 points off third in the championship and also has a mathematical chance of second, with two rounds remaining. The next battle comes in two week's time at Sepang in Malaysia.

Jorge Lorenzo - Position: 4th Time: +11.500

"I'm not very happy with the race because I know I should have been able to fight for the podium today. I didn't ride like I know I can, Toseland was in front of me many times and I couldn't pass him, and then I couldn't follow Valentino when he came through. I think I had the rhythm to have been with Valentino but it didn't work today. Even though it's mathematically still possible, I think that the second and third places in the championship are probably lost to me now. I think that the most important thing now is to get good results in Malaysia and Valencia so that we finish the season in the right way. The team, the tyres and the bike are all working well, we're getting good results but we know they can be better. I like Malaysia a lot, I rode there in the winter and I think it will be good for Michelin, so I'm looking forward to it."

Daniele Romagnoli - Team Manager

"We're a bit disappointed about today's result because we definitely had the potential to be on the podium and that's what we were hoping for. We had a few more problems than yesterday with grip in the rear and in the hard braking areas we weren't as good as the others, so we suffered for this. Aside from this it was a good race and Jorge had a great battle for fourth, so despite the result we've enjoyed it and now we're looking forward to the next one."

-credit: yamaha-racing.com

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Nicky Hayden , Valentino Rossi , Shinya Nakano , James Toseland , Andrea Dovizioso , Jorge Lorenzo , Alex de Angelis , Casey Stoner , Davide Brivio , Phillip Island