Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jorge Lorenzo won a dramatic flag-to-flag Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island to breathe life back into his championship challenge.
With the race reduced to nineteen laps with a mandatory stop where riders were required to change bikes, Lorenzo led the opening stint before making a flawless pit stop on lap nine to put himself in a strong position for the second half of the race. Once on his second bike Lorenzo pulled away from the chasing pack to take the chequered flag by 6.936 seconds ahead of second-place getter, Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa. Rounding out the rostrum was Yamaha Factory Racing’s Valentino Rossi who claimed his sixth podium of the season in Australia. Having shown great pace throughout the race weekend, the top CRT rider in Australia was Power Electronics Aspar’s Randy de Puniet who placed tenth in Australia. Amid the excitement of today’s race, a new Circuit Record Lap of 1’28.108 was set on the thirteenth lap of the race by Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez.
With two rounds remaining, Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez still leads the championship standings by eighteen points – despite being black flagged for not pitting in the mandatory stop window in today’s race – over Lorenzo. Pedrosa remains in third place in the championship, sixteen points adrift of Lorenzo.
Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department
“Today was quite an exciting contest that passed without incident and I would like to congratulate all the teams and riders for working so hard to adapt what was a unique race situation. After warm-up, we analysed the tyres of the riders to see how they fared during the long runs they did this morning and it was evident that we had to reduce the maximum running time of the rear slicks to ten laps. Considering this new information, we had discussions with the FIM, Dorna and IRTA regarding the situation, after which race direction decided a flag-to-flag race with a nineteen lap duration was the best option. We have arranged for the used tyres from this weekend to be transported immediately to our technical centre in Japan for detailed analysis which will be the first step in developing new tyres for future MotoGP races at Phillip Island.”
Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing – Race Winner
“Today was a crazy race with us having to the change of bikes in the middle of the contest. We practiced a lot before the race to find the best way to swap between bikes and this helped me a lot in the race. Twenty-five points is the best result possible and is good for the championship and I hope we can still be challenging for the title at the last race in Valencia.”