Rossi, Lorenzo and Pedrosa aiming for championship runner up spot
While Marc Marquez arrived in Melbourne, Australia this week for the Tissot Australian Grand Prix at Philip Island with his second MotoGP title wrapped up, the focus now turns to second place in this year’s championship with Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa and Movistar Yamaha teammates Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo all intent on claiming the runner-up spot.
We have a second place contest between me, Jorge and Pedrosa and I’m worried because Jorge is so fast.
Rossi and Pedrosa are locked together on 230 points while Rossi has the lead on podium finishes this year if all three riders ended with equal points while Lorenzo sits just three points behind Rossi and comes to the Philip Island track on the back of two consecutive victories at Aragón and last time out at in Japan. The weather could also play a part in this weekend’s result with the infamous Philip Island climate.
Rossi certainly has the best record at the Australian circuit with five wins in a row at Philip Island and only off the podium twice between 2000 and 2013 while Lorenzo will look to his victory here last year for extra motivation while Pedrosa will also look to last year’s race here where he finished second behind Lorenzo. The three riders, along with newly-crowned champion Marquez, are looking forward to getting into action.
Marquez intent on more victories in this year's championship
“What we achieved in Japan a few days ago is still sinking in!” Marquez said while continuing, “To win the Championship in my first two years is a real dream and I must thank all my family, my team, Honda and Repsol for all their commitment and dedication. Now we can relax a little, but not too much! I still want to win races and finish the season on a high. Phillip Island was a bit of a nightmare for me last year so I have a score to settle! I like the track, it’s a lot of fun, so let’s hope the weather is nice so we can really enjoy the weekend!”
Pedrosa is glad to be in Australia and is fully motivated to make it a one two for Repsol Honda in this year’s Championship. He said, “The race in Japan was a little frustrating so I’m looking forward to getting to Phillip Island and putting it behind me. Obviously we tested there earlier in the year but we’ll have to see how are the conditions now, some months later. The goal is of course to take second place in the Championship and I will be pushing 100% to achieve this. The layout is exciting to ride and the races are always fun, but let’s hope there are no issues like in 2013!”
Yamaha teammates ready to battle it out for second place
Rossi is cautious ahead of this weekend especially with his teamamtes present form saying, “We have a second place contest between me, Jorge and Pedrosa and I’mworried because Jorge is so fast. We have to give the maximum. I love Phillip Island and Sepang but three races in a row is always very difficult and a good start is very important. The podium of Japan was another positive result, especially because I have done well throughout the race and was very close to Marquez and Jorge. We held a very high pace and my bike was working very well.
I really like the Australian GP and I want to ride a good race here, partly because most of my team is Australian. I want to get back on the podium and try to win again. We are working well, I like the circuit, and the Yamaha is going strong, so I think we can do it. I’m in a good shape, so it will be a fun battle.” Rossi added.
Lorenzo remains in a highly buoyant humor in his current form and is intent on carrying it through the last few races this year. He said, “It was a great feeling to win in Motegi once again. Winning two races in a row after a very disappointing start of the season was unbelievable, not only for me but also for all the guys from Yamaha who worked really hard. Now I look forward to racing in Phillip Island, another amazing place to ride. Australia is always special and the layout is always perfect for having fun.
To me the joy of riding there with the M1 is difficult to explain but I love the long and fast corners, especially the last one before going towards the straight to the finish. Hopefully we can have another great weekend and fight for the victory once again, which is so important regarding the second place in the championship.” Lorenzo added.