MotoGP Australia 2014: The Doctor Marks 250th Grand Prix in MotoGP with Perfect Performance
di redazione Italia MotoCorse.com
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi raised the roof in Australia today, delivering a stunning race victory at Phillip Island for the Australian Grand Prix. Teammate Jorge Lorenzo claimed the second step of the rostrum as part of a full Yamaha podium with Bradley Smith in third.
The Doctor made a great start to his 250th Grand Prix race in MotoGP as he jumped two places to sixth on the opening laps. He fought off Dani Pedrosa as he continued to battle his way to the front of the field, passing Bradley Smith and Pol Espargarò for third place.
Starting from third on the grid Lorenzo was not shy in grabbing the hole shot into turn one.
He initially led the race, before falling back behind rival Marc Marquez. Lorenzo pushed to the limit but was unable to match the race leader’s pace.
Meanwhile teammate Rossi gradually closed down the gap to reach the rear end of Lorenzo’s M1 on lap nine. What happened next was a flurry of activity. With 17 laps to go Rossi set a fastest lap of 1’29.605 and made his first overtaking move at the hairpin and then Lorenzo fought back and retook second place in the first corner of the following lap. Over the next seven laps the teammates continued to swap places, when suddenly race leader Marquez crashed out of the race on lap 18 and they were left fighting for first and second place.
Rossi then put the hammer down and created an unbridgeable gap, while Lorenzo’s front tyre started to drop dramatically, forcing him to hand over second place to Cal Crutchlow. He kept pushing in his efforts to manage the gap to the following riders. Drama then struck again as Crutchlow also crashed on the last lap, handing Lorenzo a lucky but well fought second place, his tenth podium finish of the season.
Oblivious to the drama behind him, Rossi had increased his lead to 10.836 seconds and took an amazing victory as he wheelied over the finish line to celebrate his 108th Grand Prix win in all classes. The stunning win cements Valentino Rossi’s reputation as one of the greatest riders to grace the Phillip Island circuit.
Thanks to this amazing result, Rossi stays in second place in the championship with a points total of 255. He thereby increases the advantage over his teammate Lorenzo to eight points, whose third place sees him rise to third in the championship with 247 points.
46Valentino Rossi 1st / 40'46.405 / 27 laps
“I’m so happy because Phillip Island is one of the most important and most beautiful tracks of the season. I won here many times in the past, but over the last few years I was only able to get onto the podium without winning the race. To comeback and take the first position after ten years is great. It's also great to see three Yamaha's on the podium! The race was tricky. The work that we did during the weekend with the team was very important. We did a fantastic job and made the right front tyre choice. Marquez was not too far in front of me but he had a two second gap, so I decided to focus on my pace and on Jorge. He was very fast during the whole weekend, but for the second position in the championship it was very important to finish in front of him. When I was in front Marquez crashed and I said to myself “victory!"
99Jorge Lorenzo 2nd / +10.836 / 27 laps
“It’s a great result for Yamaha, because there are three of us on the podium. Our race on the other hand did not go as I expected to. We struggled a lot to get the best set up for the race. Everything needs to be perfect, but if you put on the wrong tyre the race is over. I’m happy for the second place. This has been the luckiest second place in my life, because there were a lot of riders that could have finished in front of me. Honestly I’m a bit disappointed because with a different tyre it would have been possible to stay with Marc and fight for the race. We'll keep on doing our best to be in the best possible shape in Malaysia and try to win the race”.
“It has been an incredible race. We’ve been very competitive all weekend and we knew we could achieve a good result here. We were a little unsure about this afternoon’s colder conditions, but Vale did a brilliant job to take the victory starting from eighth. He didn't make any mistakes and showed some great overtakes. Jorge also rode another strong race. He was always pushing hard, but his front tyre started to drop towards the second half so he had to manage the grip level as best he could. Despite this problem, we couldn't ask for a better result. It’s another double podium for our team and it’s great to see three Yamahas’ at the front. We now look forward to another strong race in Sepang where we plan to continue to show what we are capable of. I need to thank the whole team who worked very hard this weekend to give the riders competitive bikes to challenge for the honours they have won.”
Lin Jarvis Managing Director, Yamaha Motor Racing
“Obviously I’m delighted with today’s result. It has been a long time since we had a total Yamaha podium, back in Le Mans in 2008. Again a victory, the fourth in a row for the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team. That’s an incredible run of results in the last events. Jorge also had not been lower than second over the last seven races. That is phenomenal. My congratulations also go to Valentino. It’s his second win of the year and he’s been riding great. It's great to see him win here after we won the championship in 2004 at Philip Island. He's ten years older but still going as fast and equally as 'hungry', so chapeau to him. Also congratulations to Bradley Smith for achieving his first MotoGP podium, a very much deserved result. We have two races to go. We’re fighting for the second position in the championship with both Vale and Jorge, so hopefully there will be more victories to finish off this year and let us go into the Winter to be stronger for the next season.”