Ducati Marlboro’s Casey Stoner showed he is back in full force with his third win in-a-row at Phillip Island.
After the race, Stoner commented on his physical state, “I’d forgotten how good that winning feeling is and of all my victories this is perhaps the most special. I can honestly say that from a physical perspective I can’t ever remember feeling this strong after a race, which shows that the work we have done and the time we took out has been spot on.” Stoner jumped past Pedrosa in the point standings and now sits 37 points behind Lorenzo.
On Lap 1 at Turn 1, Fiat Yamaha‘s Lorenzo collided with Ducati Marlboro’s Nicky Hayden, sending them both off track. Hayden would return to finish in 15th, but Lorenzo’s race day was over and his championship-winning hopes were dealt a serious blow. Suffering from only cuts and bruises, the Mallorcan said, “I’m a little bit sad for this crash, not for the championship but for my mistake; I didn’t expect this kind of mistake from myself. It was totally my fault, I miscalculated the distance off the line and Nicky braked earlier than I was expecting and I hit him.”
“I thought I could save it but my front brake was broken and so when I tried to brake for the corner I couldn’t and the rear made a big slide. I have a bit of damage to my nose and my finger but it could have been a lot worse. This is what happens in racing and, although I am disappointed about the race, the most important thing is that I am not badly injured. I want to say sorry to Nicky because I ruined his race today. As for the points, the title was a long shot anyway and now I just want to look forward to the final two races.”
Jorge Lorenzo’s weekend went from bad to worse when he collided with Nicky Hayden in Turn 1 on Lap 1, putting an end to his race.
Repsol Honda‘s Pedrosa got off to a trademark quick start and ran out front for one lap before Stoner took the lead on Lap 2. Rossi would follow shortly thereafter leaving Pedrosa running a one-man race for third. Pedrosa celebrated his first podium finish at Phillip Island.
Gaining some valuable points on the championship board was Alex De Angelis, who piloted his San Carlo Gresini Honda to fourth. Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Colin Edwards finished fifth and Pedrosa ‘s teammate Andrea Dovizioso crossed the line in sixth.
Marco Melandri of Hayate Racing and LCR Honda’s Randy De Puniet were involved in a race-long battle for seventh before Melandri snatched the checkers, leaving De Puniet in eighth. The next two rounds of MotoGP should see the epic battle for the top-ten heat up since only 18 points separate De Angelis in seventh and Hayden in 14th.
Pramac Racing’s Mika Kallio got ninth today at The Island with Toni Elias taking a top-ten place on his San Carlo Gresini Honda. Chris Vermeulen brought his Rizla Suzuki into 11th ahead of teammate Loris Capirossi. Capirossi suffered a setback after being demoted to the back of the grid for using an extra engine outside of the team’s allocation.
Gabor Talmacsi came in 13th on his Scot Racing Team Honda. Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s James Toseland, who initially held fifth place, received a ride-through penatly for jumping the start. The Brit finished in 14th ahead of Hayden on his Ducati.
Magical number three’s. Third win this season and third year in-a-row for success at Phillip Island for Casey Stoner.
MotoGP Phillip Island Race Results:
1. Casey Stoner (Ducati Marlboro)
2. Valentino Rossi (Fiat Yamaha) +1.935
3. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) +22.618
4. Alex De Angelis (San Carlo Gresini Honda) +32.702
5. Colin Edwards (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) +35.885
6. Andrea Dovizioso (Repsol Honda) +38.482
7. Marco Melandri (Hayate Racing Team) +44.461
8. Randy De Puniet (LCR Honda) +44.941
9. Mika Kallio (Pramac Racing) +54.345
10. Toni Elias (San Carlo Gresini Honda) +1’01.205
11. Chris Vermeulen (Rizla Suzuki) +1’05.417
12. Loris Capirossi (Rizla Suzuki) +1’05.950
13. Gabor Talmacsi (Scot Racing Team) +1’17.951
14. James Toseland (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) +1’17.985
15. Nicky Hayden (Ducati Marlboro) +1 Lap
MotoGP Phillip Island Race Rider Quotes:
Casey Stoner – Ducati Marlboro:
“I got a good start and was able to put together the lap times to keep us at the front but quite honestly I felt I could have gone even faster if we’d have been able to find a little more rear traction over the course of the weekend. Anyway, I can’t complain because the work the guys have done on the bike during the season has been phenomenal, from the swingarm to the new fairing… they just haven’t stopped trying to make it better even when I wasn’t around. Now my aim is to help them as much as I can over the last two races and give Filippo (Preziosi) as much useful data as I can so that he can work his magic and improve the bike even more for next year.”
“This was one of the most fun and definitely one of the most important second places of my career! We were on the limit for the whole race and there were some amazing slides, it was ‘old-style’ racing,” said Valentino Rossi on his race with Casey Stoner.
Valentino Rossi – Fiat Yamaha:
“To have a race like this in the sunshine at Phillip Island is an incredible emotion and I really enjoyed myself. Of course I wanted to win but I had to use my head a bit and once I’d seen that Lorenzo was out, I knew that if I made a mistake it would be a big disaster! Anyway I tried in places but Stoner was a bit faster than me. I didn’t give up until the end but Casey really deserved this win; I want to give him my congratulations. We leave with twenty important points and now the championship lead is big and we can try to finish it in Malaysia, where we will have the first ‘match point’.”
Dani Pedrosa – Repsol Honda:
“It’s good to be on the podium again, especially after the crash in qualifying yesterday, so I’m happy about that. I pushed myself to the maximum in the race and we led for a short while from the start. Actually it’s a shame they don’t award points for getting the holeshot! Casey and Valentino were going superfast today and I just couldn’t keep pace with them once they came past. From then on I just tried to keep my rhythm going and tried not to make any mistakes. It’s a little frustrating of course not to be able to fight at the front, but considering the crash yesterday this result was OK and I’d like to say thanks to the team because they worked hard this weekend. The next race is in Malaysia and it’s a track that I like, so I’m looking forward to next weekend and I hope we can get another strong result.”
Dani Pedrosa lowsided his Repsol Honda during qualifying on Saturday and managed to start and finished in third.
Alex De Angelis – San Carlo Honda Gresini:
“It has been a fantastic weekend all round and I really enjoyed myself in that race – especially the first four or five laps when I was running with the top guys in the championship. It was a good feeling but their pace was incredible and for me it was just an achievement to stick with them for a while and open up a gap over the guys behind me. From then on it was a case of staying consistent and holding my position, which is a great result for us. Despite not scoring points in the last two races we have been on an excellent run of form since Germany – I’ve finished in the top five in four of the races since then, and I think I’ve proved that I deserve to be seventh in the championship and I deserve to be here again next year. It is a credit to my team as well because we have worked fantastically well together recently and I want to thank them too.”
Colin Edwards – Monster Yamaha Tech 3:
“I’ll hold my hands up and say I really messed up the start. I pretty much fell asleep and when the lights went out, I was just sat there. That left me down in ninth place but the pace was pretty quick in the low 31s and I was able to pick off a few of them quite quickly. I knew if I didn’t get my head down then I’d be towing them around because of how you can slipstream at this track. I never relented and my pace was pretty hot, and thankfully it wasn’t too difficult for me to make a break from the pack. I saw de Angelis in front of me and I tried everything I could to get close to him. I’m tired of finishing fifth, so I gave it everything I had. But the start cost me fourth and some precious points. Towards the end of the race I star ted to lose some side grip and I couldn’t do anything more to try and put pressure on de Angelis. I beat Dovizioso again which is all I can do to try and get fifth in the championship. I really want that fifth to reward all my guys at Monster Yamaha Tech 3. They’ve been great and I’ll be giving it my all for them in the last two races.”
Andrea Dovizioso – Repsol Honda:
“In the second half of the race my feeling on the machine improved and this was probably the highlight of my weekend here. Once I was clear of the battle for sixth I was able to ride at a good pace and realistically I think I could have fought with De Angelis and Edwards in this race. It’s just a shame that I lost time starting from tenth and then fighting with Kallio, De Puniet and Elias – which is what I feared might
Randy de Puniet (14) – LCR Honda:
“We could finish in a better position but I took a bad start and got stuck behind Elias for 4 laps. After that I started to set my pace and was pretty fast. I had fun battling with Dovizioso, Kallio and Melandri but in the middle of the race the rear tyre dropped and had too much spinning. With 8 laps to go I was not comfortable on the front and decided to keep my position to score important points for the world classification. Honestly I aimed to finish sixth today but I still feel very confident for the next races.”
happen. I cannot be happy with the 6th position but I have to consider the whole weekend and the set-up issues we experienced in the practice sessions and also my physical condition which wasn’t perfect this weekend. Still, I felt good at the end of the race, so I’m looking forward to Malaysia with confidence.”
Loris Capirossi – Rizla Suzuki:
“It’s easy to say that today has been tough, but really we have struggled all weekend and never found the best solution. We also had an engine problem in the warm-up and that forced us to start on the back of the grid, but that was no big problem. My start was not too bad but I just didn’t have any feeling in the bike in the first five or six laps, so that was a nightmare for me. I caught up with Chris and we had a bit of a battle, but I couldn’t get past him. Overall this race track is very difficult for us and I think we need to forget this weekend because we tried as hard as we could and got nothing from it. I hope we will have a better weekend in Sepang because we really need a good result, but we also need to fix why things have been so bad here.”
James Toseland – Monster Yamaha Tech 3:
“I’m really struggling to describe how I feel right now. All I can say is I feel the jump start decision was incredibly harsh and I am extremely disappointed. I have looked at the start on TV and I can’t see I’ve done anything wrong. It is hard for me to take but I’ve got to try and put it behind me as soon as possible and aim for a strong result in Sepang next weekend. I was confident of a strong race today and I was latched onto the back of the group fighting for fifth. I felt my pace was strong enough to hav e put up a strong fight for a positive result, but the ride through ended all that. I want to thank all my guys at Monster Yamaha Tech 3 for all their hard work and effort this weekend. They have been brilliant as always and I’m not going to let this disappointment stop me from giving my all to finish this season on a high at the last two races.”
“Thankfully I did and I got back on track but the thing was so damaged I was just riding around. I considered coming in to conserve the engine but there was always the chance it might rain and give us the opportunity to swap bikes so we stayed out there and tried to stay out of harm’s way,” commented Nicky Hayden about the state of his Ducati after the collision with Jorge Lorenzo.
Nicky Hayden – Ducati Marlboro:
“I got probably the best start I have had all season but unfortunately it proved to be my downfall! I’m not sure what happened to Jorge – I saw he got a bad start as I passed him, then the next thing I know I felt a really hard impact. It was so hard it tore both our bikes up and obviously he couldn’t keep his upright. I’m disappointed because I felt we had a chance to do something here and apart from anything I was excited to race here because it’s always so much fun. Anyway, I can’t blame Jorge because he is fighting for the championship, he obviously didn’t mean it and I know it is not his style. The good thing is that I didn’t get hurt, which could have easily happened in that corner, and now we go to Malaysia and try to get back in the thick end of the points.”