Geeky snippets ahead of the Phillip Island MotoGPTue, 13 Oct 2009
Valentino Rossi has finished on the podium eleven times in his twelve visits to Phillip Island across all three GP classes. The only race at Phillip Island that he did not finish in the top three was on his first visit riding a 125cc machine in 1997 when he finished sixth. In 1998 and 1999 he won the 250cc races and since then has had nine podiums in the premier-class including five victories, the last of which was in 2005. Phillip Island is one of just two current circuits where Rossi has not started from pole riding a Yamaha – the other is Laguna Seca.
Jorge Lorenzo won the 250cc race at Phillip Island in both 2006 and 2007, having qualified on pole on both occasions. Last year, on his debut at the circuit on a MotoGP machine, he finished fourth after starting from second place on the grid.
Dani Pedrosa’s victory in the 250cc race in Australia in 2005 is his only podium finish
in any class at the Phillip Island circuit. On his first race at Phillip Island on a MotoGP
machine in 2006 he finished down in 15th in the dry and then wet race. In 2007 he
was fourth after qualifying on pole, and last year he crashed on the first lap of the race.
Casey Stoner has dominated the Australian Grand Prix with start-to-finish victories in both of the last two years.
Andrea Dovizioso won the 125cc race at Phillip Island in 2004 by just over one tenth of a second from current MotoGP rivals Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner. His third place finish on a 250cc machine in 2007 is his only podium at Phillip Island since then. Dovizioso had an eventful MotoGP race in Australia last year after getting edged off the track on the first lap and dropping down to tenth, and then fighting through the field to battle for fourth before tangling with Toseland on the final lap and finishing seventh.
Loris Capirossi’s single win at Phillip Island came in the 125cc class back in 1990 on his way to winning his fi rst world title. Capirossi has had fi ve podium fi nishes in the premier-class at Phillip Island from eight starts.
Marco Melandri is the only rider to have won in all three classes at the Phillip Island
circuit having won the 125cc race in 1999, the 250cc class in 2002 and the MotoGP
race in 2006 - which was also the last time he stood on the top step of the podium. His
win in 2006 was the fi rst MotoGP race at which riders changed bikes mid-race due to the change in weather conditions.
Toni Elias’ third place fi nish in the 125cc GP in 2001 is his only podium fi nish at Phillip
Island across all three classes. His 9th place fi nishes in 2005 and 2006 are his best results from four starts on a MotoGP machine in Australia.
Chris Vermeulen’s second place at Phillip Island in 2006 was his first podium finish in Grand Prix racing and his best result in his debut season racing in MotoGP. In 2007 he finished 8th after qualifying down in 16th place on the grid. Last year he finished down in 15th after getting caught up in Pedrosa’s first lap crash and running off the track. Vermeulen is the only rider in the MotoGP class to score points at every race so far in 2009.
Alex de Angelis finished on the podium at Phillip Island in both 2004 and 2006 when riding in the 250cc class. Last year, on his debut at the circuit on a MotoGP machine,
he crashed on the fi rst lap after taking a respectable 10th place in qualifying.
James Toseland finished on the podium five times during his time in World Superbike, including a race win in 2007. Last year in Australia, Toseland finished sixth for the sixth time in 2008 but arguably this was his strongest race, finishing just 12 seconds behind race winner Stoner.
By Ben Cope
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