16 Australian GP : Preview : Back-To-Back Flyaways In Australia And Malaysia For Ducati Team


Tuesday Oct 11 2011

The Ducati Team is headed to the first of two overseas races that in the space of two weeks will take the Italian team first to Australia and then to Malaysia. The Phillip Island Grand Prix is one of the most popular rounds among the MotoGP riders because the circuit that twists along the Bass Strait features an old-style layout that is fast and flowing, and spectacular to ride.

Apart from 2006, when their best result was fourth place, the Ducati Team has always finished on the podium at Phillip Island. As for Valentino Rossi, he has enjoyed no fewer than seven victories there in his career, plus another six podium finishes. On Friday, the Italian will be testing the readiness of the hand that he injured in the crash in Japan, and he’ll also try continue the good progress he made there with the GP11.1’s setup.

Nicky Hayden is also a great admirer of the Down Under circuit, where he owns the lap record (2008), and where he will be celebrating his 150th Grand Prix this weekend. He has climbed the podium three times at Phillip Island, and he finished fourth last year with the Ducati.

“At Motegi, despite the outcome of the race and what the consequences of the crash turned out to be, there were a number of positive aspects. We worked well on the bike’s balance and setup, and in the end, from that point of view, we had one of the most positive weekends of the season. Phillip Island is another track where the Ducati has always gone well, as have I, so we hope to be able to work as well as we did in Japan. As far as my hand is concerned, the swelling is reduced, and we still have a couple of days before we go on the track. We just have to wait for Friday morning to see how it reacts.

“Phillip Island is definitely one of the highlights of the year, because everything about it is special. It’s fast, flowing and really fun to ride. The big question mark is always the weather. We can get rain, wind, cold and sun, all in the course of one race weekend. Casey has won a lot of races there for Ducati, and I should have been on the podium there last year, except that I left the door open for Vale to beat me. It’s a good track for me, and although I know it won’t be easy, I really hope we can do well. I’ve got Simoncelli coming for me in the points, but I’m not really thinking about that. I’d just like to try to get a good result on Sunday, when it counts.”

“Phillip Island is one of the circuits where our bike has always gone well, and it’s one where Valentino has posted many wins. Nicky also loves the track, so our goal is to be able to continue the good work we did in Japan with both riders. We’ll have the unknown of Vale’s hand injury, but he was able to rest and recuperate over the past few days, so we hope it won’t give him any problems.”


Circuit Record: Nicky Hayden (Honda – 2008), 1:30.059 – 177.803 Km/h
Best Pole: Casey Stoner (Ducati – 2008), 1:28.665 – 180.598 Km/h
Circuit Length: 4.448 km
2011 MotoGP Race: 27 laps (120.096 km)
2011 MotoGP Schedule: 4:00 p.m. Local Time

2010 PODIUM: 1st Casey Stoner, 2nd Jorge Lorenzo, 3rd Valentino Rossi
2010 POLE: Casey Stoner (Ducati – 2010), 1:30.107 – 177.708 km/h

2010: 1st (Stoner)
2009: 1st (Stoner)
2008: 1st (Stoner)
2007: 1st (Stoner)
2006: 4th (Gibernau)
2005: 3rd (Checa)
2004: 3rd (Capirossi)
2003: 2nd (Capirossi)


Bike: Ducati Team Desmosedici GP11.1
Race number: 46
Age: 32 (born in Pesaro 16 February 1979)
Residence: Tavullia (Pesaro, Italy)
GPs: 256 (196 x MotoGP, 30 x 250cc, 30 x 125cc)
First GP: Malaysian GP, 1996 (125cc)
Number of wins: 105 (79 x MotoGP, 14 x 250cc, 12 x 125cc)
First GP win: Czech Republic GP, 1996 (125cc)
Poles: 59 (49 x MotoGP, 5 x 250cc, 5 x 125cc)
First Pole: Czech Republic GP, 1996 (125cc)
World Titles: 9 (6 x MotoGP, 1 x 500cc, 1 x 250cc, 1 x 125cc)

Rossi’s MotoGP track record at Phillip Island
2010: Grid: 8th; Race: 3rd
2009: Grid: 2nd; Race: 2nd
2008: Grid: 12th; Race: 2nd
2007: Grid: 2nd; Race: 3rd
2006: Grid: 3rd; Race: 3rd
2005: Grid: 2nd; Race: 1st
2004: Grid: 2nd; Race: 1st
2003: Grid: 1st; Race: 1st
2002: Grid: 7th; Race: 1st
2001: Grid: 2nd; Race: 1st
2000: Grid: 8th; Race: 3rd

Rossi’s 250 track record at Phillip Island
1999: Grid: 7th; Race: 1st
1998: Grid: 2nd; Race: 1st

Rossi’s 125 track record at Phillip Island
1997: Grid: 3rd; Race: 6th

Bike: Ducati Team Desmosedici GP11.1
Race number: 69
Age: 30 (born 30 July 1981 in Owensboro, Kentucky, USA)
Residence: Owensboro, Kentucky, USA
Number of GPs: 149 (149 x MotoGP)
First GP: Japanese GP, 2003 (MotoGP)
Number of wins: 3 (3 x MotoGP)
First GP win: USA GP, 2005 (MotoGP)
Poles: 5 (5 x MotoGP)
First Pole: USA GP, 2005 (MotoGP)
World Titles: 1 (MotoGP, 2006)

Hayden’s MotoGP track record at Phillip Island
2010: Grid: 6th; Race: 4th
2009: Grid: 7th; Race: 15th
2008: Grid: 3rd; Race: 3rd
2007: Grid: 4th; Race: DNF
2006: Grid: 1st; Race: 5th
2005: Grid: 1st ; Race: 2nd
2004: Grid: 14th; Race: 6th
2003: Grid: 5th; Race: 3rd