Phillip Island is referred as the most complete track by most of the riders. It may only have 12 corners but majority of them are fast, long and flowing. Riders have to cope with the windy conditions and unlike Motegi, break power and force is low. The view going in the first corner (Doohan Corner) after a 900 meter straight is absolutely amazing. It feels like riding into the deep blue sea. Riders run wide here easily. Turn number 3 is an example of steering the rear of bike into the corner which can only be felt but not seen. T5 the Honda Hairpin is one the two hardest breaking points of the circuit.T5 and T6 (Siberia) are about taking the T7 perfectly and getting into Haysed. T7 before Haysed is flat out for MotoGP riders. It has got one of the iconic corner of the MotoGP calendar: 'The Lukey Heights’. Then after T11 is one of the hardest left handers which is hard on left shoulders of rear tires.
The best places to pass?
After coming down from home straight after reaching 340kph T1 is the perfect place to pass for most riders.
T4 the tight right hander is another perfect corner to pass after coming from Stoner corner, riders can break as late as they can and find the best racing line.
T7 and T8 fast change of directions is another best spot for overtaking with riders making block passes
T8 the downhill right hander is one great place to pass but riders have to make adjustments in tire temperatures to make a perfect pass.
Challenges Heading into the Michelin Australian Grand Prix:
The biggest hurdle in setting up the bike at Philip Island is the ever changing weather conditions and the wind. Bikes have to be set considering all the possibilities, sometimes weather conditions are so varying that all four days have different temperatures and conditions. If it’s cloudy the temperatures are very low and if it’s sunny the temperatures are sky high.
Discussing the weather challenges with MotoGP team Yamaha’s crew chief: Roman Forcada put some light on weather challenges teams face:
“Many times it’s windy and it’s a very fast track, T1 and T3 are in opposite directions to each other, sure in one of these two corners, you have some problems, as wind is from the inside and always try to lift the bike, it’s difficult taking the line. Sometimes we have to change setup because of weather.’’
Other challenge rider’s face is keeping up the break temperature, as corners are low breaking the temperature can fall easily so compare to Motegi and other high breaking circuits, setups teams here use are completely different.
Talking about breaking issues Ducati’s Alberto Giribuola said:
‘’ One of the biggest problem is the break as there are not hard breaking points, we have to keep warm the breaks and we will for sure use completely different kind of breaks respect to Motegi, its complete opposite in that way.”
Going into the weekend:
Like any other weekend this year Marc Marquez is favorite to win the race. After clinching his 7th title last weekend, he wouldn’t be holding back himself this time around as well. With championship already in the bag, he will be at more liberty of taking more risks and tighter lines to go faster than the rest.
“It’s a great feeling to arrive in Australia with the Title already won, and I really look forward to enjoying the end of the season. Of course there are also the Constructors and the Teams’ titles to think of, so we’ll try to keep the same level of performance and win more races to achieve those goals as well, as they’re important for us and for Honda. I love Phillip Island; it’s a fast track that always favours race-long battles that are a great show for the fans. I just hope the weather will be good because it can change from sunny and warm to cold and windy in a matter of hours. Anyway, we’ll see; we’ll definitely try to be at the front and have fun.” this is what he had to say going into the weekend.
The closest to anyone could get to the furious Marquez are Ducati Riders but one of them is already out of the winning contention due to injuries he suffered.
Lorenzo underwent a successful surgery:
The five-time World Champion has undergone is an operation to treat a rupture on the dorsal side of his left scapholunate ligament. Keyhole surgery was undertaken on his wrist and he was treated with a heat suture and had platelet-rich plasma placed on the rupture. Now we just hope to see him back on the bike and fighting fit as soon as possible!
The Spaniard is back home at Lugano and on the road to quick recovery.
Zarco: ‘old Yamaha has hit the performance limit’
after a front row start at Motegi but then falling backwards in the race to 6th spot Frenchman thinks it’s the best bike can manage and it has hit the limit and no more pace can be found.
Asked if his poor start knocked him off his stride, Zarco replied: "No. In my mind, even if I could not lead the race, I was not lost. I stayed well concentrated, and even if I was behind, it was not bad.
"But no, I cannot do more. We are just at the limit of what we have."