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Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders‘ Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo delivered a strong charge at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit today. Rossi cut like a knife through butter from fifteenth on the gird to secure a superb second place. Lorenzo had a lonely ride to a solid sixth place, after a brilliant start from 12th position.

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2nd | VALENTINO ROSSI
+4.218 / 27 LAPS

6th | JORGE LORENZO
+20.125 / 27 LAPS

Grand Prix of Australia
Phillip Island, Australia, 23rd October 2016

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Valentino Rossi took the Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix to another level today, with a charge through the field from 15th on the grid to a stunning second place. Teammate Jorge Lorenzo overcame the challenges thrown at him this weekend by pushing hard from 12th on the grid and brought his YZR-M1 over the line in sixth place.
Rossi made a good start to the race at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit as he jumped two places to 13th on the opening lap. Overtaking Scott Redding and Maverick Viñales, the Doctor fought his way past Nicky Hayden as he continued to battle his way to the front of the field. Having climbed up to eighth, he was trailing teammate Jorge Lorenzo, who he quickly overtook on lap three and then the pair smoothly pulled ahead of Danilo Petrucci.
Rossi gradually closed down the 0.4s margin to tack onto the back of Andrea Dovizioso and Pol Espargaró‘s bikes. He then put the hammer down and set a provisional fastest lap of 1‘29.795s, leaving behind his two rivals a lap later. He kept pushing in fourth place, trying to bridge the 0.4s gap to Aleix Espargarò and a podium finish.
As Rossi wrestled his way past Aleix Espargaró, drama struck as Marc Marquez crashed out of the lead on lap nine, handing the Italian second place.
The fight for the win was now between the nine-time World Champion and Cal Crutchlow, who was a little more than two seconds ahead of him. The Doctor was eager to hunt down the Briton, but the chase to the front of the field in the early stages of the race had taken its toll on his soft front tyre. Rossi decided to focus on maintaining his position after a small mistake on the brakes and cruised to a stunning second place, +4.218s from the front.
Lorenzo had a superb start from twelfth on the grid and quickly stormed to ninth in the opening laps. The Mallorcan was fully aware that his teammate and Viñales would be soon joining him at the front of the pack and hurried to deal with Stefan Bradl and Jack Miller two laps into the race for seventh place. A lap later Lorenzo was forced to let Rossi and Viñales through and followed them past Petrucci, but was unable to keep up with their pace.
With Marquez crashing at the front, the remaining second half of the race was a lonely ride for Lorenzo in sixth place, with a significant gap to both the bike in front and the back of him. Lorenzo focused on keeping the heat in his tyres to bring home some solid points and crossed the line +20.125s from the front.

Race Results

1. C. Crutchlow | LCR Honda | 40’48.543
2. V. Rossi | Movistar Yamaha MotoGP | +4.218
3. M. Vinales | Team Suzuki Ecstar | +5.309
 
5. P. Esparargo | Monster Yamaha Tech3 | +14.299
6. J. Lorenzo | Movistar Yamaha MotoGP | +20.125
8. B. Smith | Monster Yamaha Tech3 | +28.781

46
Valentino Rossi

“This morning we discovered that we had a good pace in good conditions and step by step I came back. At the beginning of the race, the first lap was very funny and I tried and hoped to go to Cal, but he was too fast and too strong. The first ten laps I enjoyed a lot. Cal was also my target and I thought that I could beat him because this morning I was a bit stronger. When I saw Marquez crash I thought I might be able to win and tried but unfortunately Cal was too fast. He is always very fast in Phillip Island and interprets this track in the maximum way. For me the second half of the race was more difficult and I couldn‘t make a move, but this race is what we needed after the mistake in Motegi and the bad day we had yesterday, which I think was the most frustrating day of the season. It was a very positive day for the team and Yamaha and it‘s been a positive race. Congratulations to Cal and thank you to all my team, to all the guys who did a great job.


Jorge Lorenzo

“The temperatures were the same as during the warm-up and we gave more or less the same performance and I made the same lap times, a 1‘30.4s. The grip level drop on the rear has been huge, from the beginning I didn‘t have grip, but that‘s the way it is. As soon as the track has less grip, we struggle more and the problems we have with the bike double or triple. In Malaysia we shouldn‘t have a problem with the cold, or grip as the track is new. It should have more grip than last year so I really look forward to a better result.

Massimo Meregalli
Team Director
“Following this morning‘s warm up we understood there were good premises for a positive race. Since the beginning of the session this morning, Valentino had a really good feeling and that‘s why we kept the bike as it was before the race. The two remaining variables were the tyres and the start from the fifth row, but Vale did great to manage both! Valentino‘s second place is a great relief after a very difficult and challenging weekend. Jorge did his best to recover from 12th on the grid and, although I am sure he‘s not happy with his sixth place, he did a very good job to ride around the difficulties he experienced throughout the whole weekend. I really want to congratulate with and thank all team members, who worked hard all weekend to provide Valentino and Jorge the best weapons for today‘s race. Their work has been crucial to recover from a bad Saturday!

[title size=”3″ content_align=”left” style_type=”single solid” sep_color=”” class=”” id=””]Schedule & Standings[/title]

Thanks to his stunning ride today, Rossi stays in second place in the championship with 216 points. He thereby increases the advantage over his teammate Lorenzo to 24 points, whose sixth place sees his points total raised to 192.

Date Race Venue Location Lorenzo Rossi
Mar 20 Grand Prix of Qatar Losail International Circuit Qatar 1st
25 pts
4th
13 pts
Apr 4 Grand Prix of Argentina Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo Argentina NC
25 pts
2nd
33 pts
Apr 10 Grand Prix of the Americas Circuit of the Americas Austin, TX 2nd
45 pts
NC
33 pts
Apr 24 Grand Prix of Spain Circuido de Jerez Jerez de la Frontera, Spain 2nd
65 pts
1st
58 pts
May 8 Grand Prix of France Circuit de ls Sarthe Le Mans, France 1st
90 pts
2nd
78 pts
May 22 Grand Prix of Italy Autodromo del Mugello Scarperia, Italy 1st
115 pts
NC
78 pts
Jun 5 Grand Prix of Catalunya Circuit de Catalunya Montmeló, Spain NC
115 pts
1st
103 pts
Jun 26 Grand Prix of the Netherlands Circuit de ls Sarthe Assen, Netherlands 10th
121 pts (2nd)
NC
103 pts (3rd)
Jul 17 Grand Prix of Germany Sachsenring Saxon, Germany 15th
122 pts (2nd)
8th
111 pts (3rd)
Aug 14 Grand Prix of Austria Red Bull Ring Spielberg, Austria 3rd
138 pts (2nd)
4th
124 pts (3rd)
Aug 21 Grand Prix of Czech Republic Automodrom Brno Brno, Czech Republic 17th
138 pts (3rd)
2nd
144 pts (2nd)
Sep 11 Grand Prix of San Marino Misano World Circuit Misano Adriatico, Italy 3rd
162 pts (3rd)
2nd
180 pts (2nd)
Sep 25 Grand Prix of Aragón Motorland Aragón Aragón, Spain 2nd
182 (3rd)
3rd
196 (2nd)
Oct 16 Grand Prix of Japan Twin Ring Motegi Tochigi, Japan N.C.
182 (3rd)
N.C.
196 (2nd)
Oct 23 Grand Prix of Australia Phillip Island Circuit Phillip Island Victoria, Australia 6th
192
(3rd)
2nd
216
(2nd)
Oct 30 Grand Prix of Malaysia Sepang International Circuit Selangor, Malaysia
Nov 13 Grand Prix of Valencia Ricardo Tormo Valencia Cheste, Spain

Additional details, including extended imagery, are available on www.yamahamotogp.com.

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