Australia MotoGP: Phillip Island Quotes

Australian MotoGP

For the fourth year in a row, Ducati Team rider Casey Stoner took his home race at Phillip Island, the Australian winning after leading every single lap for Round 16 of the 2010 MotoGP Championship.

Stoner was joined on the podium by Fiat Yamaha MotoGP riders Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi, respectively. The 2010 MotoGP World Champion finished just over 8.5 seconds behind Stoner, and Rossi just over 9.3 seconds behind his teammate.

Rounding out the top five at Phillip Island MotoGP were Ducati Team rider Nicky Hayden and Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Ben Spies.

Here’s what the MotoGP riders were saying after the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday:

Casey Stoner (Ducati GP10) says:

”This feels really nice. I think when I won two in a row here nobody expected me to make it three but having done that I felt there was a lot of expectation on me today. To be fair we have been going for the win at the last four races – unfortunately I slipped off on the first lap at Sepang but we’ve made up for that this weekend.”

“Everything has gone well for us, we have been happy with the bike from the first practice and the support from the fans has been fantastic. I have to admit that before the race I was feeling the pressure, I was more nervous than I normally am but maybe I should be like that more often because I didn’t make mistakes! I am really happy with the way I rode today but every single person in the team has done a great job this weekend so my thanks go to them and I hope we can keep it going to the end of the season.”

Nicky Hayden (Ducati GP10) says:

”It was a good, hard battle in the sunshine and I am very disappointed to have lost. It would have been a lot cooler if it was for the win but fighting with Valentino Rossi for any position is never easy. We made a few changes to the bike today but this morning in the warm-up I ran off the track and we missed the opportunity to try them, so it took me a few laps just to get used to the bike.”

“I have to say the team did a fantastic job because once I got going it felt great and I was able to recover the gap. I don’t want to make excuses or be a cry baby and say ‘maybe if I did this or that it would be different’ because the bottom line is I got fourth, I got beaten. I feel down because this is a track I love, I felt good and to beat Rossi on the last lap would have been really good for me but I can’t dress it up. I feel like I let the team down today because they gave me the bike to do the job but I didn’t get it done.”

Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha M1) says: “We knew Casey would be hard to beat today! I tried my best, riding as hard as I could at the start and occasionally it seemed like I was closing a little bit, but then on the next lap Casey would extend his lead again by a few tenths. I kept trying but I didn’t have much hope and half way through I decided it was better not to take risks.”

“I really enjoyed riding here and sliding a bit on my M1, it was fun but this was Casey’s race today. It was good to be on the podium and now we are heading back and I have my first chance to go home to Mallorca as World Champion and to celebrate with my friends and family. Today we won the Teams’ Title and this shows what a great season it has been for us all, with everyone working at the maximum.”

Valentino Rossi (Yamaha M1) says: “To start eighth and finish third is not a bad result and, considering the trouble we had this weekend, we can be happy. Today Casey was riding in a different sport and I want to say congratulations to him – the podium was the maximum for us but it was still a hard fight to get there. We made some good changes to our set-up this morning and I knew I had a better chance, but we still lacked grip and the bike started to slide a lot after a bit.”

“I had great fun with Nicky at the end because in some places he was faster than me and I really had to push, but the podium here is so important for me and I couldn’t give it up easily. This is my 13th podium in 14 years racing at Phillip Island and I am very proud of this record. We have had three podiums in a row, including one win, and after this difficult season I am happy about this. Today we won the Team title and I am happy for us all and for Yamaha.”

Ben Spies (Yamaha M1) says: “Jorge and I got super close coming out of the first corner and he almost touched my brake lever. It made me run wide in turn two and a couple of people came by. It didn’t ruin the race but it ruined me building up some momentum. I fought my way back into third and was pretty comfortable when I ran wide at the first corner on lap seven.”

“I got in there a bit hot and the rear came round. Everybody got a run on me and came by and dropped me back to sixth. I then had a good battle with Simoncelli. I kind of towed him around and h e picked up his pace and came by me. Once I knew nobody was behind me, I just waited until a few laps from the end to push and pass him back. I made sure I got a decent gap and chilled out in fifth. At the end I was running times that if everything had gone smoothly, I feel like we could have battled for the podium.”

“Towards the end of the race I was running similar times to those ahead of me and that’s all I can do. I’m happy to be Rookie of the Year too. I beat a lot of good guys for that and it will be an achievement I can be proud of at the end of the season. I’ve had some good results on this three-week stretch and I’m now looking forward to the last two rounds.”

Colin Edwards (Yamaha M1) says: “The pace I’d run all weekend was pretty much the pace I was able to run in the race. Conditions changed so much over the weekend that we never really got enough time to work on finding a decent set-up. I was confident going into the race and got a decent start but pretty much from the second corner I was having some spinning from the rear tire.”

“I tried to adjust my riding style because I didn’t want to lose contact with the group in front of me. I settled into a comfortable rhythm but I just couldn’t go any faster. I was trying different lines but I couldn’t enter the corner like I wanted to. My speed was basically dictated by what the rear was doing, but we’ll look at the data and figure a few things out for the final part of the season.”

“I want to thank my guys at Monster Yamaha Tech 3. This has been a tough period of the season but we’ve worked really hard together and I’m happy with the way I’ve performed. Congratulations to Ben too for getting Rookie of the Year. He’s rode awesome all year and he’s beaten a lot of good guys to achieve that.”

Randy de Puniet (Honda RC212V) says: “I am disappointed as I expected a top-six finish. With the lap time I did during the race I could have finished in a better position. I had a real constant lap time during the whole race and I was faster and faster lap by lap. At the beginning of the race I was behind Melandri and overtook him a couple of times but he overtook me back and on turn 4 I passed him again in the inside. But I made a mistake on downshifting and ran wide in the grass loosing many places. After that it was a chase race for me as I tried hard to come back…”

Álvaro Bautista (Suzuki GSVR) says: “I knew that today would be a difficult race and I would really have to ride at my maximum to get anything from it. I got a good start and felt good into the first corner, I was able to overtake other riders but I didn’t really have a good enough rhythm straight away and lost some positions and time. At the end of the race I was in a great battle with de Puniet and Kallio and we fought hard with each other in the last laps.”

“On the last lap I passed de Puniet on the outside of turn seven and I got into 10th. On the last corner I tried to close the inside line so they couldn’t get past me and as I was about 40 metres from the finish line I felt the bike lose a bit of power and speed and I lost two places. I don’t know if the bike had a problem or not, but today I felt like I finished 10th, but the bike was 12th!”

“It is not a good result compared to the last races, but here we knew that it would be a difficult weekend. I would liked to have finished in the top 10 because that result for Suzuki here would have been a very good one, but at the end – because of the bike – I could not finish there. We now have to work very hard in the next two races and I can’t wait to get to Portugal and get riding again to forget the result here.”

Hiroshi Aoyama (Honda RC212V) says: “I was waiting for the tires to heat up, but the whole race I didn’t feel the same grip level as usual and I had to deal with this problem. I would have loved to go faster, but it was not easy to deal with the bike with this problem. It is a pity that I could not improve in the race. The next race is in two weeks in Portugal and I hope I can be faster there.”

Aleix Espargarò (Ducati GP10) says: “What a great race, I am happy for the final result. Being back in the top ten in these conditions is a good thing. This morning after the warm up I had a little pain in my forearm and in my inflamed wrist. Before the race I had an acupuncture treatment in the mobile clinic that has helped me to feel less pain during the race. My start was not the best, after the first corner I lost three positions.”

“Fortunately, in a couple of laps, when my tires came up to the right temperature, I lowered my lap time and I overtaken some riders who were ahead of me. I then reduced the gap I had from Melandri in just three laps. Once I reached the Italian rider I started a brawl with him that we have continued until the last straight. I managed to end the race in eighth position by a breath. I am satisfied with how things went, especially when I think to the two previous races in which I could not be competitive as I wanted. Now I’ll have a week off in which I hope to resolve my physical problems and be back in top form for the next Portugal Grand Prix.”

Mika Kallio (Ducati GP10) says: “What a pity, I am very sorry for the final position. By a narrow margin, less than 3 cents of a second, I could not close the race in the tenth position. The disappointment is even greater when I think about the fact that I was in the tenth position for almost the entire race. Returning to the race, my start was not the best but I have limited the damage, I was in twelfth place after the first round. Then on the fifth lap I managed to climb to the tenth position.”

“I kept my pace consistently fast for about ten laps, this allowed me to be very close to my teammate and to Melandri. Unfortunately, over the course of the race the shoulder pain was aggravated and with for that reason my pace lap has suffered greatly. With four laps to go I was overtaken by Bautista, an in the next lap I was overtaken also by De Puniet. But thanks to an excellent last lap I managed to overtake Bautista. Too bad because my final gap from De Puniet, and from the tenth position, was less than 3 cents, a real blow and I finished the race in eleventh position. ”

Marco Simoncelli (Honda RC212V) says: “It was a really nice race and I enjoyed it a lot so I am happy. I got a good start and moved into third place on the first lap and then stayed in the group with Rossi, Hayden and Spies. We had a great battle and it was really good fun. When Hayden passed me and went after Valentino I was left with Spies for the rest of the race but I managed to keep my pace up and make an attempt to pass him at the end, although unfortunately he was a little too fast for me. Anyway, as I said I am delighted with a really nice race.”

Marco Melandri (Honda RC212V) says: “This race was just the same as all the others this season, I struggled throughout and at the end I was passed by Espargaro. He passed me between the penultimate and final corners and he looked like he was out for a stroll, whereas I was fighting with the bike and couldn’t hold him off. I got a good start but over the first few laps my tires felt like they were made of ice and by the time they had heated up I couldn’t make any progress.”

Andrea Dovizioso (Honda RC212V) says: “It’s really a pity that I had to retire today because we had worked hard with team and, after two difficult days of practice, today we had the pace to fight for third position and a podium finish. I made a good start and I was able to recover some positions. On the first lap I did a 1m31.7s without pushing too hard and I was fifth across the line. In the first two laps though I felt the steering was stiff and on lap three this caused me to lose a lot of positions.”

“I could control the bike but, although I completed another lap, it was too risky to keep riding and I had to come into the pits. There was a problem at the steering damper mounting – it had moved into an incorrect position, so now we will investigate the causes. I’m really disappointed because after two great races in Japan and Malaysia, it was important to make a good race here to fight for third position in the championship. Still, now we will look to get the best results possible in Estoril and Valencia.”