Australia MotoGP: Rossi & Hayden Battle

Hayden vs Rossi

Nicky Hayden’s teammate, Casey Stoner, continued his MotoGP win-record at his home track in Australia as the Ducati GP10 rider won at the Phillip Island Circuit for the fourth year in a row.

Starting from pole position the 25 year-old led the Iveco Australian Moto GP from start to finish eventually crossing the finish line 8.598s ahead of 2010 MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo.

The real motorcycle-racing excitement went right down to the final lap as Fiat Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi edged out Ducati’s Nicky Hayden in what was a fantastically close MotoGP battle.

The MotoGP rider from Kentucky appeared to have got one over on his future Ducati teammate with three laps to go when Nicky Hayden overtook at Honda Hairpin, but Valentino Rossi returned the move at the same place on the final lap to beat the American Hayden to the final podium spot by a margin of just 0.038s.

Nicky Hayden had come through from sixth on the MotoGP grid to mount a sensational battle for the podium, passing three riders on the first lap before exchanging positions with Marco Simoncelli, Ben Spies and Valentino Rossi in a breathtaking opening to the race.

Nicky Hayden says: “It was a good, hard battle (with Valentino Rossi) 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.”

“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,” explains the Ducati GP10 who finished 4th in the Phillip Island MotoGP race.

Valentino Rossi made a small set-up tweak in warm-up but still dropped to ninth on the first lap. Rossi gained two places on the next three laps and on lap five found himself on the end of a four-man group in sixth, with third in his sights.

He originally dispatched Nicky Hayden on lap seven and then fellow Yamaha man Ben Spies on the eighth. His task was not over however and he had his work cut out to hold onto the final MotoGP podium spot with Hayden hard on his heels.

On the third last lap the American got by the Italian but a brilliant last-lap move from Rossi secured him an incredible 13th podium in 14 years at Phillip Island.

Stoner’s win means Rossi slips one place to fourth in the Moto GP standings, with a deficit of eight points from the Australian.

Valentino Rossi says: ” 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. Today we won the Team title and I am happy for us all and for Yamaha,” explains the Italian who rode his Yamaha M1 to 3rd place.

Davide Brivio says: Valentino (Rossi) did very well to get this podium. These three races have gone well for us and we’re heading back to Europe satisfied,” explains Valentino Rossi’s Yamaha MotoGP Team Manager.

MotoGP Phillip Island, Sunday, October 17, 2010

Pos. Points Num. Rider Nation Team Bike Km/h Time/Gap
1 25 27 Casey STONER Australia Ducati Team Ducati 175.1 41’09.128
2 20 99 Jorge LORENZO Spain Fiat Yamaha Team Yamaha 174.5 +8.598
3 16 46 Valentino ROSSI Italy Fiat Yamaha Team Yamaha 173.8 +17.997
4 13 69 Nicky HAYDEN USA Ducati Team Ducati 173.8 +18.035
5 11 11 Ben SPIES USA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha 173.5 +22.211