Australia MotoGP: Bridgestone Race Report
Phillip Island MotoGP
Producing a repeat performance of his spectacular MotoGP pace in qualifying and during Sunday’s warm-up, Ducati’s Casey Stoner dominated the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island to take his third victory of the season and his fourth consecutively at the Phillip Island circuit.
From pole, the Australian Ducati motorcycle rider never looked back as he romped to a convincing MotoGP victory using Bridgestone’s softer option slicks front and rear.
Conditions Sunday were fine at the Phillip Island MotoGP with only light showers in the morning although the track and ambient temperature was still low, with the air just 15 degrees Celsius.
Every MotoGP rider used Bridgestone’s softer option front and rear slicks in the cold conditions this weekend. This MotoGP race was also the first time that Bridgestone’s softer option asymmetric rear slicks featured the new extra soft compound in the right shoulders for improved warm-up performance and grip in the cold.
Finishing a lonely second behind the Ducati rider was newly-crowned champion Jorge Lorenzo, whilst his Fiat Yamaha MotoGP teammate Valentino Rossi took the final step of the podium after a race-long battle with Nicky Hayden, the two crossing the line separated by just 0.04 seconds.
MotoGP rookie Ben Spies finished fifth after another race-long scrap with Marco Simoncelli.
Hiroshi Yamada (Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Department) says: “Casey has been so fast all weekend so I congratulate him and the Ducati Team for their performance here. With four consecutive victories Phillip Island really is his circuit!”
“From 2007 we have celebrated a win with Casey at Australia every year, and last year he marked our 50th win in MotoGP so we have good memories of Phillip Island. This weekend the conditions have been very difficult because of the rain, the wind and the cold but finally today was dry and we could see some good battles especially between Valentino and Nicky for third and Ben and Marco Simoncelli for fifth so I think the fans saw some good action this weekend too.”
Tohru Ubukata (Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tire Development Department) says: “Track conditions for the race were the best of the weekend but grip was still not ideal and still relatively low compared to last year. I’m happy with tire performance and durability as the top five were still lapping consistently until the end of the race.”
“This is the first race using our extra soft compound in the rear tires and it performed well from the start and was very consistent over race distance. Casey’s first laps of the race were incredible, including a 1m 30.8s on his second lap, so I think this is a good indication of the improved warm-up and rider confidence this extra soft compound gives right from the start. I want to congratulate Casey for his fourth consecutive win at his home grand prix, all on Bridgestone tires.”
Casey Stoner (Ducati Team – MotoGP Race Winner) says: “I’m really happy with this weekend. Every weekend for the last four races we’ve been really trying to win and we’ve managed at three of those. It’s been a hard season so it’s fantastic to be competitive again.”
“This weekend everything has gone well and right from free practice one I was happy with the Ducati and how everything was working. Tire degradation is pretty severe here and we’re using the softer compounds because of the conditions, so once I had a gap I tried to relax and just flow around the track. I like to spin up round here but I tried to back it off a bit. It’s a circuit I enjoy and just feel comfortable here. For sure it’s nice to get this home GP win!”