2015 Phillip Island MotoGP Press Conference
The second of three back-to-back MotoGP rounds officially began Thursday with the traditional pre-race press conference.
Present before the international media at Phillip Island in Australia were the two – and only – 2015 MotoGP title contenders, Movistar Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, along with Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedorsa, Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso, LCR Honda’s Jack Miller and Moto3 Championship leader Danny Kent (Leopard Racing Honda).
Talking first was nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi, who has an 18-point lead over Lorenzo with three rounds remaining. He is the winningest rider at Phillip Island, taking eight there across all classes (1 x 250cc, 1 x 500cc and 5 x MotoGP). To earn a 10th MotoGP title, Rossi can even finish second to Lorenzo in the final three races.
“Eighteen points can be a good advantage but it can also become a very small advantage. We have three races but now we have this track that I like very much. It’s always a good result and great memories here in the past but as always all the rivals are very strong, especially Jorge who is very fast here. From tomorrow morning will start another battle and the practice will be important to arrive ready for the race on Sunday,” Rossi says.
Lorenzo, who has two wins at Phillip Island (1 x 250cc, 1 x MotoGP), knows the pressure is on as he seeks his third MotoGP title.
“Obviously now it comes to the final three races in the championship and we must win a lot if we want to recover the points and have the chance in Valencia to be World Champion. The championship is the goal we have, but we are not very focused on the result just to keep working in the same way on the bike, on the setting and on my riding and if we keep working like that we are going to be fast and consistent. This is our goal from tomorrow,” Lorenzo says.
Pedrosa, who put in a dominating performance last week in Motegi to earn his first win of 2015 MotoGP, can play a major role on who ends up as champion. The Repsol Honda RC213V pilot has never won at Phillip Island, but has shown stronger results as the 2015 MotoGP season wraps up.
“Looking forward to these last three races and it’s been a little hard this year due to many factors but in the last few races it’s coming better and stronger. Just hoping for the last races to continue that way and try to finish strong again for the last three and end the championship well,” Pedrosa says.
Dovi’s struggles subsided at Motegi when he crossed the line fifth as the top-finishing Ducati. He is focused now as he looks to secure fifth overall in the 2015 MotoGP Championship.
“We’re still working a lot to try to improve the bike. This weekend will be very important for us as it’s a completely different track and difficult to find the right set up to manage the tyre and be fast in these difficult conditions. Lots of wind and long corners with a lot of slides but my feeling improved a little last race so I hope to be fast here,” Dovizioso says.
Local rider Jack Miller was also present; he will be joining Marc VDS Racing Team in 2016:
“Next year we’ll be campaigning with the Marc VDs squad and I’m looking forward to starting my next chapter in MotoGP with them. The bike looks awesome and the package those guys have put together looks really awesome. To see them in their first year in the championship is good. I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone including Lucio from LCR Honda, they’ve put together a good squad for me and it’s a real shame we’ve had to cut it short but I thank them for all the support and look forward to the next chapter of my GP career.”
The final rider to speak was Moto3 Championship leader Kent, who can wrap up the title this weekend if things go correct at the Phillip Island Grand Prix: “Yeah you know in Japan there was a chance to win the championship but we needed a lot of luck to come our way. Coming into this weekend the chances of winning the World Championship is a lot more possible for me to do. Motivation is high and we’re looking forward to it.”
For more, visit 2015 Phillip Island MotoGP Preview.