Felice Monteleone – FMPhotoSport MotoGP News
HRC Repsol MotoGP Team, Australian GP Preview
Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa face Australian GP with optimism
Pedrosa’s win last Sunday and Marquez’ love of Phillip Island provide big motivation for Repsol Honda riders for Round 16.
With Dani Pedrosa‘s victory at the Japanese Grand Prix still fresh in memory, the MotoGP World Championship this week moves to Phillip Island for the Australian Grand Prix. The Repsol Honda Team riders are motivated for the second round of the triple flyaways. Pedrosa comes into the event off the back of two great races in Aragon and Japan, and Marc Marquez will be taking on one of his favourite tracks further recovered from a fracture to his left hand.
In Moto3, Japan Navarro got his second consecutive podium in Japan, and will be making his second visit to the small island south of Melbourne. For teammate Fabio Quartararo, the Australian event will be used to assess the condition of his right foot, fractured a month ago at Misano. It will be a difficult challenge for the Frenchman who, like Maria Herrera, will be making a first appearance at one of the fastest tracks on the calendar.
“It wasn’t a great weekend in Japan but it could have been a lot worse. With the wet conditions it was not such a stress on my injured hand, so this is a positive. Now we go to Australia and I really look forward to this weekend because Phillip Island is one of my favourite circuits. I think it will be a better track for us than Motegi so we will work hard from FP1 on Friday to try and find the best setup. Now I will try to rest my hand for a few days as this track is very physical with many hard and fast changes in direction.”
“It was a great result in Motegi, after a difficult weekend. I am feeling really positive and we have good momentum as we head to Australia for the next race. Phillip Island can be tricky due to the weather conditions so we will work hard and try to get a good qualifying position. It’s difficult to know how the race will play out and we will have to see how our bike works there this year. Anyway we will be fighting hard and hope to be on the podium again!”
“I think in Australia we can go much better than in Japan, because it is a circuit with fast corners and only two right hairpins ‒ which is where my ankle bothers me most. The rest are left corners, so I hope I can ride much more comfortably because ‒ from what I’ve seen ‒ it looks like a great circuit. In the coming days I will try to recover as much as possible, keeping my foot raised to decrease inflammation, and I am also going to walk to start regaining strength. In Japan my foot was really shaking and I’m sure that is due to a lack of muscle tone. Taking advantage of the fact that we’re near the sea, I’ll go to the beach to walk barefoot in the sand and that will allow me to work the muscles of my calf and my ankle mobility.”
“I like Phillip Island very much. Last year I saw it was very fast there and on the first laps I did I was amazed at the speed reached on some corners ‒ where we got up to fifth or even sixth gear. In the race I did well; I got my best result of the season and this year we are very motivated after two good races, in which we have kept working well. We will continue like this and I’m sure it will enable us to fight for the podium – or the victory.”
“From what I’ve seen, it is one of the fastest circuits in the world, if not the fastest, so I think we’re going to have fun. There are some corners you take flat-out in fifth, so I can’t wait to start riding there. I think I’ll like it, because my style is more about cornering than stopping the bike under braking like in Japan, so I hope to adapt well and have a good race. In recent Grands Prix we have done a good job in practice and, although the race in Japan was complicated by the rain, I’ll take the positives from it. We must be attentive to the wind, because the track is by the sea and this is usually a very important factor, but it will be the same for everyone.”
AUSTRALIAN GP: VIDEO PREVIEW