Cal Crutchlow was unstoppable on the Phillip Island circuit, Australia: he gained the first place. Andrea Dovizioso had to be happy of his fourth position instead. Hector Barbera, substitute of Andrea Iannone, had to treat after a fall.
Andrea Dovizioso scored a strong fourth place finish in the Michelin Australian Grand Prix, held today in dry conditions at a wind-swept Phillip Island circuit. The Ducati Team’s Italian rider, who started from row 3, crossed the line at the end of the opening lap in seventh place and made his way up to fourth by lap 7. Dovizioso was then involved in a great scrap with Aleix Espargarò, who crashed on lap 23, and Maverick Viñales, but he was unable to pass the young Spanish rider and had to settle for a fourth place finish in this sixteenth round of the championship.
Team-mate Hector Barbera, who was having his second race with the Ducati Team, was once again targeted by misfortune. The Spanish rider, who started from row 4, crossed the line on lap 1 in fourteenth place and then put in a good recovery which took him up to eleventh. Unfortunately Hector, who was in a group of seven riders fighting for seventh place, crashed out at Turn 6 three laps from the end and had to retire.
Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team #04) – 4th
“I am satisfied with my race today, even though when you are fighting for the podium with just a few laps remaining, it is disappointing not to be able to reach it. However, if I think that last year here I did one of my worst races, managing to finish the race at Phillip Island with a fourth place is something really positive for me. I am pleased with the way we worked throughout the weekend, but especially with the way we are constantly improving the bike. I managed my race well, making the best use of the strong points of the Desmosedici GP in the parts of the circuit which were most favourable to us, and I was able to stay among the battle for the podium right until the end. Over the last one and a half laps, I decided to back down because I was taking too many risks in catching Viñales, but a fourth place at this circuit is a really good result for me.”
Hector Barbera (Ducati Team #8) – DNF
“It was a difficult race, because I was only able to lap in the dry in this morning’s warm-up and so for me all the race settings were completely new. After the start I made a recovery that took me into the group with Redding and Petrucci fighting for seventh place, but three laps from the end I made a mistake trying to pass Miller: I went too long, finished on the grass and crashed. It was really a pity, because today I tried to do my best, but it wasn’t sufficient. Again I’d like to thank Ducati, my team Avintia Racing, and everyone who gave me this chance. I didn’t have much luck but now I must look ahead and try and do better in the next two races.”
Cal Crutchlow capped his incredible MotoGP season by taking a second victory of the year at the Michelin® Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix, beating Valentino Rossi by over four seconds at a sunny but chilly Phillip Island circuit in Victoria.
The LCR Honda man started the race from second position on the grid, and took a gamble by deciding to fit the hard option front tyre to his factory Honda RC213V. With the race taking place at 4pm local time, temperatures were dropping rapidly and there was concern about his choice when world champion Marc Marquez crashed out in front of him on the same rubber.
However, Crutchlow managed his tyre to perfection, pulling away from the rest of the field to lead by over six seconds at one point. He was then able to manage the gap in the latter stages of the race to become the first ever Briton to take victory in an Australian GP. He is also the first Brit to take more than one win in a MotoGP season since Barry Sheene in 1979, 25 points which cement his stranglehold on top Independent Team rider in the championship.
With wife Lucy and baby daughter Willow currently on their way to Malaysia for the penultimate round of the world championship, it will be a joyous family reunion as the paddock moves on to the Sepang International Circuit next weekend.
#35 Cal Crutchlow – 1st
“I was terrified when Marc crashed out in front of me, I braked really weakly into that corner for the whole race. I knew it was critical, because I crashed there from second a couple of years ago when I had a ten-second gap behind me, so I was quite scared to be honest. With that in mind, I also knew I had to keep pushing because otherwise I would lose heat in the front tyre.”
“I was actually quite confident that I could have caught Marc today, but once he crashed I just carried on at the same pace and then the last ten laps or so I didn’t really push, I just made sure I kept heat in the front. I actually pushed more on the laps when the sun wasn’t out, because when it was I could be a little more relaxed. It might sound strange, but this is Phillip Island and anything can happen.”
“I’m really pleased for the LCR Honda Team, they have done a great job this weekend. I was confident I could have won even with Marquez in the race, but Honda have done a really good job with our bike, there’s no doubt about that. We can now look forward to the last two races, and then see what happens for next year.”