Posted: 17 Oct 2013
As MotoGP moves to one of the most picturesque circuits in the world this weekend, all eyes are on the young Spaniard currently leading the MotoGP World Championship. Marc Marquez has a forty three point advantage heading into Phillip Island meaning should he take victory and Lorenzo finish third or lower, Marquez will become the youngest ever MotoGP World Champion and the first rookie to take the title since Kenny Roberts.
It’s not a foregone conclusion, however. It would be impressive for Marquez to win the title in Australia with Pedrosa on current form after dominating in Sepang to make up for lost ground at Aragon. Phillip Island is the circuit at which Pedrosa threw away any hopes of clinching the title in 2012 as he fell on the first lap at the Honda hairpin.
It should not be assumed Lorenzo will finish behind the Hondas, the fast, flowing nature of Phillip Island should suit the Yamaha. Couple that with a double World Champion desperate to fight until the bitter end and the challenge Marc Marquez faces to take the title.
That being said, only one man on the grid has previously won a MotoGP race at Phillip Island, Valentino Rossi, albeit eight years ago. Casey Stoner’s retirement means we could well see a new winner at Phillip Island, somewhere Jorge Lorenzo hasn’t won since 250cc in 2007 and Pedrosa similarly hasn’t won at the circuit since 250cc in 2005. In fact, the person on the MotoGP grid with the most recent win at Phillip Island is Marc Marquez, who took victory in the 125cc race in 2010.
Valentino Rossi has won five MotoGP races at Phillip Island and many pundits are suggesting this could be his last chance to win in 2013. The nine-time World Champion does seem to be improving race by race, with a stunning qualifying performance at Sepang last weekend and finishing closer to Jorge Lorenzo in the race than he has done all year.
Stefan Bradl has been cleared to ride in Free Practice after breaking his ankle just under a week ago. He’ll undergo further assessment after the session as to whether he’ll compete in the rest of the weekend.
In Moto2, Scott Redding will be looking to regain momentum in his championship fight while in Moto3 Alex Rins and Maverick Vinales will be looking to reel in Luis Salom who now has a fourteen point advantage.