VIÑALES AND ROSSI TOP FIRST 2017 MOTOGP IRTA TESTING DAY IN VALENCIA
Maverick Viñales kicked off the 2017 MotoGP pre-season testing in Valencia on a positive note, finishing first in today‘s session timesheets, 0.020s ahead of Valentino Rossi in second place.
GRAND PRIX OF VALENCIA
Valencia, Spain – 15th November 2016
17:00 LOCAL TIME GMT+1, AIR 18°C / TRACK 22°C, SUNNY / HUMIDITY 50%
2nd – VALENTINO ROSSI, 1’30.950 / 47 LAPS
Valencia (Spain), 15th November 2016
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team had a positive first day of testing at the Circuito de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo. Today‘s seven-hour long session gave Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi the chance to make their first steps in preparing for the 2017 MotoGP season.
Though the main goal of today‘s outing for Viñales was to get a feel for his new bike, he didn‘t waste time to make a statement. The Spaniard started his test around eleven o‘clock and only took half an hour to ride to second place and continued to be in the top six throughout his morning run. He kept the momentum going during his afternoon stint and showed his confidence posting a 1‘30.930s on lap 55 to take over first place from Rossi. The 21-year-old completed 61 laps in total and wrapped up the day of testing leading the way.
Rossi had a mixed but ultimately successful day of testing. He was quickly on the pace in the morning on his 2016 bike and topped the standings after his 11th lap, clocking a 1‘30.950s, which was only bettered by Viñales later in the afternoon when the temperatures rose. Despite suffering a crash on lap 32 in turn 10, he walked away unharmed and started the Valencia test with a positive feeling overall. The Italian spent his afternoon session preparing for next year‘s season. He completed 47 laps in total and finished in second place in today‘s testing results, just 0.020s off the front.
Tomorrow Movistar Yamaha MotoGP will be back at the Ricardo Tormo track to continue their testing programme.
The extended imagery from today’s test session at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit (Valencia, Spain) is available on
MASSIMO MEREGALLI – TEAM DIRECTOR
“Today has been a momentous occasion and a promising start to the first pre-season MotoGP IRTA test. Maverick made his first kilometres on the Yamaha and, just like we expected, he has taken to the bike very well. He used today just to get a feel for the YZR-M1. Valentino was very quick this morning on his 2016 bike. It was unfortunate that his crash on the bike with the 2017 frame lost us some time, because the damage was quite substantial, but the main thing is that Vale is OK. Later in the afternoon he resumed his testing plan and the feedback we got from him is very clear, so overall we are satisfied with how the test has started and with our progress so far.”
“It was a positive day, because I‘m second and the lap time was not so bad, but I did it with the old bike. With the new chassis the first feeling was OK, but after unfortunately I crashed because I put the hard tyre on the front, which on the right side doesn‘t give enough grip for our bike. I damaged the bike and I didn‘t have enough time to try it again, so now the guys are working and I will try the new chassis some other time tomorrow and we will see.”
MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP SIGNS OFF WITH 2016 TEAM TITLE AT STIRRING SPANISH SHOWDOWN
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team closed the 2016 MotoGP World Championship today at a sunny yet slightly cloudy Circuito de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo in supreme form. Jorge Lorenzo stormed out of the gates to clinch a stunning and untouchable victory in his last appearance for Yamaha. Teammate Valentino Rossi also put up a strong fight and brought his YZR-M1 over the line in fourth place to give Yamaha its seventh FIM MotoGP Team Title.
GRAND PRIX OF VALENCIA
Valencia, Spain – 13th November 2016
14:00 LOCAL TIME GMT+1, AIR 22°C / TRACK 25°C, SUNNY / HUMIDITY 42%
1st – JORGE LORENZO, 45’54.228 / 30 LAPS
4th – VALENTINO ROSSI, +7.668 / 30 LAPS
Valencia (Spain), 13th November 2016
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Jorge Lorenzo returned to winning form at the Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana, securing a masterful first place. Teammate Valentino Rossi gave the Spanish crowds an action-packed 30-lap sprint at the Circuito de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo as he fought hard to hold off the competition, taking fourth over the line.
After a perfect qualifying session in Valencia yesterday, Lorenzo arrived at the circuit this morning feeling confident about his pace and it showed in the opening laps. The Mallorcan stormed into the first corner to take the holeshot before creating an over 0.6s gap to the riders in his pursuit. He was the only rider to drop a 1‘36s opening lap before getting into a consistent rhythm of 1‘31s.
As his teammate got into a heated battle with Andrea Iannone and Marc Marquez for second place, it was a flawless but lonely ride for Lorenzo. The home-hero maintained an advantage of more than four seconds over his closest rival for most of the race, but decided to slow down his pace in the final stages to end his Yamaha career with a textbook win and a 1.185s margin. Lorenzo‘s run-away victory secured him third place in the Rider Championship standings, highlighting his protagonist status.
Rossi also had a good start from the first row on the grid and slotted in behind Maverick Viñales after riding side-by-side through the first corners. He took a few laps to heat up his tyres before turning up the pressure on the Spaniard on lap four. Not wanting to let the front riders escape, Rossi slipped past him in turn 14, all the while being followed by Marquez.
The nine-time World Champion next set his sights on Iannone and it didn‘t take him long to tag onto the back of his compatriot. What followed was a sensational battle for second place that lasted over 24 laps. Rossi‘s first attack on lap six was successful, but he had to let Iannone past over the line. The Italians then further delighted the race fans at the eighteenth and final Grand Prix of the season with brilliant scraps, swapping places on many occasions.
With Marquez getting into the mix with twelve laps to go, proceedings intensified even more. In turn 2 Marquez overtook Rossi. The Doctor bided his time in the last eleven laps, ready to pounce when the opportunity arose. Over the last seven and a half minutes, as Marquez started to get away, he tried to take over third place from Iannone, but their fight lost him valuable time. With two laps to go Rossi had a final try at securing a place on the podium. Though he was unable to make it stick, he ended up taking valuable points with a hard-fought fourth position, finishing 7.668s from his teammate.
With today‘s results added to the riders‘ scores, Rossi ended in second place in the Rider Championship standings with 249 points. Lorenzo claimed third in the overall rankings with 233 points. Their achievements combined give the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team the 2016 FIM MotoGP Team‘s Title with 482 points and a 28-point advantage over the team in second place.
Tomorrow the team will enjoy a well-deserved day off before they kick off the two-day first official pre-season IRTA test of the 2017 season on Tuesday November 15th in Valencia.
MASSIMO MEREGALLI – TEAM DIRECTOR
“This is the spectacular way to end the 2016 season. Wrapping up such a competitive season with a perfect victory and a fantastic battle that resulted in a hard-fought fourth place is of course a great outcome and it underlines that Movistar Yamaha MotoGP winning the Team‘s Title is well-deserved. Jorge gave a flawless performance all week and he ended his Yamaha career in the best way possible. Valentino struggled earlier this weekend, but found a good solution for the race. His battle with Iannone was a pleasure to watch for everybody. It was unfortunate that he just missed out on the podium, but he was forced to give up third position due to tyre degradation on the front. However, the points he scored today helped us claim the Team Title, which was our goal for this weekend, so we are pleased. The 2016 season and our work with Jorge have come to an end so this is a very memorable win and Team Title victory, which we will commemorate tonight and tomorrow with a big celebration before we start the first test of the 2017 season at the same track this Tuesday.”
“It has been an incredible weekend with a perfect first few laps, the pole position, the fastest lap, and the victory. I arrived here in MotoGP at 20 years old, taking my first pole position on my first race. After almost ten years I leave with a pole position and a victory, I think I couldn‘t have given Yamaha a better present than this for their support and their hard work during these years. We always had a competitive and winning bike. Now we will enjoy and celebrate these memories. Tonight at the party I will enjoy the last moments with my team. During the race you spend 45 minutes completely focused on what you are doing to dominate this bike, so when you cross the line you aren‘t very emotional yet and you don‘t think too much, because you need to recover. After two or three minutes I started remembering the best moments in my career and also the hard moments and in parc fermé it was very emotional with my team. For sure I will throw one of my biggest and craziest parties today because it‘s a good day. We have to enjoy all of these experiences and especially this last moment with Yamaha.”
“I was pushing from the beginning to the end and the first half of the race wasn‘t so bad because I was in second position, but I wasn‘t fast enough to make a gap and after that I suffered on the second part. Marquez was very strong, so he arrived in second place and after that I had a fight with Iannone. Unfortunately he beat me because he was faster, so just fourth place for me today, but it was a good race. The 2016 season brought a lot of positive things; second place in the championship, a lot of podiums and front row starts. Next year I want to try to win more races, more than two, but we are always competitive. Unfortunately I made some mistakes and I was a bit unlucky with the engine in Mugello so I was a bit too far behind in the championship, but anyway it was a good season.”
MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP FLY TO SPAIN FOR 2016 SEASON FINALE
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team returns to Spain this week for the 2016 MotoGP World Championship finale, the Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana, with the third place in the Rider‘s Championship and the Team‘s and Constructor‘s Titles still up for grabs.
Valencia (Spain), 9th November 2016
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo head to Spain this weekend to wrap up the 2016 MotoGP World Championship season at the Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana.
Valentino Rossi enters Spain intent on fighting for a podium spot. Having secured second place in the championship at the previous round at the Sepang International Circuit a fortnight ago, he focusses on the fight for the Manufacturer‘s and Team‘s Title to close the season in the best way possible. The nine-time World Champion previously has taken two premier class wins at Valencia, in 2003 and 2004, and he has claimed multiple podiums with second places in 2002, 2009 and 2014 and third places in 2005, 2008 and 2010.
Lorenzo arrives in his home country determined to keep the pressure on to take third place in the championship rankings at his final race for Yamaha. The Mallorcan joined the team in 2008 and has shown his strength at the Ricardo Tormo circuit on more than one occasion. Highlights of his successes with the YZR-M1 at the Valencian circuit are premier class victories in 2010, 2013 and 2015 (securing the 2015 World Championship title) and a podium with a third position in 2009.
The 4.0 km long Circuito de la Comunitat Valenciana – Ricardo Tormo was completed in 1999 and has a twisty character with nine left and five right corners and an 876 m longest straight. It is a true stadium track that gives fans a perfect view of all parts of the track from every stand that can seat up to 150,000 spectators in total. Valencia always attracts a record crowd to witness the final racing spectacle ever since it became the traditional MotoGP season closer in 2002 and the Yamaha riders aim to give the fans a thrilling show again this weekend as they sign off this spectacular year.
MASSIMO MEREGALLI – TEAM DIRECTOR
“After the overseas races we finally return to European soil for the fourth and last round in Spain. Now that Valentino has secured second place in the championship he can enjoy this last round to the fullest with some great racing, while Jorge continues the battle for third place in the standings. The atmosphere is always special in Valencia, which makes for an exciting race. Though we are looking forward to the final head-to-head of the year we are approaching the weekend with mixed emotions, it is a shame we won‘t have Jorge in the team anymore after his final appearance for Yamaha this weekend. Yet, this is all the more reason to end the season on a high. We are confident that together we can make this year‘s final Grand Prix a great one and we‘re looking forward to start work on Friday.”
“For me Valencia is always a special race because it is always very challenging. Usually on this track I suffer a bit and it’s not good for me. For this reason I want to be as strong as possible during this weekend, working well with my team and get the best possible result. We are still fighting for the constructor‘s and the team‘s championship, so I will do my best to collect important points. After the race I will finally try the new YZR-M1. I am very impatient to get to know next year‘s bike!”
“The season is almost over and finally we arrive to Valencia, where I have some good memories, especially last year when we were able to achieve our goal and become World Champion again. Valencia is going to be a very special race for me because after nine years with the Yamaha family I have to say goodbye and it won‘t be easy. I had a lot of good feelings with Yamaha and together we won a lot of races and titles… I would like to finish this season in the best way possible and that‘s with a victory, so I will do my best to try to win in Cheste and I will try to secure third position in the championship as well.”
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo withstood treacherous conditions at the Sepang International Circuit to take second and third in this afternoon‘s Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix in soaking weather.
15:00 LOCAL TIME GMT+8, AIR 25°C / TRACK 28°C, STORMY RAIN / HUMIDITY 97%
2nd – VALENTINO ROSSI, +3.115 / 19 LAPS
3rd – JORGE LORENZO, +11.924 / 19 LAPS
Sepang (Malaysia), 30th October 2016
Heavy rain saw the start of the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix delayed and the race distance reduced to 19 laps, but the more than 95,000 attendees still got plenty of thrilling racing action. Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo fought hard during the race to take second and third, their fifth double podium of the season.
Rossi had dropped two places from his position on the starting grid as the 21 MotoGP riders stormed out of the gates. As a result he went into the first corner in fourth, but quickly worked his way to the front over the next couple of turns. Rossi swiftly gained the lead and tried to break away but he was soon joined by Andrea Iannone. The following 11 laps were a consistent tug of war for the lead in the race between the two Italians.
The Doctor used the nimble character of the Yamaha to the fullest in the twisty sections of the Sepang circuit. With 12 laps remaining Iannone made his first attempt to take off at the front, but Rossi didn‘t let him escape and upped his pace further to close the gap within two laps, with Andrea Dovizioso in tow.
Studying his rival‘s riding, Rossi timed his attack to perfection. He wrestled his way past Iannone, followed by Dovizioso, and set a provisional fastest lap while the rivals behind him lost time battling each other. With five laps to go, as the track started to dry, Rossi suffered a problem on the right side of his front tyre. As a result he went wide in turn one, allowing Dovizioso through and after having experienced two moments the Doctor decided to bring his YZR-M1 over the line in second place, 3.115s behind the leader.
Teammate Lorenzo took the holeshot from pole on the wet track, but wasn‘t able to hold off an aggressive move from Marc Marquez and Iannone a few corners later, that saw him being relegated to sixth at the end of the first lap. The Mallorcan moved up one place at the start of lap three when Aleix Espargaró went wide and then took up the pursuit of Marquez who was a little more than a second ahead of him.
Lorenzo set a provisional fastest lap, but lost time and a place due to a scrap with Cal Crutchlow. Lorenzo decided to follow the Briton to the leading group and then found an impressive race pace but was unable to match the front runners. He had a lonely ride to the podium as Crutchlow, Marquez and Iannone all crashed in the later stages of the race, allowing him to grab a solid third place, finishing 11.924s from the front.
Rossi’s second place earns him 20 points and leaves him second in the championship standings with 236 points. Lorenzo’s performance sees him take 16 points and places him third in the rankings on 208 points, trailing by 28 points, making Rossi the 2016 MotoGP Vice Champion.
The MotoGP paddock heads back to Spain now for the last round of the season in Valencia in two weeks‘ time.
MASSIMO MEREGALLI – TEAM DIRECTOR
“A double podium under today‘s critical circumstances is the evidence the team did an excellent job again here in Sepang. Valentino rode a superb and perfect race and I am sure he would have battled with Dovizioso until the very end, if his front tyre would not have dropped so quickly on the 15th lap. He was great to read the situation at the beginning of the race and he was also very brave because he had to reject first Iannone‘s attacks and then Dovi‘s. As for Jorge, it was evident from the beginning of the race that he did not have the feeling on today‘s flooded track but he was patient, his riding was very smooth and he was able to manage the situation for third place on the podium. We wrapped up the triple overseas races in the opposite way we started it. Although Vale has secured the second place in the overall standings, the third place is still open and therefore we head to Valencia now with the aim of having both riders on the final podium. I want to take this occasion to thank the whole team crew and all the staff, as the last three races have been a long and intense journey.”
“My main target for today was to arrive in front of Jorge for second place in the championship, but I also wanted to win because I felt very good with the bike in the beginning. I had to fight a lot with Iannone and he was fast. After, when I went in front, I was very optimistic but when the water on the track became less the temperature went up, I was a bit in trouble with the tyres, especially with the front. I had two moments, I risked too much and I made a mistake and in that moment Dovizioso was too fast and he went. Securing second place in the championship is important, the battle with Lorenzo is always very intense and we always arrive at the last race. When you beat a rider that‘s very strong, like Jorge, it‘s great and in the end it has been a good season. I wanted to win, but it wasn‘t possible.”
“Being honest, today I‘ve been lucky, because without the crashes I would have finished fifth or sixth. Crutchlow, Iannone and Marquez crashed and finally I got this podium and that‘s OK. In the past I have been competitive in wet races, when I felt great. Especially with pit stops I have won races, I have secured podiums and got pole positions in the rain. In the wet, with the Michelin tyres this year, especially at the beginning, I had trouble getting confidence in the front tyre. It has been hard for me but after Brno we made some modifications to the setting and also this tarmac helps. At this track I had more grip than normal, so I had a bit more confidence and I was able to be more competitive. Maybe in the race a bit less than in qualifying, but finally because of some luck it was enough to get to the podium. We now go to Valencia with the aim to confirm the third place in the championship.”
ROSSI TO SHOWCASE SPECIAL ENEOS COLOUR SCHEME IN SEPANG
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Valentino Rossi will ride a special livery YZR-M1 at this weekend‘s Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix to thank JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation for welcoming him at their R&D Center two weeks ago and for their support.
Sepang (Malaysia), 27th October 2016
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Valentino Rossi will venture out on the Sepang International Circuit aboard a YZR-M1 with a special livery on Friday October 28th at the start of the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix weekend. The Yamaha bike‘s colour scheme will sport orange ENEOS branding on the fairing of the bike to symbolize the Doctor and Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s gratitude to JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation, the brand owner of ENEOS.
Rossi, Yamaha and JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation have a close relationship as highlighted by the Doctor‘s stopover at the JX refinery and R&D Center in Yokohama (Japan) two weeks ago, before heading to the Twin Ring Motegi track for the Japanese Grand Prix.
At the start of Rossi‘s visit he drove the ENEOS wrapped Abarth 500 car to the main entrance of the JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation headquarters, where he was welcomed by Toru Konishi (Vice President, Lubricants Company) and nearly 150 employees holding a special welcome banner. Together they attended a private unveiling of the YZR-M1, to offer the staff a first sneak peek of the special livery that will appear on the Sepang International Circuit this weekend.
Later that afternoon, the Doctor had a chance to “blend” the special oil currently used by his YZR-M1.
JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation was founded in 1888 and has made it its mission to contribute to the development of a sustainable economy and society through innovations in the areas of energy, resources and materials, with Ethics, Advanced ideas, Relationships with society, Trustworthy products/services and Harmony with the environment (EARTH) as it‘s key values.
JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation is active in the refining and marketing of petroleum and petrochemical products, importing and selling of gas and coal and supply of electricity. Their products are sold under the brand name “ENEOS” (a wordplay mixing the words “energy” and “neos”, meaning “new” in Greek). A special lubricant developed by JX is used for the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP bikes.
Images from Rossi’s visit to JX’s R&D Center in Yokohama and the special YZR-M1 for the Malaysian GP are available on
“This weekend we will use the special livery for my YZR-M1 to look back on the great experience we had two weeks ago. I had fun visiting the JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation’s R&D Center in Yokohama. Not only did I get to meet the people behind the products, which we use for our bikes in MotoGP, but I also got to see how they are made. I was allowed to try and prepare some oil in a doctor‘s coat, which was funny, but I prefer using the product whilst wearing my ’doctor‘s leathers‘ and leave the lubricant science to the specialists! For sure, after meeting the JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation top management and the employees, it is even more special to ride with this livery in Sepang as a way to say ’thank you‘ for their continuous support.”
TORU KONISHI – JX NIPPON OIL & ENERGY CORPORATION, VICE PRESIDENT LUBRICANTS
“ENEOS have invited 200 customers from Japan and 15 Asian countries to the Malaysia Grand Prix to cheer on the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team. I‘m very excited that Valentino will be riding the ENEOS Special Design Machine at Sepang. I look forward to seeing Valentino‘s victory right in front of us.”
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team is ready to turn up the heat as it heads to the Sepang International Circuit for the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix, the last of the triple back-to-back races that mark the final push to the end of the season before the ultimate round in Valencia.
Sepang (Malaysia), 26th October 2016
After a hard-fought race at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP head directly to Malaysia for the final fly-away race at the Sepang International Circuit.
After a brilliant catch-up race by Valentino Rossi last weekend, the nine-time World Champion is impatient to meet his fans on the Malaysian track, which is one of his favourites on the calendar. The Doctor hopes to again finish on the podium this weekend to reconfirm his status as the current rider with the most premier class wins at the Malaysian circuit. The Italian snatched victory in 2001, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010, secured second place 2002, 2005 and 2014 and third place in 2009 and 2015.
Jorge Lorenzo is also looking forward to get back into action this weekend, this time with warmer temperatures. The Mallorcan has often expressed that he thoroughly enjoys the Sepang track. He hopes the resurfacing of the circuit combined with his smooth riding style will give him the edge he needs to claim his first premier class MotoGP victory there, having come close to the win last year. Lorenzo climbed the Malaysian premier class podium on five occasions, claiming second place in 2012 and 2015 and third place in 2010, 2013 and 2014.
The Sepang International Circuit held its first Grand Prix in 1999 and has been on the MotoGP calendar ever since. The track provides exciting racing thanks to a mixture of slow and medium to high-speed corners (five left and ten right) and two long straights, the longest measuring 920m, providing big challenges in bike set-up. The 5.5 km track is also testing for the riders, as it has one of the longest laps of the MotoGP season, which has to be completed in extremely hot and humid conditions.
MASSIMO MEREGALLI – TEAM DIRECTOR
“We go now to Malaysia to start the last overseas race of the season. I am positive for Sepang, I think this is going to be quite good for us. The circuit has been resurfaced, which is challenging for the tyres, and it looks like there are no bumps, which the riders will appreciate. The last corner is off-camber, so it will be very particular, especially as this is a place where the riders are used to overtaking and it might be easy for them to make mistakes. Having good weather will be important and also the riders‘ physical condition can play a huge part in the race with the hot temperatures that we experience here so often. After two challenging weekends, for sure for the next rounds we would like to get some victories to finish the 2016 season in the best way, so that will be our objective.”
“Sepang is one of my favourite tracks. I like it a lot, but it‘s also one of the most difficult races of the season due to the weather. It is always very hot and you must always be very careful with what you eat and drink. The weekend in Malaysia is very demanding physically, but I‘m in good shape. The weekend on Phillip Island was very complicated but in the end we did a good race and I‘m happy for that. I hope that in Malaysia we can be able to work well again from the first practice. I would like to make it a good race and go to the podium another time.”
“The result in Phillip Island was unexpected for me. We struggle too much in these types of condition and I was not able to ride the way I wanted to. The temperature was too cold and that is why I suffered a lot, it was difficult to warm up the tyres. Sepang is a very different track. We know the layout pretty well because usually we test there a lot of times, but this season something has changed. The asphalt is new and will be different from what we checked out during the preseason. I‘m not expecting any issues with the tyre temperature this weekend because of the Malaysian heat so I‘m going to try to fight for the podium again.”
ROSSI GRABS GUTSY SECOND PLACE IN POWERFUL PHILLIP ISLAND PERFORMANCE
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders‘ Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo delivered a strong charge at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit today. Rossi cut like a knife through butter from fifteenth on the gird to secure a superb second place. Lorenzo had a lonely ride to a solid sixth place, after a brilliant start from 12th position.
Phillip Island (Australia), 23rd October 2016
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Valentino Rossi took the Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix to another level today, with a charge through the field from 15th on the grid to a stunning second place. Teammate Jorge Lorenzo overcame the challenges thrown at him this weekend by pushing hard from 12th on the grid and brought his YZR-M1 over the line in sixth place.
Rossi made a good start to the race at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit as he jumped two places to 13th on the opening lap. Overtaking Scott Redding and Maverick Viñales, the Doctor fought his way past Nicky Hayden as he continued to battle his way to the front of the field. Having climbed up to eighth, he was trailing teammate Jorge Lorenzo, who he quickly overtook on lap three and then the pair smoothly pulled ahead of Danilo Petrucci.
Rossi gradually closed down the 0.4s margin to tack onto the back of Andrea Dovizioso and Pol Espargaró‘s bikes. He then put the hammer down and set a provisional fastest lap of 1‘29.795s, leaving behind his two rivals a lap later. He kept pushing in fourth place, trying to bridge the 0.4s gap to Aleix Espargarò and a podium finish.
As Rossi wrestled his way past Aleix Espargaró, drama struck as Marc Marquez crashed out of the lead on lap nine, handing the Italian second place.
The fight for the win was now between the nine-time World Champion and Cal Crutchlow, who was a little more than two seconds ahead of him. The Doctor was eager to hunt down the Briton, but the chase to the front of the field in the early stages of the race had taken its toll on his soft front tyre. Rossi decided to focus on maintaining his position after a small mistake on the brakes and cruised to a stunning second place, +4.218s from the front.
Lorenzo had a superb start from twelfth on the grid and quickly stormed to ninth in the opening laps. The Mallorcan was fully aware that his teammate and Viñales would be soon joining him at the front of the pack and hurried to deal with Stefan Bradl and Jack Miller two laps into the race for seventh place. A lap later Lorenzo was forced to let Rossi and Viñales through and followed them past Petrucci, but was unable to keep up with their pace.
With Marquez crashing at the front, the remaining second half of the race was a lonely ride for Lorenzo in sixth place, with a significant gap to both the bike in front and the back of him. Lorenzo focused on keeping the heat in his tyres to bring home some solid points and crossed the line +20.125s from the front.
Thanks to his stunning ride today, Rossi stays in second place in the championship with 216 points. He thereby increases the advantage over his teammate Lorenzo to 24 points, whose sixth place sees his points total raised to 192.
The extended imagery from today’s Race at the Phillip Island Circuit is available on
MASSIMO MEREGALLI – TEAM DIRECTOR
“Following this morning‘s warm up we understood there were good premises for a positive race. Since the beginning of the session this morning, Valentino had a really good feeling and that‘s why we kept the bike as it was before the race. The two remaining variables were the tyres and the start from the fifth row, but Vale did great to manage both! Valentino‘s second place is a great relief after a very difficult and challenging weekend. Jorge did his best to recover from 12th on the grid and, although I am sure he‘s not happy with his sixth place, he did a very good job to ride around the difficulties he experienced throughout the whole weekend. I really want to congratulate with and thank all team members, who worked hard all weekend to provide Valentino and Jorge the best weapons for today‘s race. Their work has been crucial to recover from a bad Saturday!”
“This morning we discovered that we had a good pace in good conditions and step by step I came back. At the beginning of the race, the first lap was very funny and I tried and hoped to go to Cal, but he was too fast and too strong. The first ten laps I enjoyed a lot. Cal was also my target and I thought that I could beat him because this morning I was a bit stronger. When I saw Marquez crash I thought I might be able to win and tried but unfortunately Cal was too fast. He is always very fast in Phillip Island and interprets this track in the maximum way. For me the second half of the race was more difficult and I couldn‘t make a move, but this race is what we needed after the mistake in Motegi and the bad day we had yesterday, which I think was the most frustrating day of the season. It was a very positive day for the team and Yamaha and it‘s been a positive race. Congratulations to Cal and thank you to all my team, to all the guys who did a great job.”
“The temperatures were the same as during the warm-up and we gave more or less the same performance and I made the same lap times, a 1‘30.4s. The grip level drop on the rear has been huge, from the beginning I didn‘t have grip, but that‘s the way it is. As soon as the track has less grip, we struggle more and the problems we have with the bike double or triple. In Malaysia we shouldn‘t have a problem with the cold, or grip as the track is new. It should have more grip than last year so I really look forward to a better result.”
RACE RESULTS – 23/10/2016
1. C. CRUTCHLOW, LCR HONDA, 40’48.543
2. V. ROSSI, MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP, + 4.218
3. M. VIÑALES, TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR, + 5.309
4. A. DOVIZIOSO, DUCATI TEAM, + 9.157
5. P. ESPARGARÒ, MONSTER YAMAHA TECH3, + 14.299
6. J. LORENZO, MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP, + 20.125
7. S. REDDING, OCTO PRAMAC YAKHNICH, + 28.369
8. B. SMITH, MONSTER YAMAHA TECH3, + 28.781
9. D. PETRUCCI, OCTO PRAMAC YAKHNICH, + 28.792
10. J. MILLER, ESTRELLA GALICIA 0,0 MARC VDS, + 28.815
11. S. BRADL, APRILIA RACING TEAM GRESINI, + 31.809
12. A. BAUTISTA, APRILIA RACING TEAM GRESINI, + 47.734
13. Y. HERNANDEZ, PULL & BEAR ASPAR TEAM, + 47.749
14. E. LAVERTY, PULL & BEAR ASPAR TEAM, + 54.311
15. M. JONES, AVINTIA RACING, + 55.875
16. T. RABAT, ESTRELLA GALICIA 0,0 MARC VDS, + 1’06.395
17. N. HAYDEN, REPSOL HONDA TEAM, + 1’22.604
18. H. BARBERA, DUCATI TEAM, N.C. (3 laps)
19. A. ESPARGARÒ, TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR, N.C. (5 laps)
MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP HEAD SOUTH FOR SECOND OVERSEAS RACE
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team continues its relentless pace this weekend as the paddock heads from the Twin Ring Motegi circuit in Japan to Phillip Island in Victoria, Australia, for the second consecutive race weekend, the Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix.
Phillip Island (Victoria, Australia), 19th October 2016
After the Grand Prix of Japan, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team immediately moved on to the next stage on the MotoGP calendar, the Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix at the scenic Phillip Island circuit.
Valentino Rossi looks forward to defending his second place in the championship from his teammate Jorge Lorenzo. As one of the most successful riders at the Phillip Island circuit, he will be using his experience to secure a top result and visit the Australian rostrum again. After taking third place in 2000, the Doctor enjoyed an impressive five-year winning streak from 2001 to 2005, followed by five more consecutive podium finishes in the premier class. He claimed second place in 2008 and 2009 and scored three third places in 2006, 2007, 2010. Rossi returned to the podium again three years later with a third place in 2013 and a first place in 2014, when he, teammate Lorenzo and Monster Yamaha Tech3‘s Bradley Smith made it an all-Yamaha podium.
Lorenzo is also prepared to take on the competition on Phillip Island, one of his favourite circuits where he got to lift a trophy after the race many times. He scored two second places in the premier class in 2010 and 2012. From that point on the Mallorcan has not finished off the podium, securing the victory in 2013 and two more second places in 2014 and 2015. Lorenzo aims to keep the trend going this year and is ready to enjoy the beautiful Phillip Island circuit whilst fighting for second place in the championship.
Phillip Island became a permanently constructed circuit in 1956, but was already staging motorcycle races since 1931. The circuit hosted motorcycle Grand Prix events until an extensive renovation took place in 1968. The 4.4 km Australian circuit made a comeback in 1989 and 1990 and became a regular fixture once more from 1997 onwards. Each year the track is a crowd-pleaser for both the MotoGP paddock and fans, who can‘t get enough of its fast and fluid corners (seven left and five right), exotic wildlife and stunning location right next to the ocean.
MASSIMO MEREGALLI – TEAM DIRECTOR
“After Motegi we headed straight to Phillip Island. Though we didn‘t score any points last weekend, we showed we are very strong and capable to fight for the win even under challenging circumstances. We will use this experience to fuel our motivation even more to deliver a good result. We already tried the Michelin tyres at this track as part of the pre-season testing earlier this year, so we hope to build on the data that we already have. As the track is very close to shore, it can be very windy and cold at this time of year. We hope the weather conditions will not play a big role in this weekend‘s racing activities so we can fully focus on getting a good result.”
“The bad thing is that we took zero points in Motegi, but the good thing is that we showed that we are strong. Phillip Island is a fantastic track and a place that I like a lot. We have to try to be fast and strong there too. We already tested there with Michelin, but unfortunately we now go there after a very bad season, our worst season on paper. We hope that the weather conditions won‘t be very bad, because if it‘s cold it can be dangerous. We hope for good weather and we‘ll see.”
“It was a shame in Motegi, but we were at least able to fight for the victory despite the wrong decision with the tyre. My crash and Vale‘s gave Marc the title but honestly he was the most consistent rider. Now we have to fight for the second position in the championship, though the important thing – and why we are here – is to be a champion. Phillip Island is going to be a bit strange because the fight for the championship is over, but I would like to do a great race and try to win. That’s my goal for the next three races and take the vice champion title as well.”
MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP ENCOUNTERS DRAMATIC END TO MOTEGI RACE
Today‘s Grand Prix of Japan started with an incredible fight for the lead involving Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi, but came to an abrupt end for the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team with a double DNF at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit.
Motegi (Japan), 16th October 2016
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team were unlucky to see both riders crash out of a promising second place at the Twin Ring Motegi track after heroic efforts of the two teammates. Jorge Lorenzo was riding impressively at the start of the 24-lap sprint and was defending his position until a crash at turn nine meant the end of his challenge. Earlier on in the race, pole-setter Rossi also suffered an unfortunate premature halt to his strong pursuit of the lead in turn ten.
Lorenzo had a good start to the 24-lap race when he launched from third on the grid to arrive at the first corner in second place, passing his teammate. He immediately also overtook Marc Marquez in turn two, who had snatched the holeshot into turn one, to take over the lead.
With a feisty fight ensuing between Rossi and Marquez, Lorenzo put his head down to increase his advantage to over 0.6s, but the two chasing riders were not out of the race yet. The first attack came from Marquez on lap three. Lorenzo spurred on his Yamaha to prevent his compatriot from clearing off at the front and was followed closely by the Doctor. Lorenzo had to let his teammate pass on lap six but regained the position when Rossi crashed out of the race.
With Marquez too far ahead, Lorenzo focused his attention on defending his second place from Andrea Dovizioso, who arrived at the back of his Yamaha with five laps to go, but the Mallorcan‘s quest for a podium ended when he crashed out of the race in turn nine.
Rossi had a good start from pole, but had to let Marquez and Lorenzo pass going into turn one. What followed was a flurry of activity on the first lap as the Italian scrapped with Marquez and Aleix Espargaró. Completing the first lap in third place, Rossi refused to give up and cleverly bided his time whilst following Lorenzo and Marquez, to take second from his teammate five laps later. He was chasing the victory and kicked up the pace a nudge until he lost the front end in turn ten on lap seven, ending his race prematurely.
Yamalube Yamaha Factory Racing Team wildcard rider Katsuyuki Nakasuga made his experience count and rode a confident race, securing a strong eleventh place aboard the YZR-M1, earning himself five championship points.
After today‘s unexpected race results, Rossi and Lorenzo hold second and third place respectively in the championship with 196 and 182 points. Yamaha holds second place with 288 points in the Constructors‘ classification, 28 points from first, and Movistar Yamaha MotoGP is also chasing the Teams‘ title in second place with 378 points in the rankings.
MASSIMO MEREGALLI – TEAM DIRECTOR
“It is a disappointing end to an otherwise strong weekend from our team. After yesterday‘s qualifying results we were really confident that we would be able to get a good result, but unfortunately this was a race day to forget. Jorge and Valentino gave a solid performance today, especially since both were not feeling a 100% after Jorge‘s extreme highside yesterday and with Vale suffering a severe cold. Nevertheless, they fought their way to the front in the early laps and they definitely didn’t make it easy for Marquez in the first stage of the race. It was unfortunate that Valentino‘s and Jorge‘s crash ended our race early. Congratulations to Marc for securing the Riders title.”
“I‘m very disappointed, because I made a mistake. I tried to push too much when the bike was not working well with the tyres. In Aragón we made a good decision with the tyres and this time it was the opposite. We chose the wrong front tyre, with the soft I think I would have made a better race, because my front tyre on the first laps was vibrating and closing. I didn‘t have a good feeling, that‘s why I couldn‘t keep up with the pace of Marquez. Finally, because Dovizioso was coming, I pushed more than before in that corner and the front tyre didn‘t give me any support or feedback and I crashed. It‘s a pity, because I think we had the potential to fight for the victory with the right front tyre, but it was impossible today and we lost a great opportunity to be second in the championship. I want to congratulate Marquez because he didn‘t have an advantage from his bike this year and he was the most consistent rider, so he deserves this championship.”
“First of all, I would like to say that I‘m OK, fortunately no problems. On the other hand it‘s a shame because I was quite strong and I had a good pace. Unfortunately my start was not fantastic and I lost a position to Marquez and Lorenzo. After that, Marquez was a bit faster than me to overtake Lorenzo, I lost a bit more time behind him, but the pace was good. I was able to push a lot to try and catch Marquez but unfortunately I lost the front. Sincerely, I felt nothing like going into the corner too wide or too deep, but I lost the front and logically I made a mistake.”
RACE RESULTS – 16/10/2016
1. M. MARQUEZ, REPSOL HONDA TEAM, 42’34.610
2. A. DOVIZIOSO, DUCATI TEAM, + 2.992
3. M. VIÑALES, TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR, + 4.104
4. A. ESPARGARÒ, TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR, + 4.726
5. C. CRUTCHLOW, LCR HONDA, + 15.049
6. P. ESPARGARÒ, MONSTER YAMAHA TECH3, + 19.654
7. A. BAUTISTA, APRILIA RACING TEAM GRESINI, + 23.032
8. D. PETRUCCI, OCTO PRAMAC YAKHNICH, + 28.555
9. S. REDDING, OCTO PRAMAC YAKHNICH, + 28.802
10. S. BRADL, APRILIA RACING TEAM GRESINI, + 32.330
11. K. NAKASUGA, YAMALUBE YAMAHA FACTORY RACING, + 42.845
12. Y. HERNANDEZ, PULL & BEAR ASPAR TEAM, + 52.219
13. B. SMITH, MONSTER YAMAHA TECH3, + 53.783
14. T. RABAT, ESTRELLA GALICIA 0,0 MARC VDS, + 54.760
15. H. AOYAMA, REPSOL HONDA TEAM, + 1’00.155
16. L. BAZ, AVINTIA RACING, + 1’04.440
17. H. BARBERA, DUCATI TEAM, + 1’42.966
18. M. JONES, AVINTIA RACING, After 1 laps
19. J. LORENZO, MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP, N.C. (5 laps)
20. V. ROSSI, MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP, N.C. (18 laps)
21. J. MILLER, ESTRELLA GALICIA 0,0 MARC VDS, N.C. (18 laps)
AIMExpo 2016 is officially underway from Orlando, Florida’s Orange County Convention Center, highlighted by major global and North American debuts from many of the world’s most renowned manufacturers.
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