Australia Ready For Stellar Weekend Of MotoGP
It’s almost time for the 29th Australian Moto Grand Prix and with a mere 11 points separating MotoGP leaders Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez and Team Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso, it’s bound to be a nail-biting affair at Phillip Island come October 22nd.
Italian born Dovizioso isn’t known as the last of the great brakers for nothing and this became evident once again at Japan when he passed Marquez on a downhill 90-degree slope in the pouring rain with not much tyre surface left to speak of to go on to win the race. His bare-knuckle head to head style is nothing short of determined and aggressive and it’s this newfound style (for Dovizioso at least) that won not only Japan but also Austria back in August.
With each rider having 5 wins under the belt for 2017, it’s evident that the margin for error is going to be minute, if anything to speak of at all. Dovizioso has admitted that Phillips Island isn’t exactly his favourite circuit of all time due to certain characteristics that make it a rather treacherous run. Marquez on the other hand, won a last lap shoot-out on the island in 2015 in one of Phillips’ best ever races. He has visited Australia no less than 4 times on MotoGP machinery.
Despite having won 7 races between the two of them, there are two other contenders still in the running for the championships: Maverick Vinales and Repsol Honda’s other super-star, Dani Pedrosa.
It All Adds Up
Despite numerically being very much still in the running for 2017, Pedrosa comes to Phillips Island after a nightmare performance in Japan. Yamaha’s newest rider managed to clock his worst qualifying time and second-worst race result of the MotoGP season in Japan, a stunt which saw him fall to 41 points behind Marc Marquez.
He’s remaining hope for the championship pretty much hangs on the off-chance of a serious mistake or two by Marquez as well as Dovizioso.
Which brings us to Dani Pedrosa, currently at a 74 point deficit behind the race leader out of a possible total of 75. The Spaniard may want to forego the advantage of the bare maths of the matter and start setting his sights on next year, despite this year’s purely numerical, and dare we say marginal, advantage.
And Then There Was Rossi
Valentino is the 5th and last of the 5 riders who broke clear at the very top of the standings earlier this year. Rossi was effectively eliminated from title contention last weekend as a result of having crashed out in Japan.
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