The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team have arrived in Australia for Round 17 of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship. Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi have only just wrapped up the Japanese GP, but they are already thinking ahead to the race at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, a track both riders adore.
Viñales arrives at the coastline track with a positive mindset. Last Sunday’s fourth place saw him equal Álex Rins in points for third place in the championship standings. As ranking third is the Yamaha man’s goal, and Phillip Island is one of his favourite circuits, the number-12 rider is raring to get to work preparing for the Australian GP.
The Spaniard’s fondness for the Phillip Island track shows in his scores. He stood on the podium there five times prior. He scored a Moto3 second place in 2013, secured a Moto2 win the year after, celebrated two third places in the premier class in 2016 and 2017, and he added a faultless win to his résumé last year.
Eager to leave the disappointing Japanese GP behind him, Rossi looks forward to fight at the front of the field this week. He is seventh in the overall rider rankings but is keen to add solid points to his tally on Sunday at the iconic track, where he holds a formidable record.
The Doctor has secured numerous trophies at the Australian circuit and his experience will certainly come in handy during this weekend’s battle. He raced to victory in the 250cc class in 1998 and 1999. In the premier class the nine-time World Champion won here consecutively from 2001 until 2005 and scored an additional victory in 2014. He claimed second place in 2008, 2009, 2016, 2017, and took third places in 2000, 2006, 2007, 2010, and 2013.
Phillip Island hosted its first motorcycle race in 1931. In 1956 a permanently constructed circuit continued to host motorcycle Grand Prix events until it fell into disrepair during the late 70s and early 80s. After extensive renovation, the circuit made an intermediate comeback in MotoGP from 1989 until 1990, to become a regular fixture once more from 1997 onwards. Thanks to its terrific location, right next to the ocean, and its flowing 4.4km lay-out, featuring seven left and five right corners, and a 900m longest straight, the Phillip Island track is loved by fans and MotoGP riders alike.