Eugene Laverty hopes his riding stye will adapt well in Australia and help him back to the top ten as Yonny Hernández looks to build on positive performance in Japan.
The fight for the MotoGP World Championship title reached an abrupt climax at Motegi on Sunday, with the two rivals to Marc Márquez crashing out and leaving the Spaniard to claim his third title. Just a few days later the series heads to the next round in Australia, where attention turns to the battle for the runner-up spot in the championship, with fourteen points between team-mates Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, the same gap that separated them following the previous round at Aragón. The pair are coming under threat from Maverick Viñales, currently fourth in the championship but closing in after his latest podium at Motegi, with Dani Pedrosa now out of the chase for a championship ‘podium’ after the injuries that forced him to miss the race in Japan also set to rule him out of Australia. While it’s a devastating blow for the Spaniard it sees 2006 Champion Nicky Hayden return in his place. Albeit temporarily.
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Get to saddle up on my old pony for a rip around Phillip Island Moto GP this wke! Thanks to Honda for the relationship and opportunity. Also, to TenKate and all the conflicting sponsors who didn't get in the way and are allowing me to do this. I am very thankful. Get Well @26_danipedrosa #RacingJunkie ❤️
For the Pull&Bear Aspar Team the chase is still on for a top ten championship finish, with Eugene Laverty still hopeful despite missing out on the points for only the second time this season at Motegi. The Irishman did not enjoy a particularly positive preseason test at Phillip Island due to injury but he is confident that the track suits his riding style and could well be the scene for his return to the top ten positions. Yonny Hernández has travelled to Australia in positive mood after picking up more points for his championship tally at Motegi, the Colombian feeling hopeful that the information gathered at Motegi can be the basis for a positive finish to the season.
Eugene Laverty: “Phillip Island is a track I really like, it’s really fluid, and we’ll see how this bike works there. I was not completely fit when I rode there during preseason testing so I couldn’t really get a good feel for the bike there but the track suits my riding style so we will try for a good result next weekend.”
Yonny Hernández: “We go to Australia in the best possible way on the back of a good result in the last race in Japan. Phillip Island is not on my list of favourite circuits but I don’t dislike it, it is just another round on the calendar to me. Hopefully, with all the information we have gathered at the last race we can get a good result this weekend.”