Marquez and Mir head Down Under for spectacular Phillip Island challenge
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Alex Marquez and Joan Mir travel south this weekend to Australia to contest the middle of three back-to-back flyaway races at the awe-inspiring Phillip Island track.
The super-fast and technically demanding 4.4km Phillip Island track hosts the Australian Grand Prix this weekend, with Alex Marquez and Joan Mir determined to play a prominent role in the podium battle in the 16th round of the Moto2 World Championship.
Marquez continued his impressive run of form at Japan’s Twin Ring Motegi last weekend when he fought hard inside the top five just over 48 hours after a heavy crash in FP1.
Marquez has never won at Phillip Island but he has come incredibly close to conquering the top step of the podium in the past. The Spaniard was only 0.5s off the win in fourth place on his second visit to Phillip Island in 2013 and he went even closer to glory in his World Championship-winning campaign in 2014. Marquez finished second in a thrilling encounter that saw the top three split by the narrow margin of just 0.032s, which made it the second closest podium in the history of the lightweight World Championship.
Marquez has never finished outside of the top 10 in his five previous races in Australia and he is hoping another strong ride this weekend boosts his bid to take third position in the overall World Championship standings.
Phillip Island is a venue that holds a special place in Joan Mir’s heart after he made his World Championship debut there back in 2015 as replacement for the injured Hiroki Ono.
He failed to finish in 2015 and 2016 but bounced back superbly 12 months ago to win in a classic battle that saw the top seven split by less than 0.9s. That victory ensured Mir was crowned 2017 Moto3 World Champion.
Marquez and Mir can expect to face varying weather conditions in Australia’s spring season, which always makes the task of mastering Phillip Island a tough proposition.
Regardless of climatic conditions, the Phillip Island track is undoubtedly one of the most popular of the season and is world famous for its fast and flowing layout and jaw-dropping location adjacent to the Bass Strait.
Marquez and Mir get down to business in FP1 at 1055am local time on Friday, and the 25-lap Moto2 race is scheduled to start at 1420pm on Sunday afternoon.
Alex Marquez: 5th in the overall standings on 137 with points
“Phillip Island is a place I enjoy riding at a lot”
“Phillip Island is an unbelievable track and really nice and a place I enjoy riding at a lot. The conditions can be very complicated and it is important to keep maximum concentration to deal with the changing weather. I want to continue performing well like in Japan where we managed to recover from a difficult situation with the big crash in FP1 to fight for the top four.
Joan Mir: 7th in the overall standings on 128 with points
“Winning the Moto3 title last year is such a special memory”
“Australia is a place I really enjoy and last year it was in Phillip Island where I was able to win the Moto3 title. It is such a special memory for me and I’ve always been able get strong results there. I have a question mark about my potential this weekend because we are in a difficult period with a lot of things to solve. But we will continue to give our maximum to try and be more competitive and hopefully we can show our true potential.”
Track facts / Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit (Victoria, Australia)
Length: 2.764 miles (4.448 metres)
Width: 42.65 ft. (13 metres)
Corners: 7 (left) + 5 (right)
Longest straight: 2952.76 ft. (900 metres)
Moto2 Race: 25 laps, 69.0 miles (111.1 km)
Best pole: Tito Rabat (1'32.470 – 2014)
Circuit record: Alex De Angelis (1'32.814 – 2013)
Top speed: Sandro Cortese, 184.4 mph (296.8 kph) – 2013)
2017 race winner: Miguel Oliveira (39’25.920)