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Mick Doohan looks back on events at Phillip Island

Mick Doohan looks back on events at Phillip Island

Mick Doohan looks back on events at Phillip Island

I have had a few days to think about the race at Phillip Island last week and I haven´t changed my mind from what I thought would happen before it even started. I was always sure that qualifying was not indicative of what would take place in the race – mainly because the wind had dropped so much on Sunday. On Friday and Saturday it was too strong for the four-strokes to utilise the package they had, Dunlop and Bridgestone both had something better than they have had in the past and the two-stroke guys took advantage.

The stop-start nature of any race puts the four-strokes in a better situation. From the start line they can get the power to the ground earlier and there was no doubt that the drag race to the first corner was going to see a huge change in the grid order. When Barros and Rossi got away it was clear the fight for victory was going to be between the two of them, although I have to admit that for much of the race I did not know which way it would swing.

Barros slowed down at the mid-stage of the race after setting off very quickly indeed, but I didn´t know if he was playing around, if he was tired, if he was experiencing problems with the bike, or what the deal was. It looked like Rossi was shadowing him but I wasn´t sure of either of their tactics until Barros went wide through the Honda turn with one lap to go. That was the first sign that it was Rossi´s race and Barros did not have the measure of him. Of course, this was confirmed on the next lap, when the Brazilian made an even bigger mistake to hand victory to the Italian.

It was another excellent day of racing and Valencia promises to be just as much fun, so I hope to see plenty of you down there.

MotoGP, 2002, SKYY VODKA Australian Grand Prix, Mick Doohan

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