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27 days ago
By motogp.com

5 keys to the Australian GP... by Wayne Gardner

1987 500cc World Champion and MotoGP™ Legend shares his thoughts after the opening day of track action at Phillip Island

1987 500cc World Champion, MotoGP™ Legend and Australian Wayne Gardner gives us his five keys to the Michelin® Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix after an intriguing Friday at Phillip Island. 

1. "Strange results"

"It’s great to be back at Phillip Island. It’s been an interesting day; Iannone is fastest, second Petrucci and Viñales third. A strange lineup. Marquez down in 7th, so strange results."

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Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix: MotoGP™ FP2

2. The weather 

"The weather conditions have been quite tricky; it was slippery this morning, then we had a shower of rain, then some oil was spilt on the track, then it rained again. It’s been one of those days when we’ve had a variety of track conditions and it’s been difficult to work out. We’ve had a lot of riders who have run off, even in Moto2™ and Moto3™, so I think the track condition wasn’t at its best. Tomorrow is another day. It’s forecast to be good weather for the weekend; for Saturday and Sunday for qualifying. Suzuki lead the day and, at this stage, are looking very strong. Suzuki has improved a lot lately. Tomorrow is another day. It’s forecast to be good weather for the weekend; for Saturday and Sunday for qualifying."

3. A lot of potential winners

"I still think Marc’s going to be up there. He knows when to turn it on and when not to and maybe he was aware of the track conditions. I think it’s going to be a great race because the Ducati is very fast, there’s good history of them going fast and winning races here, but so does Marc, so it’s going to be a great race. I really couldn’t pick a winner at this point."

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Round 17: Day 1 in slow motion

4. Dovi looking strong for P2 in the Championship

"I think it’s always good to finish second. Marc’s already gone off and won the Championship and it’s an amazing result this year. Yamahas have had a lot of problems, whereas the Ducatis just seem to be improving race after race. My bets are on Dovi with the Ducati at this point. He had an unfortunate accident in Motegi, but apart from that he’s had a solid year, and you can see the growth of the Ducati over the year, they’re moving up and getting better all the time. I expected Ducati to be even stronger here, so my money is on Dovi at this stage."

5. The rookies battle

"The rookie's Championship is really interesting. Syahrin has done a great job this year with the Tech 3 bike. He came in as a last-minute rider and I think he’s done an outstanding job. What that shows is that he’s very talented and that the Yamaha is a good bike and easy to ride. Also that any Moto2 rider is probably ready for MotoGP because Syahrin was a good rider in Moto2™, but certainly not the fastest, but look what he’s doing on a MotoGP bike. It certainly opens the door of interest for a lot of good riders in Moto2™."

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