Let's start with MotoGP, which will be racing on one of the most beautiful tracks in the world: Phillip Island.
Attempting to describe this track seems to be a useless endeavour since it is one of the most famous in the world for both track quality and the spectacular landscape surrounding it. A very fast track, on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, with a very linear configuration yet extremely demanding for riders. The Desmosedici GP has had its share of problems in recent races here, but the latest developments introduced this year seem to have made the Bolognese MotoGP competitive on all types of tracks.
After the forfeit in Japan, Jorge Lorenzo will not race in Australia either. Since there was no chance that he would race on the track in Motegi, the Spanish rider and his team decided that it would be best to return to Europe to try to speed up his wrist's healing process. Alvaro Bautista will take his place on the Ducati Team's Desmosedici, giving him the chance to compete on the factory bike before moving to Superbike.
Dovizioso arrives in Australia after the Japanese race that saw him fall two laps from the finish while he was battling for victory. Besides this mistake, Andrea had a good weekend, earning the pole position and proving to be the only one able to challenge Marquez for the victory. Phillip Island will be a good test bench for Dovizioso and the Desmosedici because in recent years both have had too many difficulties.
To be fast Andrea will also have to deal with the tyre wear that is always quite accentuated at Phillip Island, but also with the rather unstable weather conditions typical of this time of year. It would not be the first time that a race takes place with rather cold asphalt.
Phillip Island, which is situated around 150 km south of Melbourne, is steeped in motor racing tradition, with the first car races having been held there on public roads in the 1920s. The first motorcycle races took place in 1931 and a permanent track was built in 1956. The circuit fell into disrepair during the late 70s and early 80s until it was bought in 1985 and given a major facelift. MotoGP returned in 1989 and 1990 before becoming a regular fixture once more from 1997 onwards. The Phillip Island circuit is blessed with breathtaking scenery and beautiful ocean views and is one of the fastest tracks on the calendarCircuit data
In contrast it will be hot for the Superbike competition, with its last race of the season in the middle of the desert in the evocative night-time setting of Qatar. It must be said that the weekend will take place in an anomalous format, with the start of the tests on Thursday, and the races scheduled for Friday and Saturday. The Losail track is a newly built circuit designed by the architect Tilke, who has signed many of the new tracks. In addition to the long straight leading to the finish, there are both corners requiring intense braking and technical points like the triple curve to the right of the 12 - 13 - 14 corners. This is one of the points that can make a difference in the race, but it is necessary to have the bike finely tuned because being able to thread them on a single line is only possible with an absolutely perfect setup.
Chaz Davies arrives in Qatar with the aim of reconfirming his position as vice-world champion. The Welshman has 24 points of advantage over his direct rival so he can afford to run a safe race, but knowing his character he will not hesitate to ride aggressively.
In contrast, it will be the farewell race for Marco Melandri who will be leaving the official Ducati team after 2 years. Marco is coming off his beautiful double podium in Argentina and that puts him in play for fourth place overall in the championship. It is for sure that Saturday evening at the end of race 2 there will be a lot of emotions in the box, and not just due to the final results of the race held under the blinding track lights that transform night into day.
The 5.4 km Losail Circuit lies on the outskirts of Doha, the capital city of Qatar and was built in little over a year. The main straight is over one kilometre in length and there is a good mix of medium and high-speed corners, including a couple of quick left-handersCircuit data