If there is one place where Yamaha might be able to raise its head again following the Japanese beating then that is Phillip Island. The Australian track is a one of a kind, perfect for mixing up results. Both Valentino and Vinales like the track, each with fond memories of its ocean-front layout.
Team manager Massimo ‘Maio’ Meregalli also hopes for something of a comeback: “The Japanese GP didn't play out like we intended, so we are determined to join the battle at the front this weekend at the Phillip Island circuit, which traditionally is a good track for us."
Friends are always useful in the tough times, and friendly tracks even more so. Rossi has won on many occasions at Phillip Island in the past, uninterruptedly between 2001 and 2005, then in 2014, without forgetting his many podium placings.
“I like the Australian GP, I'm always very happy to come here. I like the place and also the Phillip Island circuit. We did a nice race last year, I arrived second and Maverick third. We will try to do a positive race also this year, but the Australian GP is a bit particular. The track is unlike any other circuit, and above all we will have to wait and see what the weather conditions will be like. We will do our best, as always."
On the other side of the garage, Vinales is equally optimistic. The Spaniard also loves racing ‘down under’ and not only in MotoGP. He is keen to make up for the Motegi round.
“We did our best in Japan, but unfortunately it wasn't enough. Now it's time to focus on Australia. Phillip Island is one of my favourite tracks. I like its lay-out a lot, and I love being there, it's amazing! I had a good experience last year, when we had a double podium with me in the third position, so I'm really motivated for the race."
All he has to do is transform his words into actions.
“Phillip Island is a circuit that brings me good memories. I managed to be on the podium in three categories of the World Championship and I won in 2014 in Moto2. The team have been working very hard at the last races, so we have to try to be strong, as always, and try to be on the podium again in Australia. We’re going to try to make the bike work and have one of our strongest weekends of the season."