The MotoGP World Championship travels to Australia to continue the Asian tour, after a week off and with the Japanese and Thai Grands Prix already completed. This is the return of the race to the calendar, like the rest of the Pacific events, after two campaigns of absence due to COVID-19.
The Phillip Island event is special for motorcycling fans, and it is so for several reasons. It could be said that the primordial is the layout ; a spectacular island circuit with views of the ocean and unique curves on the calendar.
The schedules , of course, also make it stand out from the rest, being the race with the greatest time difference (with Europe) of the year.
But there is another element to which the fans have become accustomed: it is, along with Sepang, one of the venues where the world champion titles are usually decided . This has a simple reason: the MotoGP paddock traditionally travels to the island continent in the last stretch of the season, when it is still spring there (which is why it always leaves characteristic images of riders and teams feeling cold).
Its privileged place on the calendar, together with the fact that it has been part of the championship uninterruptedly since its entry in 1989 (except for the aforementioned 2020 and 2021 courses), have allowed the Aussie event to crown a huge number of world champions .
Joan Mir celebrates the Moto3 title in 2017
Rossi, Lorenzo, Stoner, Pedrosa… These are the drivers who were crowned in Australia
One of the most relevant coronations in MotoGP history was that of Valentino Rossi in 2001, when he won his first premier class title in the last year of the 500cc.
Traveling from the past to the present, it also highlights the title of a key MotoGP figure of the last two decades: Dani Pedrosa. The Catalan took his third crown (second in 250cc) at the 2005 Australian Grand Prix. Ironically, the celebration took place on a stage where, ironically, two years earlier he had broken both ankles; the first major injury in a long list that would come later.
In 2009, another Spaniard, Julián Simón, inscribed his name in the history of the sport, taking the title of the now defunct eighth of a liter (or 125cc).
It is often said that Australia is a special country, offering you countless memories and, at the same time, “trying to kill you”. That must have been what Marc Márquez thought when, in the 2012 edition, he won the second of his eight world championships , the first and only one in Moto2. And it is that the one from Cervera, a year before, had suffered a very hard accident in which he hit Ratthapark Wilairot, for which he received a one-minute penalty.
But where more titles are decided is in the light category. Thus, Joan Mir achieved his first World Cup crown at the 2017 Australian Grand Prix , and two years later, Lorenzo Dalla Porta did the same. Interestingly, both drivers won their respective titles in the Leopard ranks.
But in MotoGP world championships have also been decided. The one achieved by Casey Stoner is possibly the most special of all. The Australian was crowned at home, on his birthday and with Honda (he had won the other title with Ducati), in 2011. A year later, in 2012, Jorge Lorenzo became two-time MotoGP world champion (an award which would be expanded in the following seasons).
The Yamaha team celebrates the Jorge Lorenzo Championship
Who can be crowned world champion at the 2022 Australian GP?
True to its date with destiny, Phillip Island could decide on a new title . In this campaign, however, the possibilities are reduced, as usual, to Moto3.
Spaniard Izan Guevara arrives in Australia in excellent form and with an advantage of 49 points over Dennis Foggia and 56 over Sergio García. The GasGas rider would need to leave the penultimate round on the calendar with a minimum advantage of 50 points over either of his two rivals.
Thus, Guevara needs to finish ahead of Foggia and Sergio García to become world champion . As long as he scores more points than his rivals, he will secure the title with two races to go. Otherwise, he will have to wait for the Malaysian Grand Prix , where he would have his second match point or, ultimately, the Valencia Grand Prix , where the season will come to an end.
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