“It is very disappointing but we look forward to Japan”
It was a day that promised so much but delivered very little for the Tech 3 Yamaha Team as a rain shower lashed the Phillip Island circuit just as the Australian Grand Prix commenced.
After qualifying in sixth position,
there were high hopes for Carlos Checa but these ambitions evaporated as the field charged off the line as rain started falling.
In a historical moment for the sport it was left to the riders to make the decision to enter pit lane to change to their number two Yamaha's already setup with rain tyres as conditions worsened.
Checa and his team mate James Ellison were the first riders to enter the pits to change to wet weather tyres and the decision appeared to pay off as Carlos was in second at one point but without a refined wet-weather set-up and varying conditions the wet weather tyres didn't last and both riders were forced to re-enter the pits to change machines once again.
Ellison battled on to finish 16th but it was a rare DNF for Carlos as he crashed out on the slippery surface.
Carlos Checa (DNF, Fastest lap 1'31.500)
“I am very disappointed like the rest of the team but there is very little you can do with the weather. I think we did great to start with as we were second but the tyres just didn't survive and after a few laps the rubber was pretty bad on the left hand side. I decided to stop because it was very dangerous to stay out there. I went out again and in a slow corner I lost the rear and had a soft crash. Overall we had a fair weekend as we have made so much progress but the race was ruined by the weather. There is nothing we can do against that. We tried our best but that is the way things go sometimes.
We have a few races left so I hope that we can get a result that reflects all the hard work we have been putting in.”
James Ellison (16th; Fastest lap 1'35.287)
“It was a very weird race that's for sure. I came in to change but the tyre we chose had no traction so I came in to change again but I still had no grip. I tried out there but it was just a matter of trying to keep the Yamaha upright. It was a day of trying to deal with things that were beyond us but at least I have created history by being the first rider to come in during a wet weather race to change tyres! We just have to cop this race on the chin and regroup for next weekend in Motegi. Who knows, it might be the same next weekend but at least we have learnt a lot here at Phillip Island so I suppose we have to look at the positives of this Grand Prix as we now know how much the Dunlop tyres have improved in the last few races.”
Herve Poncharal – Tech 3 Yamaha Team Director
“It was a very disappointing way to end a weekend that worked really well until the rain started to fall, I think all through the weekend we have been very good on race and qualifying tyres. Unfortunately the rain came and I think we made the right decision when Carlos and James came in a lap before the other guys and after a change of tyres allowed him to go out in second position, which was perfect. Unfortunately the tyres went off after three laps then he had to come in again and restarted with intermediates, but unfortunately he crashed out. We didn't have any rain conditions to practice in this weekend but we definitely made big, big improvements on race tyres but now we have to work on the wet tyres, that is the main thing we have learnt today. It is very disappointing but we look forward to Japan without rain so we can confirm our progress in race conditions.”