The fiftieth premier class win on Bridgestone tyres came after a head-to-head shootout between the only two riders to have won World Championship titles using Bridgestone tyres. Ducati Team’s Casey Stoner triumphed over Fiat Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi after a race-long battle. Both riders were using the softer front and rear Bridgestone slicks as they pushed each other to within 0.03seconds of the circuit lap record, and mid-race the duo were separated by less than one tenth of a second. The track conditions were cooler than they were during yesterday’s qualifying session, and every rider except the Suzuki Team pairing used the softer Bridgestone slicks front and rear. Only Loris Capirossi and Chris Vermeulen mixed a soft compound front with the extra hard compound rear. Whilst the pace of Stoner and Rossi saw them run away from the rest of the pack, the competition in the midfield was much closer with a close four-way battle for sixth that was eventually won by Repsol Honda’s Andrea Dovizioso.
Hiroshi Yasukawa – Director, Bridgestone Corporation
“I’d like to congratulateCasey and the Ducati Team for their victory here in Australia today and for marking the 50th win on our tyres. It is apt that Casey took this win as it was he who took the first World Championship on our tyres in 2007. We are proud to have achieved this milestone, and whilst this is the first of three years for us as the Official Tyre Supplier, it is important to note that almost three quarters of these victories came in the tyre competition era, and that it was our success and the performance of our tyres that saw us become the sole supplier. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Dorna and the FIM for their continued support, and wish each MotoGP team and rider the greatest success for the remainder of this season and beyond.”
Tohru Ubukata – Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department
“It was a hard race for the tyres because Casey and Valentino were pushing very hard until the chequered and the battle between them was faster than I expected. We can see from the laptimes that the softer option front and rear slicks performed well as even though the conditions were cooler this year than last, the race time was just 0.008seconds slower which demonstrates their good consistency and the fastest lap was just 0.026seconds from the lap record. I am very happy to celebrate the 50th win on our tyres using the new specification rear tyres we developed for Phillip Island.”
Casey Stoner – Ducati Team – Race Winner
“After the season we’ve had, to come back in Portugal and almost have the pace to win was good but here I am really happy; I enjoyed every lap! We were the ones who converted everyone to Bridgestone so to mark the 50th win is a nice feeling. Everyone was happy with what they had until we came along and did what we did and all of a sudden everyone wanted Bridgestone tyres so it was quite a proud moment for us. The fact that Bridgestone have listened to what we’ve said and made changes from that has been fantastic. Three wins from three years here is also a nice way to end the season!”