Bad weather forces the Australian GP to be brought forward to this Saturday | Motorcycling | Sports


Meteorological theater coup in the Australian MotoGP GP. The poor forecast predicting strong winds and rain this Sunday on Phillip Island has caused the long race to be moved forward from Sunday to Saturday. Dorna, the Spanish company promoting the contest, announced this morning (afternoon in the transoceanic country) that it is exchanging the tests on Saturday and Sunday to save the main course of the weekend. Once the changes are applied, the race scheduled for 27 laps will be held this Saturday at 6:10 a.m. in Spain (3:10 p.m. local time) and the race at sprint We will try to carry it out at 05:00 Spanish time (14:00 local time) if time permits.

“The conditions here are very changeable, and we have waited until the last moment. The forecast for Sunday is very similar to that of four years ago,” explained Carlos Ezpeleta, sports director of the championship. In the same scenario, in 2019, the qualifying session had to be canceled due to the dangerousness of the wind gusts. A speed of 72 km/h threw Miguel Oliveira off the line at more than 300 km/h and sent him to the ground violently after stepping on the grass. The fall led to a red flag and race management, after consulting with the drivers, decided to suspend the session.

“We have spoken with the teams, and the decision has been unanimous. The idea is to ensure the most important race of the weekend,” argued Ezpeleta. “We will try to complete the entire weekend program on Sunday, but if we have to stop for safety, we will stop,” he added. The probable cancellation of the Sunday day would eliminate the distribution of the points of the sprint (12 for the winner) and would also mean the cancellation of the grand prix for the Moto2 and Moto3 categories. Gusts of hurricane-force winds of up to 80 km/h and rain are expected, reasons that have encouraged Dorna and the members of the grid to get ahead of events.

“I think the change of program is a success, because in this way you avoid the problem that may arise on Sunday. In the end, the format doesn’t change much either,” commented Marc Márquez, lost to the bottom of the classification after suffering two falls this Friday. “I think it’s a smart change. Here we come to run,” concluded Aleix Espargaró.

With its spectacular landscapes open to the sea, the Phillip Island circuit, located south of Melbourne, is one of the most beautiful and unpredictable of the event. Due to its unique location, on the edge of Bass Strait, the arm of water that separates Australia from Tasmania, the route is very sensitive to inclement weather. The gusty winds, very common on the island, pose a notable danger to pilots in their most extreme version.

Pilot complaints

Competitors have been complaining for years about the dates of the Grand Prix, since in the southern spring rain and cold are the most common. A recent agreement between the Australian Grand Prix Corporation, organizer of MotoGP and Formula 1 events in the country, and Liberty Media, holder of the F1 World Championship exploitation rights, makes a transfer to another time of the year impossible at least until 2035. The F1 GP, which is held at the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne, will continue to be scheduled for the months of March and April, while the two-wheeled event will remain between the months of September and October.

Friday’s day was held completely normally and was led by the KTMs of Brad Binder and Jack Miller, a local idol. The news was once again the World Championship leader Pecco Bagnaia, who did not pass the screening and will have to pass the first qualifying session on Saturday if he wants to fight for the title. pole and avoid starting late as happened last week at the Indonesian GP.

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