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MotoGP Australian GP

MotoGP moves Australian GP main race to Saturday amid wind threat

MotoGP is bringing forward the Australian Grand Prix to Saturday, with heavy wind expected to hit Phillip Island later in the weekend. 

Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team

The schedule change will see the sprint race being moved to Sunday, should it take place at all due to poor weather.

Saturday will be the busiest day of all as per the new schedule, which was officially announced by Dorna in a press conference after Friday practice, with qualifying taking place early during the morning as originally planned before the main 27-lap race itself in the afternoon.

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While Friday’s running took place normally as scheduled with the sun shining in the sky, the weather is expected to get progressively worse as the weekend approaches.

Conditions will be much worse on Saturday, while the current forecast suggests wind gusts exceeding 80km/h on Sunday, when the grand prix was originally scheduled.

This has left Dorna with no option but to move the main race on Saturday to have the best possible chance of running it safely.

Qualifying on Saturday will now take place at 12:50am BST, with final practice beginning at 12:10am BST. 

The grand prix on Saturday will get under way at 5:10am BST, while the sprint is scheduled to run at 4am BST on Sunday - weather permitting. 

 

Several riders have backed up the plan to hold the grand prix on Saturday, including Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro.

Speaking before the official announcement he said, he said: “Since yesterday there were many rumours that the long race would take place tomorrow. We will see what happens in the end. I think it's a smart change."

Honda’s Joan Mir added: “It is clear that if that happens, we will not be able to race.”

This isn't the first time Phillip Island rounds have had wind disruption. In 2019, strong winds forced qualifying to be postponed to Sunday morning. 

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