Strong winds have forced Dorna to cancel qualifying for the MotoGP class at Phillip Island.
Wind with gusts of over 70km/h made conditions impossible during FP4, and after Miguel Oliveira suffered a massive crash at Turn 1, blown off line and onto the grass, an impromptu meeting of the Safety Commission voted to cancel qualifying, deeming it too dangerous to continue.
The heavy wind gusts had brought out the red flags halfway through FP4. Initially, it appeared that this was due to pitboard numbers being blown onto the track along the front straight, but it soon became clear that it was because of the strong winds that had caused Red Bull KTM Tech3 rider Miguel Oliveira to crash.
Oliveira had been blown off to the left of the track coming down Phillip Island’s front straight. The winds were strong enough to push him onto the grass, causing him to lose control of his KTM RC16 and crash at high speed at Turn 1.
Oliveira was lucky to escape with nothing more than bruising to his hand and arm: he tumbled a long way through the gravel at high speed before coming to a halt.
After FP4 was red flagged, the riders gathered with Race Direction in the Safety Commission to make a decision about whether qualifying practice could be held safely or not.
The riders voted 19-3 in favor of canceling qualifying on Saturday, and postponing it until Sunday.
That means there is now a new schedule for Sunday morning. The warm up sessions will be pushed an hour earlier, and then qualifying for MotoGP will be squeezed in after warm up, and before the Moto3 race, Q1 starting at 10:20 local time, Q2 starting at 10:45. You can convert those times to your local time here.
Sunday’s New Schedule for the Australian GP:
Source: MotoGP; Photo: Repsol Honda