Australian MotoGP switches to a Saturday race

The extreme weather forecast for Phillip Island on Sunday means the Australian MotoGP race will now be held on Saturday, swapping places with the Sprint.
Johann Zarco, Australian MotoGP, 20 October
Johann Zarco, Australian MotoGP, 20 October

While Friday practice took place in warm and sunny conditions, as reported, wind gusts of up to 80km/h are predicted to hit the seaside circuit on Sunday combined with a 70-80% chance of rain and cold temperatures.

On the eve of the event, Johann Zarco raised the prospect of swapping the half-length Saturday Sprint with the grand prix, therefore ensuring the main grand prix (for full points) takes place while having the Sprint in the Sunday TV time slot if it proves possible to race.

Saturday will thus be a mammoth day for the MotoGP field, starting with free practice, followed by qualifying and now a 27-lap afternoon race.

However, the Moto3 and Moto2 grands prix are set to keep their planned Sunday start times, putting them in doubt if the weather is indeed as bad as predicted.

The MotoGP warm-up is also still scheduled for Sunday morning.

New Australian MotoGP schedule (UK time)

Saturday October 21
00.10am - Free Practice 2
00.50am - Qualifying
5.10am - grand prix

Sunday October 22
4am - sprint race

A statement from Dorna read:

'Due to inclement weather forecast for Sunday the 22nd of October, the schedule for the MotoGP Guru by Gryfyn Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix has been updated.

'This decision has been taken proactively in order to guarantee the best and safest possible show for all competitors and fans attending Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit this weekend.

'The MotoGP Grand Prix race will now take place on Saturday the 21st of October at 15:10 local time (GMT +11).

'The Tissot Sprint is now scheduled to begin at 14:00 on Sunday the 22nd of October, weather permitting.'

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