“You have more to lose” - MotoGP riders react to schedule change

Miguel Oliveira was one of several riders to discuss the schedule change at the Australian MotoGP, as he admitted there is now more to lose.
Miguel Oliveira, RNF Aprilia MotoGP Phillip Island 2023
Miguel Oliveira, RNF Aprilia MotoGP Phillip Island 2023

Extreme winds are set to hit the Phillip Island circuit on Sunday which is why organisers took the decision to swap the sprint and main race around. 

Gusts of up to 80km/h are being forecasted, while the chance of rain is also very high making it an easy decision for Dorna to make.

But what do the riders think?

Speaking about the call to move races around, which is the first time a swap between a grand prix and sprint has taken place, Marc Marquez said: “We are always in agreement and follow what race direction and the championship want to do.”

Many riders agreed with Marquez, while Bezzecchi also admitted to being in favour as it will help him be healthier for the most important race of the weekend.

Still dealing with his collarbone injury, Bezzecchi added: “For me, it is better because in the end, to make qualifying, the sprint and then another day for the big race; for me it is better to make the big race before because it is more important. 

“I can be a bit more in shape and then on Sunday I can manage better.”

When discussing the change of schedule, Oliveira took a different approach and claimed it will make things harder for the riders.

With the sprint being a chance to iron out any issues with the bike, in his eyes, Oliveira feels there is now the chance to struggle more.

You have more to lose,” said Oliveira. “Basically, if you are not on point you can see the sprint race as FP4 and just try it as another free practice to try a couple of things in a race simulation. 

“But tomorrow it is going to be for real. We have to be prepared and we have to find a solution.”

Calling into question whether the grand prix should go ahead in its original time slot, Joan Mir was the last to agree with the decision.

The Repsol Honda rider said: “For me it makes a lot of sense. We could see that if the forecast is right then we would probably not race on Sunday. 

“And to try and adapt the schedule a little bit for this is something I agree with. I think they took the right decision.”

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