Preparing for a record 400th start, no rider has more grand prix experience than Valentino Rossi.

But even the Italian legend struggled to think of when he last faced track conditions like those at Phillip Island on Saturday, which saw MotoGP qualifying cancelled due to strong gusts of wind, after a big accident for Miguel Oliveira.

Eventually Rossi remembered being at a 250cc test back in the late '90s that had seen similar problems.

"For sure it's a long time," he said. "I remember one test with the 250 here that had very strong wind and at the end we stop.

"Sometimes it's too cold, or too much rain and a lot of water. Today was dry, but the wind was difficult to manage.

"The problem is that the wind is too strong and also it's difficult to predict because it's not constant and it's very aggressive.

"This track is also very fast, so we speak together and decided it's too dangerous.

"Everybody expected the wind today and we tried in FP4 but it was really, really dangerous especially the last corner and all the front straight, where Oliveira crashed. Also Turn 3 was dangerous. Big gusts.

"So you arrive at very highspeed and you don’t know what's going to happen."

With the vast majority of riders voting to halt the action during a special meeting of the Safety Commission, qualifying will now take place after warm-up on Sunday.

Having set the seventh fastest time in free practice, Rossi will go straight to Qualifying 2, but felt it would be better just to use the free practice times to decide the grid.

Monster Yamaha team-mate Maverick Vinales was fastest on combined practice times.

“I thought there would be a small possibility that we would be riding today, but I think we have to be clever and put safety first," said the 2018 race winner. "In these conditions it was very easy to make a small mistake that would do a lot of damage.

"It‘s not that easy to go into Turn 1 with 340km with the wind, the problem was the wind. So, the majority‘s decision was to cancel the remaining sessions today. Tomorrow we‘ll see how the new schedule will work out.

"Anyway, I‘m quite happy, I‘m very confident in all situations. The programme is decided by other people, I will just try to concentrate and then tomorrow we will see what the plan is.”

 

Comments

Loading Comments...