The prospect of incoming extreme weather has prompted officials to amend the schedule for this weekend’s Australian MotoGP with the full-length feature taking place on the Saturday instead of Sunday.
While Round 16 of the 2023 MotoGP season, held at Phillip Island to the south of Melbourne, conditions are expected to deteriorate on Sunday with a likelihood of heavy rain and severe gusts of over 80mph.
With its off-shore location just a few hundred feet from the coastline, the undulating Phillip Island Circuit is already renowned for the challenges posed by sudden gusts and unexpected side-winds.
As a result, Dorna and the FIM have moved to mitigate potential issues by swapping the full-length Grand Prix with the Sprint Race. It means Saturday’s qualifying schedule will go ahead unchanged, before the programme is concluded by the full GP.
The Sprint Race has now moved to Sunday but will only go ahead if weather permits. Similarly, there are no changes to the Moto3 and Moto2 schedule and thus face the risk of being cancelled altogether but it is hoped these will take place before conditions potentially deteriorate.
“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.”