BREAKING: Phillip Island MotoGP Sprint cancelled due to extreme weather

The Phillip Island MotoGP Sprint has been cancelled due to extreme weather. Image: Russell Colvin

The MotoGP Sprint at Phillip Island has been cancelled due to extreme weather conditions, meaning the 2023 Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix is now over.

The decision was made after the Moto2 grand prix was red-flagged with just nine laps completed and no restart possible, due to winds at the coastal Victorian circuit accelerating.

A statement from the Australian Grand Prix Corporation confirmed:

“Race Direction, comprised of IRTA, FIM and Dorna Sports, has advised that due to inclement weather, today’s MotoGP Tissot Sprint will not proceed.

“The Moto3 Grand Prix was held earlier today, with Australian Joel Kelso finishing in third position, while the Moto2 Grand Prix was red flagged after nine of the scheduled 23 laps.

“AGPC respects the decision of Race Direction and we thank all our fans for their understanding. We look forward to welcoming you back to the Island for next year’s Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix from 18-20 October 2024.”

Tony Arbolino was declared the winner but only half-points were awarded in a crash-filled encounter during which an umbrella blew onto the race track (Pictured).

MotoGP riders had already expressed concerns on Thursday about the safety of racing today due to the weather forecast, and the wind was blowing a 42km/h northwesterly a short time ago, at 12:17 local time/AEDT.

For the first time in history, the Grand Prix and Sprint races were swapped, with the former moved to Saturday afternoon to ensure that at least the headline act could go ahead.

A further revision to the schedule was made in the hours before the Grand Prix took place, with all Sunday sessions including the Sprint brought forward in the hope of avoiding the worst of the weather conditions.

After Warm Up sessions for all three classes, Moto3’s 21-lap race was completed in full, notwithstanding that a number of riders were caught out by the conditions.

Subsequently, however, the wind became stronger, as had been forecast for days, and officials made the decision to call off the rest of the programme.

READ MORE: Miller questions decision to cancel Phillip Island MotoGP Sprint

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