2019 MotoGP

Phillip Island Saturday Report


The morning…

The anticipated rain had come during the night on Friday but a stiff wind had dried the track out by the time competitors took to the circuit on Saturday morning. 

MotoGP Australia Phillip Island CRW Fri Crowd
Crowd building at Phillip Island – Image by Colin Rosewarne

The forecast was still very uninspiring and the sky somewhat foreboding, but the precipitation stayed in check long enough for Moto3 and Moto2 to all enjoy dry FP3 sessions, and it looked like the premier MotoGP category might enjoy the same luck.

MotoGP Australia Phillip Island CRW Fri Crowd
Crowds sheltered from the brutal wind any way they could come up with – Image by Colin Rosewarne

Tony Arbolino topped Moto3 proceedings on Saturday morning but windy conditions prevented riders from improving on their Friday times, thus Arbolino still missed out on automatic promotion through to Q2.

MotoGP Australia Phillip Island CRW Sat Moto DiGiannantonio
Fabio Di Giannantonio – Image by Colin Rosewarne

Fabio Di Giannantonio was quickest in Moto2 FP3 but again few riders managed to improve on their Friday markers due to the blustery conditions. The Italian was one of only five riders that managed to improve on their Friday time.  Remy Gardner was one of those to improve, third in the session but still only 16th on combined times. 

MotoGP Australia Phillip Island CRW Sat Moto Gardner Bezzechi
Remy Gardner going around the outside of Bezzecchi on Saturday morning – Image by Colin Rosewarne

When FP3 for MotoGP got underway Alex Rins went down almost immediately. It was a soft crash but the Spaniard was unable to re-start his Suzuki.  Eventually he pushed the bike far enough for team members to then help him back to the pits.

The time lost for Rins though was off-set after a problem of a different kind caused a slight delay to proceedings only minutes after they had got started. 

MotoGP Phillip Island Pit Board Pramac
A wayward Pramac Ducati pit-board interrupted proceedings shortly after FP3 got underway at Phillip Island

One of the Pramac Ducati crew lost hold of Jack Miller’s pit-board in the stiff wind, easily done today I would imagine, and the large pit board was laying in the middle of the main straight!  Officials jumped the fence when safe and retrieved the pit board.

MotoGP Australia Phillip Island RbMotoLens MotoGP FP Pits Jack Miller
Jack Miller in the Pramac Ducati pits – Image by Rob Mott

Four-minutes later pit-lane opened again as small rain showers started to shed their contents around the circuit. It was hardly enough to wet the circuit, and blew over quickly, but the wind was brutal and far from consistent. Thus there was little to be gained in the conditions, most MotoGP riders chose to keep their powder dry for most of the session.

MotoGP Australia Phillip Island RbMotoLens MotoGP FP Pits Andrea DOVIZIOSO
Andrea Dovizioso in the pits – Image by Rob Mott

It was not until the dying minutes of the FP3 session that the track got a little busy. No rider though managed to improve their times due to the windy conditions. Marquez topped the session but Vinales continued to hold sway at the top of the combined timesheets. 


The afternoon….

While Moto3 riders got to enjoy a mainly dry qualifying session rain started sprinkling around the Phillip Island lay-out ahead of the Q2 session for Moto2 and the wind was gusting across the circuit with violence. 

Marcos Ramirez took pole in Moto3 ahead of Aron Canet and Albert Arenas. Scotsman John McPhee will start tomorrow from the front of the second row. 

Sam Lowes and Remy Gardner were quick enough in the Moto2 Q1 session to promote themselves through to Q2. The opening minutes of the Q2 session were dry but with five minutes remaining the rain started falling which ruined the chances of a late charge from many riders, the most frustrated of which was Remy Gardner who will start from 15th on the grid tomorrow. Jorge Navarro will start from pole ahead of Binder and Marini while Fabio Di Giannantonio will head the second row. 

The rain had stopped again by the time MotoGP FP4 got underway.

Pit lane opened for MotoGP FP4 at 1445 and the entire 22 rider field were quick out of the blocks to get some important laps in on what was a dry track, but strong gusty winds were still making conditions quite treacherous. FP4 does not count towards the combined times that decide the Q2 qualifiers thus is generally used to chase race set-up of prepare for the Q sessions that follow immediately after.

Miguel Oliveira fell foul of the conditions and was blown wide at the end of the straight and drifted off onto the grass at over 300 km/h. The KTM machine and Miguel did a few tumbles but miraculously the melee was not as monstrous as it might have been. He was taken to the medical centre where he was cleared of any significant injuries, although he was somewhat battered and bruised.


Miguel Oliveira

“There is not much to say about today. The conditions where very tricky for everyone. I could not avoid crashing in the first corner because of the wind. I was very unlucky. We just need to be glad, that I’m in one piece and I will see if I’m fit to ride tomorrow, because at the moment, my hands are the biggest problem. I’ll check in the morning and see my condition.”


Fabio Quartararo’s big tumble yesterday was badly affecting the young Frenchman. A shortage of track time yesterday costing him dearly, and also his badly bruised ankle, along with other ailments, causing him problems. He was also being frustrated by the wind.

With just under 13-minutes remaining the session was red flagged as pit board numbers had blown on to the circuit which added to the risk level in the conditions. Hitting the picks with some foreign matter under your front wheel is not going to make for a pleasant ride.   

A special meeting of the safety commission and the MotoGP riders was then called to discuss the risks now being placed on the riders. It had already been a more bruising than normal event and with the wind was predicted to only get stronger as the afternoon continued thus discussions needed to be had and decisions needed to be made concerning this afternoon’s qualifying sessions.


Fabio Quartararo

It was really dangerous conditions; I’ve never ridden in wind like we had today. Almost all the riders agreed that it was better to stop, and I think it was the right decision. I’m last on the grid if the grid is determined by combined practice times, so hopefully the conditions are safe enough to have qualifying in the morning. I really wanted to be able to complete FP4 in good conditions to gauge my level, but it was impossible to do so. My feeling wasn’t good because every lap you needed to change your riding style to adapt to the weather.”


The decision was handed down that no further track action would take place today.  Further meetings where then held to decide a revised schedule for tomorrow. The Sunday forecast far from perfect, but decidedly better than had been predicted for today.


Valentino Rossi

“The problem was that today the wind was too strong and it was difficult to predict because it was inconsistent. The wind was aggressive and very nervous, and this made the conditions too dangerous at this track. Phillip Island is very fast, so that makes it difficult. We all spoke together and decided it was too dangerous. Everybody expected it to be windy today, we tried in FP4, but it was really dangerous.”


The Sunday schedule has now been heavily revised with MotoGP FP4 now set for 0950 and MotoGP Q1 at 1020, then Q2 at 1045.  The Moto3 race is now slated for a midday start, Moto2 at 1320 and the MotoGP race scheduled to start at 1500. 

MotoGP Australia Island Sat Paddock MotoGP SAT MS Crowd
MotoGP crowd was good considering the conditions

Cal Crutchlow

“It was a disappointing day for the riders, the fans and the people watching at home, but these decisions don’t get taken lightly and I think we made the correct decision today not to ride. The Safety Commission made the correct decision because as you saw out there, the conditions with our bikes were horrendous. When we’re wheelieing in sixth gear, it’s not nice seeing someone like Miguel (Oliveira) go into turn one like he did, do nothing wrong and get blown off the track. He’s an experienced rider and he knows what he’s doing, it’s not like he made a mistake, it’s the wind. We don’t want to see people injured, we don’t want to see anyone hurt, I know all too well about going into turn one and having a crash like that.”


The official crowd for Saturday was 26,300 brave souls. The crowd was amazing considering the forecast was for diabolical conditions, and a damn good percentage of them were on motorcycles which was great to see. Fingers crossed they can enjoy a better day tomorrow.

MotoGP Australia Island Sat Paddock MotoGP SAT MS Crowd
MotoGP crowd was good considering the conditions

MotoGP Combined Practice

 

PosRiderBikeTime/Gap
1M.ViñalesYAMAHA1m28.824
2A.DoviziosoDUCATI+0.496
3C.CrutchlowHONDA+0.501
4D.PetrucciDUCATI+0.503
5J.MillerDUCATI+0.520
6M.MarquezHONDA+0.597
7V.RossiYAMAHA+0.612
8A.RinsSUZUKI+0.648
9F.MorbidelliYAMAHA+0.894
10A.EspargaroAPRILIA+0.967
11J.MirSUZUKI+1.051
12K.AbrahamDUCATI+1.173
13A.IannoneAPRILIA+1.346
14F.BagnaiaDUCATI+1.602
15J.ZarcoHONDA+1.617
16J.LorenzoHONDA+1.882
17P.EspargaroKTM+2.035
18M.KallioKTM+2.041
19H.SyahrinKTM+2.116
20M.OliveiraKTM+2.580
21T.RabatDUCATI+2.635
22F.QuartararoYAMAHA+6.020

Moto2 Combined Qualifying and Practice

PosRiderBikeQTime/Gap
1Jorge NAVARROSPEED UPQ21m33.565
2Brad BINDERKTMQ2+0.321
3Luca MARINIKALEXQ2+0.369
4Fabio DI GIANNANTONI   ITASPEED UPQ2+0.371
5Jorge MARTINKTMQ2+0.376
6Sam LOWESKALEXQ2+0.476
7Alex MARQUEZKALEXQ2+0.571
8Jesko RAFFINNTSQ2+0.678
9Marco BEZZECCHIKTMQ2+0.685
10Iker LECUONAKTMQ2+0.692
11Thomas LUTHIKALEXQ2+0.728
12Tetsuta NAGASHIMAKALEXQ2+0.834
13Nicolo BULEGAKALEXQ2+0.932
14Stefano MANZIMV AGUSTAQ2+1.098
15Remy GARDNERKALEXQ2+1.129
16Xavi VIERGEKALEXQ2+1.165
17Augusto FERNANDEZKALEXQ2+1.608
18Enea BASTIANINIKALEXQ22.740
19Lorenzo BALDASSARRI   ITAKALEXQ1(*) +0.455
20Bo BENDSNEYDERNTSQ1(*) +0.613
21Marcel SCHROTTERKALEXQ1(*)+ 0.655
22Joe ROBERTSKTMQ1(*) +0.715
23Andrea LOCATELLIKALEXQ1(*) +0.863
24Dominique AEGERTERMV AGUSTAQ1(*)+ 1.031
25Jake DIXONKTMQ1(*)+ 1.044
26Philipp OETTLKTMQ1(*) +1.646
27Mattia PASINIKALEXQ1(*)+ 1.963
28Somkiat CHANTRAKALEXQ1(*) +2.393
29Xavi CARDELUSKTMQ1(*) +2.849
30Adam NORRODINKALEXQ1(*)+ 3.019
31Lukas TULOVICKTMQ1(*) +3.176
32Dimas EKKY PRATAMAKALEXQ1(*) +5.473
PosRiderBikeTime/Gap
1J.MartinKTM1m33.010
2B.BinderKTM+0.343
3J.NavarroSPEED UP+0.395
4I.LecuonaKTM+0.464
5M.BezzecchiKTM+0.471
6F.Di GiannantoSPEED UP+0.545
7T.NagashimaKALEX+0.590
8N.BulegaKALEX+0.602
9A.MarquezKALEX+0.665
10J.RaffinNTS+0.718
11S.ManziMV AGUSTA+0.793
12T.LuthiKALEX+0.850
13E.BastianiniKALEX+0.862
14A.FernandezKALEX+0.877
15L.BaldassarriKALEX+0.896
16R.GardnerKALEX+0.918
17S.LowesKALEX+1.023
18B.BendsneydeNTS+1.130
19J.RobertsKTM+1.143
20L.MariniKALEX+1.174
21X.ViergeKALEX+1.281
22M.SchrotterKALEX+1.352
23A.LocatelliKALEX+1.443
24M.PasiniKALEX+1.515
25D.AegerterMV AGUSTA+1.877
26P.OettlKTM+2.236
27L.TulovicKTM+2.326
28S.ChantraKALEX+2.481
29J.DixonKTM+2.746
30X.CardelusKTM+3.228
31A.NorrodinKALEX+3.747
32D.Ekky PratamKALEX+4.214

Moto3 Combined Qualifying and Practice

PosRiderMotorcycleQGap
1Marcos RAMIREZHONDAQ21m38.976
2Aron CANETKTMQ20.184
3Albert ARENASKTMQ20.268
4John MCPHEEHONDAQ20.334
5Kaito TOBAHONDAQ20.517
6Lorenzo DALLA PORTA   ITAHONDAQ20.707
7Andrea MIGNOKTMQ20.739
8Romano FENATIHONDAQ20.842
9Celestino VIETTIKTMQ21.085
10Dennis FOGGIAKTMQ21.174
11Gabriel RODRIGOHONDAQ21.213
12Tatsuki SUZUKIHONDAQ21.420
13Tony ARBOLINOHONDAQ21.441
14Tom BOOTH-AMOSKTMQ21.680
15Jaume MASIAKTMQ21.868
16Can ONCUKTMQ22.465
17Stefano NEPAKTMQ23.452
18Niccolò ANTONELLIHONDAQ28.342
19Jakub KORNFEILKTMQ1(*) 1.406
20Kazuki MASAKIKTMQ1(*) 2.128
21Sergio GARCIAHONDAQ1(*) 2.673
22Filip SALACKTMQ1(*) 3.211
23Raul FERNANDEZKTMQ1(*) 3.564
24Ayumu SASAKIHONDAQ1(*) 3.605
25Ai OGURAHONDAQ1(*) 3.606
26Makar YURCHENKOKTMQ1(*) 3.653
27Riccardo ROSSIHONDAQ1(*) 4.219
28Rogan CHANDLERKALEX KTMQ16 *) 10.232
29Darryn BINDERKTMFP21.116
30Alonso LOPEZHONDAFP22.121
31Yanni SHAWKALEX KTMFP25.774
PosRiderBikeTime/Gap
1A.CanetKTM1m36.809
2L.Dalla PortaHONDA+0.281
3A.ArenasKTM+0.451
4N.AntonelliHONDA+0.549
5T.SuzukiHONDA+0.634
6A.MignoKTM+0.740
7J.McpheeHONDA+0.808
8R.FenatiHONDA+0.815
9D.FoggiaKTM+0.880
10G.RodrigoHONDA+0.994
11S.NepaKTM+1.041
12C.ViettiKTM+1.073
13K.TobaHONDA+1.077
14M.RamirezHONDA+1.100
15D.BinderKTM+1.116
16C.OncuKTM+1.131
17T.ArbolinoHONDA+1.228
18R.FernandezKTM+1.309
19R.RossiHONDA+1.328
20J.KornfeilKTM+1.455
21T.Booth-AmosKTM+1.750
22S.GarciaHONDA+1.783
23K.MasakiKTM+1.839
24F.SalacKTM+1.856
25J.MasiaKTM+1.913
26A.SasakiHONDA+1.970
27A.LopezHONDA+2.121
28M.YurchenkoKTM+2.199
29A.OguraHONDA+2.949
30Y.ShawKALEX KTM+5.774
31R.ChandlerKALEX KTM+8.094

 

2019 MotoGP Championship Standings

PosRiderBikePoints
1Marc MARQUEZHonda350
2Andrea DOVIZIOSODucati231
3Alex RINSSuzuki176
4Maverick VIÑALESYamaha176
5Danilo PETRUCCIDucati169
6Fabio QUARTARAROYamaha163
7Valentino ROSSIYamaha145
8Jack MILLERDucati125
9Cal CRUTCHLOWHonda113
10Franco MORBIDELLIYamaha100
11Pol ESPARGAROKTM85
12Takaaki NAKAGAMIHonda74
13Joan MIRSuzuki66
14Aleix ESPARGAROAprilia47
15Francesco BAGNAIADucati37
16Miguel OLIVEIRAKTM33
17Andrea IANNONEAprilia33
18Johann ZARCOKTM27
19Jorge LORENZOHonda23
20Tito RABATDucati18
21Stefan BRADLHonda16
22Michele PIRRODucati9
23Sylvain GUINTOLISuzuki7
24Hafizh SYAHRINKTM7
25Karel ABRAHAMDucati5
26Mika KALLIOKTM2

2019 Australian GP Schedule (AEDT)

Schedule subject to change

TimeClassSession
0850Moto3WUP
0920Moto2WUP
0950MotoGPFP4
1020MotoGPQ1
1045MotoGPQ2
1200Moto3Race
1320Moto2Race
1500MotoGPRace
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