Blustery and sometimes wet conditions at Phillip Island have forced the postponement of qualifying for the Pramac Generac Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix to Sunday.
Strong winds created plenty of dramas for riders and pit crews, and the morning practice session was even red flagged when Jack Miller’s pit wall technician had his pit board blown from his hands and onto the track itself.
Free Practice 4, which precedes qualifying, was halted after the gusty winds caused a number of incidents.
Miguel Oliveira’s crash looked to have been caused by him literally being pushed off the track by winds heading into Doohan Corner.
The Tech3 KTM rider veered sideways onto the grass ahead of the braking zone, then straight-lined towards the runoff area where he fell from his bike. He was treated at the track medical centre and cleared of any serious injury.
The session was stopped with all riders called to a safety meeting at the Phillip Island track management office with FIM, IRTA and Dorna officials. With MotoGP machines featuring wings, all agreed to cancel the afternoon running.
“The wind is just getting worse and worse getting gusts over 50km/h,” said Pramac Ducati’s Miller.
“Then with Oliveira on the first flying lap at the end of the straight you actually wheelie and the wind shifting him straight off the edge of the track.
“We need to all ride to the conditions and we will see what they are going to do.”
Warm Up will take place tomorrow from 0950 local time/AEDT, followed by Qualifying 1 at 1020, Qualifying 2 at 1045, and the Race at 1500.