Further Australian MotoGP schedule changes move Moto2, Moto3 races

Further changes to the MotoGP weekend schedule in Australia for this weekend's race means that the whole Sunday schedule has been moved forwards by one hour

Jack Miller, 2023 MotoGP Australian Grand Prix. - Gold and Goose

A further change to the schedule for this weekend's MotoGP Australian Grand Prix has seen the whole Sunday schedule moved forwards by one hour as organisers seek to avoid the worst of the incoming weather.

The new schedule means that, effectively, everything on Sunday in Phillip Island will happen one hour sooner than originally planned, as well as meaning that Moto3 and Moto2 will both have 10-minute warm-up sessions on Sunday morning.

The revised Sunday schedule, which can be seen in full in the below social media post, means that Moto3 warm-up will take place at 22:20 UK time, and MotoGP warm-up will end at 23:10 UK time. The first race, the Moto3 GP, will begin at 00:00 UK time; Moto2 will start at 01:15 UK time, and the MotoGP Sprint will start at 03:00 UK time.

This latest schedule change follows the news of Friday that the MotoGP race would run on Saturday, and the MotoGP Sprint on Sunday. That original news can be read below.

MotoGP race moved to Saturday

The 2023 MotoGP Australian Grand Prix has been moved forwards by one day, due to the expected bad weather set to hit Phillip Island on Sunday, while the Sprint is now scheduled for Sunday.

The shift in schedule was announced in the hour after the conclusion of Friday’s Practice session, and “has been taken proactively,” a MotoGP statement reads. 

The statement also details that safety of both competitors and fans has been considered when making the decision, such is the severity of the weather that is expected to arrive at Phillip Island on Sunday.

The full-length MotoGP Grand Prix race will now take place at 15:10 local time (05:10 BST). The Sprint is now scheduled for 14:00 local time (04:00) on Sunday, weather permitting, of course.

The Moto2 and Moto3 races are still scheduled for Sunday and, like the Sprint, their running is weather-permitting.

The aforementioned statement published on the MotoGP website reads as follows:

“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.”

In an exceptional press conference held at the Phillip Island circuit, Dorna Chief Sporting Officer Carlos Ezpeleta explained that the schedule had been changed after practice because the organisers and the race promoter, Australian Grand Prix Corporation, had been waiting to receive the most accurate forecast possible. "After consultation with the Australian Grand Prix Corporation," Ezpeleta explained, "we wanted to wait until today to get the best forecast we could from the official bureau. We have a very good reference for our tolerance in this circuit for wind, after having to red flag the qualifying [session] in 2019. So, it looks like our forecast for Sunday this year is very similar to the one we had four years ago, and [...] safety is the most important factor - safety of the riders, as well as the fans and all of the people involved in the event.

"After meeting with  the teams, it has been a unanimous decision to switch the Sprint from Saturday to Sunday, and the [Grand Prix] race from Sunday to Saturday on more or less the same times. This is to secure our most important race of the weekend.

"Obviously, we will react to the forecast for Sunday, we will gtry to complete the full schedule [...] with the Warm Up, with the parade lap for the fans- all the content that we had planned, [including] Moto3, Moto2, and the Sprint race for Sunday, if the weather permits. If we have to stop, we will stop [...] for safety conditions. "

Following Practice on Friday, Brad Binder was fastest for KTM, while Ducati's Francesco Bagnaia missed out on Q2 for the second weekend in succession.