High winds force Australian MotoGP qualifying postponement

A bizarre crash for Miguel Oliveira forces qualifying for the Australian MotoGP to be cancelled due to high winds at the coastal Phillip Island circuit

Miguel Oliveira - Tech 3 KTM

Qualifying for the 2019 Australian MotoGP has been postponed until Sunday morning after high winds were considered too dangerous to ride in.

With its coastal location, Phillip Island is known for its gusty conditions al year-round, but particularly high winds changing direction proved more problematic today during the preceding FP4 session.

The decision was made after Miguel Oliveira was visibly forced into a crash by the windy conditions at the high-speed – after being pushed wide onto the grass leading into the high-speed turn one - leading to a meeting of the Safety Commission, which delivered a verdict of waiting until tomorrow to attempt qualifying.

Oliveira was taken to the medical centre but despite the painful landing, he escaped serious injury.

I was slipstreaming Zarco and at that point I was a little bit closer to the left side of the track," Oliveira explained. "From the morning to the afternoon the wind completely changed direction and was going sideways on the straight.

"I rolled off to let Johann pass and when I braked, I braked completely sideways and the wind just pushed me out of the track."

If qualifying cannot be run tomorrow, grid positions will be decided by combined free practice times which would see Maverick Vinales on pole positionm, with Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchklow on the front row.

“We have taken a decision in the Safety Commission that right now it is not safe in the high winds, this was seen when Miguel Oliveira crashed with the wind pushing him off. We have decided we are going to have to stop today and try again tomorrow,” said Karel Abraham after the meeting.”