MotoGP Australian Sprint CANCELLED

The 2023 MotoGP Sprint at Australia's Phillip Island circuit has been cancelled due to weather conditions, and particularly for strong winds

MotoGP field, 2023 Australian Grand Prix. - Gold and Goose

The MotoGP Sprint at the 2023 Australian Grand Prix has been cancelled, owing to poor weather conditions and, in particular, to strong winds.

The decision to cancel the MotoGP Sprint was made at 12:30 local time (02:30 UK time), around half-an-hour before the race was due to start. It was judged that the wind was too strong, making the conditions unsafe to race in.

The Moto2 Grand Prix, which had begun at 11:15 local time, had been red flagged after 11 laps due to the weather conditions, which saw only 20 classified finishers from the 30 starters. Tony Arbolino won the reduced-distance intermediate class race, for which half-points were awarded. Arbolino jokingly suggested in his parc ferme interview with Simon Crafar that instead of half-points, double-points should be awarded in such conditions.

The MotoGP Sprint's cancellation comes after the race was swapped with the Grand Prix to run on Sunday, rather than its usual Saturday position. That Saturday Australian Grand Prix was won by Johann Zarco, a debut premier class win for the Frenchman, ahead of Francesco Bagnaia and Fabio Di Giannantonio, the #49 taking his first MotoGP podium. Jorge Martin had led the race until the fourth corner of the final lap, when his choice of the soft-compound rear tyre finally proved the wrong one, as he dropped from first to fifth on the last lap.

The Saturday result combined with the cancellation of the Sprint means that Bagnaia goes to next weekend's Thai Grand Prix with a 27-point lead over Martin, having scored 34 points more than the Spaniard in the previous two MotoGP race starts. The Thai GP will mark the end of the triple header that began last weekend in Indonesia, and will precede a one-week break for the Grand Prix paddock, before the Malaysian GP kicks off a season-ending triple-header on 11-13 November.