MotoGP race director Mike Webb expects negotiations to move the date of the Australian Grand Prix to avoid weather disruptions at future races.

Sunday running at Phillip Island was declared with only the Moto3 race and half the Moto2 race completed. MotoGP riders never took to the circuit, with wind speed too extreme for track action.

The Bureau of Meteorology observed gusts of more than 50 kilometres per hour on Sunday, though the circuit’s location overlooking Bass Strait means it was likely battered by more extreme winds, with gales of up to 87 kilometres per hour having been forecast for the surrounding waters.

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The MotoGP sprint at the Australian Grand Prix has been called off on safety grounds due to extreme weather at Phillip Island.

Team managers were spotted in a meeting with race organisers in the paddock around 40 minutes before the short race’s scheduled 1:00pm start, with confirmation coming at 12:30pm that the rest of the weekend would be abandoned due to high winds and rain.

“I think it was a great call yesterday to have the main race on Saturday,” RNF team manager Wilco Zeelenberg said. “We see clearly there is a lot of wind and a lot of rain.

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Aussie ace Joel Kelso has secured a third season in Moto3 with a switch to the Boé Motorsports team for 2024.

Darwin-born Kelso made his full-time debut in the lightweight class in 2022 with CIP before switching to the CFMoto-backed Prüstel GP team this season, but the team told him earlier this season that he wouldn’t be retained for a second season.

While Kelso has been making progress in his second campaign, he has struggled to convert his qualifying speed into regular points.

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The first Saturday Grand Prix in eight years didn’t disappoint. But then Phillip Island rarely does.

The time-shifted Australian Grand Prix was an afternoon of motorcycle racing’s greatest hits.

It started as a demonstration of pure pace, with Jorge Martin dominating off the lined and putting what seemed to be an insurmountable 3.5 seconds on the rest of the field.

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First-time MotoGP winner Johann Zarco has admitted to doubting whether he had what it takes to win in the premier class in the lead-up to his maiden victory in a corking Australian Grand Prix.

French veteran Zarco snatched the lead from Pramac teammate Jorge Martin in a thrilling five-rider last-lap duel with eight corners remaining to take the chequered flag for the first time.

Zarco had been searching for his maiden victory for the better part of seven seasons in MotoGP, a prospect that would have seemed unthinkable when he debuted in the sport as a double Moto2 champion.

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Francesco Bagnaia has twisted the knife into fumbling title challenger Jorge Martin with some veiled criticism after yet again stretching his points advantage thanks to his rival’s mistake.

Martin led all but the last eight corners of the Australian Grand Prix after gambling his pole position on a soft rear tyre. It gave him a massive 3.5-second lead in the middle of the race but pulled itself apart before the end of the afternoon, dropping him from first to fifth on the last lap.

Bagnaia had been mired in a battle for third for much of that time but stormed home thanks to his superior tyre strategy to finish second, adding nine points to his title lead.

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Johann Zarco has passed teammate Jorge Martin to claim a thrilling first MotoGP victory in his 120th premier-class start.

Martin led every lap but the last in what was close to a perfect performance, but the Spaniard gambled his victory chances on the soft rear tyre that let him down in the final 10 laps.

The Pramac rider was a sitting duck as his seemingly insurmountable 3.5-second lead in the middle of the race was whittled down to nothing by a four-rider pack that smelt blood.

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Title leader Francesco Bagnaia has failed to directly qualify for the top 10 on the grid for the second week in a row in a crucial timed practice session headed by KTM teammates Brad Binder and Aussie Jack Miller.

Bagnaia had been off the pace all session and found himself needing to set a competitive time in the last three minutes of the hour.

Championship rival Jorge Martin, among a gaggle of other riders, disrupted his rhythm by picking up his slipstream on his first lap. Bagnaia attempted to shake the pack but in doing so compromised his first lap, which ended with an unrepresentative time.

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It was a funny atmosphere on Phillip Island on Friday night.

Nothing had really changed, but at the same time everything had changed.

Practice had gone ahead without a hitch, the circuit basked in glorious sunshine. But the forecast was close at hand for every team and rider, with brows furrowed about the viability of holding a grand prix in the high winds predicted for Sunday.

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Daniel Ricciardo returns to the cockpit for this weekend’s United States Grand Prix with little on the line but much to prove.

Ricciardo’s grand plan to find himself a place at a race-winning team is coming together. He spent the months after being axed from McLaren deconstructing and rebuilding himself in the Red Bull simulator as a reserve driver, and after just 10 rounds he got the nod to replace the ousted Nyck de Vries at sister team AlphaTauri.

His first two races were promising, but the run ended suddenly with a practice crash in the Netherlands that broke his left hand and left him unable to drive until this weekend.

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MotoGP has brought forward the Australian Grand Prix to Saturday afternoon in a bid to avoid inclement weather forecast for Sunday.

The 27-lap grand prix will now take place at 3:10pm tomorrow instead of the sprint, less than three hours after the conclusion of qualifying.

The sprint will be moved to 2:00pm on Sunday in the feature race’s original slot.

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Jack Miller is hopeful his upgraded KTM can take the fight to dominant Ducati at his home Australian Grand Prix this weekend.

Miller has had a roller-coaster of a first season with the Austrian brand, bursting from the blocks with a podium in the fourth round but losing his way through the middle of the campaign.

Ducati, meanwhile, has won all but three of 15 races so far this season, with Miller’s former factory team taking six of those via title leader Francesco Bagnaia.

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Reigning Australian Grand Prix winner Álex Rins has cast doubt on the running of this year’s race, with high winds forecast to disrupt Sunday running.

Phillips Island has basked in warm and sunny weather on Thursday, but conditions are set to deteriorate over the weekend.

Fresh winds and light showers and will arrive for qualifying and the sprint on Saturday, while Sunday’s radar predicts up to 6 millimetres of rain and strong winds of up to 45 kilometres per hour. Gusts could be as strong as 70 kilometres per hour.

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Max Verstappen claimed victory in the Australian Grand Prix after a farcical late-race red-flag restart generated mass carnage through the field.

Verstappen had been cruising to a dominant second win of the season when Kevin Magnussen lost his rear-right tire after tapping the outside barrier at Turn 2 on lap 53, triggering a brief safety car and then the second red flag of the afternoon.

After a 15-minute delay the cars lined up on the grid for a restart, with Verstappen on pole alongside Lewis Hamilton, for a two-lap dash to the finish.

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Max Verstappen will start the Australian Grand Prix on pole after a last-gasp flying lap from the Red Bull driver rescued top spot from Mercedes.

Verstappen was sixth after making a mistake at the penultimate corner on his first lap, and though a second push lap on the same set of tires put him on provisional pole, it was with a tenuous margin of only 0.009s over the field.

And with the soft compound struggling to come up to temperature on a cool, overcast day in Melbourne, the Dutchman was on the back foot without the time to complete the two preparation laps the tire needed to be in its optimum window.

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Max Verstappen has topped final practice at the Australian Grand Prix as Red Bull Racing teammate Sergio Perez struggled with apparent car issues.

Verstappen saved his soft-tire run until late, setting a best time of 1m17.565s to pip Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso by 0.162s. Esteban Ocon completed the top three for Alpine, a further 0.211s adrift.

Teammate Perez endured a nightmare session with car problems that have left him underdone ahead of qualifying.

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Fernando Alonso topped a rain-affected second practice session at the Australian Grand Prix ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

After a sunny and reasonably warm first practice hour, Melbourne turned cool and overcast in time for the final session, and light rain drops as pit lane opened made clear the threat of rain.

The ambient temperature was just 61 degrees F, with the track barely warmer at 80 degrees F, and both were dropping as the weather changed.

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Max Verstappen dominated a frenetic twice-suspended first practice session at the Australian Grand Prix that saw several driver in the gravel.

Verstappen set the early pace after opening the hour with a set of soft tires and never lost top spot, eventually lowering the benchmark to 1m18.790s on worn rubber.

It wasn’t completely smooth running for the Dutchman, however, who complained of gearbox problems early in the session before later clambering over the curb at the exit of Turn 4 and spinning across the track, coming perilously close to nosing the barrier. The Red Bull’s tires ruined, he returned to pit lane and ended his session.

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