At Phillip Island, the day ended early due to the strong gusts of wind that conditions FP4. It was a decision fully supported by most of the riders, including Jorge Lorenzo.
“I agree with this decision – number 99 began – the wind was very strong and inconsistent at the same time. With these bikes, it would not have taken much at all to lose the front end like what happened to Oliveira. In FP3 I managed to turn a couple laps and then I went back to the garage immediately because the wind was blowing very hard.”
In the last free practice session it got even worse.
“In FP4 there were really inconsistent gusts of wind and Oliveira ended up in the gravel. So, it was a disastrous situation and dangerous at the same time, so I agree with the cancellation of the qualifiers, since it was the best choice. Tomorrow we will start very early. We’ll see what the conditions are and the sensations on the bike.”
Not even the winglets helped the riders.
“It is true that there are winglets on the bikes, but when you are on the section that leads to turn 1, with such strong gusts of wind and the speed of the bike reaching 330 km/h, everything becomes dangerous. You can’t control it anymore. The same thing almost happened to me too on turn 3.”
At this point, the spotlights are on a nonstop Sunday that anticipates warmup, qualifiers and then the race.”
“The alternative was to use the combined times to decide the starting grid order. Someone suggested doing qualifiers tomorrow and that was the decision Dorna make. For me personally, it doesn’t change much. Unfortunately, here at Phillip Island I am struggling, especially on the corners. In fact, I am lacking the confidence I need to be competitive.”
And yet, the Moto2 and Moto3 classes did their sessions regularly despite the adverse conditions.
“Maybe the gusts were not as strong as in our session – Jorge concluded – the Moto2 and Moto3 bikes have less power than the MotoGP engine capacities. I can say that with these bikes, it was not at all easy to ride. Maybe for the problem is not as big for riders like Márquez, who have a style particularly attached to the fairings and who rely a lot on the front end, turning with the rear wheel.”
Audio collected by Paolo Scalera