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Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Rain Halts Phillip Island MotoGP Free Practice


Team Suzuki Press Office – October 21.

Maverick Viñales – 6th
Aleix Espargaró – 17th

Heavy rain and dangerous track conditions forced Race Direction to red-flag today’s second Free Practice for the Michelin® Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix at the Phillip Island Circuit.

The day started with cold weather and pouring rain, but the riders managed to take-in some laps, which was useful for a first appraisal of the circuit using Michelin’s rain tyres, and to try to find a basic set-up. With this, Maverick Viñales’ appreciation of the track was positive, scoring a provisional top-10 which would, on paper, give him direct access to Q2.

In the afternoon, the rain became a lot heavier and the track was almost flooded. After a delay on the start time, only Aleix Espargaró ventured out on the circuit briefly to classify fifth while team-mate Viñales did not venture out and was, like many of the riders, not classified in the results. The session was then interrupted again, and further practice postponed until tomorrow.

From today’s classification, the results were taken from FP1.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager:

“Obviously this has been a strange day. Luckily this morning we managed to make some laps, even in the wet, and we gathered our first impressions about the machine set-up and tyres. In the afternoon the conditions were really impossible, we couldn’t do any more work and we definitely hope for something better tomorrow. In the few we did, Maverick felt confident and comfortable, while Aleix struggled to find a better feeling, although they were the very first impressions. We still need to work a lot, it’s a pity we had to almost waste the day, but we already had some feedback from which we will work-on now, waiting for better chances tomorrow.”

Maverick Viñales:

“The morning was positive, but we could only really ride properly for 20 minutes, but I found myself very comfortable with the machine. This also surprised me a bit, because lately we’ve been struggling in rainy conditions, but I’m happy to see these improvements. I like this circuit even in the rain; and this probably paid back in terms of the result. This afternoon it was impossible to ride, so I didn’t want to risk a crash and keep the work for tomorrow. I could try both the tyre options for the front, I found the harder one more suitable for me, but we definitely need to investigate and work more deeply to understand. It was important to be immediately in the top-10 in case tomorrow the conditions are also hard, so for the moment we have the Q2 access granted. Let’s wait for tomorrow and see what the weather does.”

Aleix Espargaró:

“What a strange day. Unfortunately, this morning I couldn’t find the feeling with the bike so we tried to change a lot in set-up and electronics, this is why I wanted to also try it in the second session. Unfortunately, the conditions were too bad and it was impossible to improve the time. I hope tomorrow the conditions will be a little better, so I can try to find a better confidence and verify all the improvements we have in mind.”


1. Cal CRUTCHLOW – LCR Honda – 1’40.957
2. Danilo PETRUCCI – OCTO Pramac Yakhnich – 1’41.010 + 0.053
3. Jack MILLER – Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS – 1’41.457 + 0.500
4. Marc MARQUEZ – Repsol Honda Team – 1’41.511 + 0.554
5. Andrea DOVIZIOSO – Ducati Team – 1’41.569 + 0.612
6. Maverick VIÑALES – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1’41.813 + 0.856
7. Pol ESPARGARO – Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 1’42.465 + 1.508
8. Alvaro BAUTISTA – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 1’42.956 + 1.999
9. Nicky HAYDEN – Repsol Honda Team – 1’43.012 + 2.055
10. Stefan BRADL – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 1’43.070 + 2.113
17. Aleix ESPARGARO – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1’44.551 + 3.594

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