Austrialian GP 2016 Results: the first day of free practice for this weekend’s Michelin Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix was almost a complete washout, with heavy rain falling at the Phillip Island circuit from first thing in the morning and not relenting throughout the entire day.
Already a winner in the wet this season in the Czech Republic, LCR Honda-man Cal Crutchlow was fastest in the morning’s first free practice session. With the rain picking up throughout that first 45 minutes, he set his best time on his eighth lap of eight out on track before deciding to park his Honda RC213V as conditions worsened.
In the afternoon, the second practice was delayed because of a build up of standing water out on the circuit, and although the riders were finally given the green light to go, only a few riders braved the treacherous weather. Sadly for everyone concerned, the downpours returned after 15 minutes, and marshals were forced to bring out the red flag before a decision was made to terminate the day’s action.
The forecast is for more rain on Saturday morning at the Victorian venue, but easing later for the afternoon qualifying sessions. As things stand, Crutchlow would automatically go through to the qualifying final, but it remains to be seen what will greet the riders when they arrive at the track in the morning.
#35 Cal Crutchlow – 1st (1’40.957)
“It’s been disappointing today. We’re not so happy with the weather conditions of course, but you have to think about the safety of the riders. This is a really fast circuit and it became very difficult to see in the morning session, and then later in the day for the second practice there was no point in taking any risks. I didn’t even put my leathers on!”
“We now need to concentrate on tomorrow. It looks like it will be wet again so that’s why we didn’t need to go out in the afternoon. We are very sorry for the fans who stood out in the rain and didn’t get to watch any more track activity, but we have to consider safety and make sure we get everyone through the weekend in good shape.”
“I look forward to qualifying tomorrow now, and then to the race on Sunday.”