Earlier this year, the Australian Grand Prix Corporation, which runs both the Australian F1 and MotoGP events, signed a new contract with F1 that runs until 2035.

Under the agreement, the race at Albert Park is to be one of the first three races of the season, including at least five slots for the season opener.

It basically blocks the Australian Grand Prix on the date of March/April for the next 13 years.

As a result of the agreement with Formula 1, the MotoGP round at Phillip Island should take place at the end of the year.

The idea of ​​starting the season for the AGP in hopes of warmer weather has been floated publicly by riders for years.

It came up again this year after the event suffered from bad weather. Heavy rain in the run-up to the event resulted in the course being flooded on Thursday night before practice, and while most of the running was dry over the weekend, ambient temperatures generally stayed in the teens.

The concept of an earlier date was seriously explored by the AGPC as recently as last year after calls were made to Dorna as early as 2019 to evaluate the idea, but the race promoter is now committed to the September-October MotoGP slot.

This comes with AGPC’s view that Qatar will return as the 2024 MotoGP season opener after it was moved to the end of the 2023 schedule due to upgrades to the Losail International Circuit.

Meanwhile, the tentative schedule for 2023 has given Phillip Island a place on October 22, the middle race of a triple header with Indonesia and Thailand and part of a five-race series that also includes Japan and Malaysia.

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Photo: Gold and Goose / Images of motor sports

“The first race in MotoGP will be contested by Qatar; that rules out January or February,” APGC CEO Andrew Westacott told Autosport.

“At the beginning of the year we have Formula 1 and we need a breather in our organization. In addition, we have to think about infrastructure, suppliers and so on.

“So the right time for MotoGP is this slot. It’s a slot we’re very comfortable with and so is Dorna.”

The impetus for the date change has always come during the cold and wet conditions at Phillip Island, with the riders’ collective belief that conditions would be better earlier in the calendar.

However, Westacott is adamant that due to Phillip Island’s notoriously variable climate, the chance of rain in March or April will be no different than in September or October.

“If you put it in March or April, the weather in March or April is no different than October,” he said.

“Philip Island changes many times during the week. OK, you can pay attention and say that the last weekend of October will be better than the first weekend of September.

“But I think this slot makes it a traditional end to the season. You have flights – here in Malaysia and then back to Valencia. It works well.”