WATCH: Wallaby Narrowly Avoids Being Flattened by Motorcycle Racer Going 135 MPH

by Craig Garrett
Wallaby by the roadside - stock photo

A daring wallaby dodged several motorcycle racers going at speeds of 135 MPH at MotoGP in Australia’s Phillip Island this weekend. If you plan on racing in Australia, be prepared to share the track with a marsupial or two. At Bathurst, kangaroo incursions are so frequent that a supercut of their hijinks could fill four hours. This weekend’s MotoGP at Phillip Island will likely have its own share of crossings.

The incident occurred while the team was practicing for Sunday’s Australian GP. The wallaby, which was apparently unfamiliar with how quickly a MotoGP bike can reach mid-corner speeds, decided to cross the track just before a large group of bikes came by. By taking just a few hops, he made his way across the hot track in time and avoided oncoming traffic.

Aprilia rider and championship contender Aleix Espargaro narrowly missed the wallaby while going 140 mph, according to MotoGP’s onboard telemetry. Fortunately, the wallaby appears to have seen him coming and crossed the track quickly, avoiding any need for Espargaro to make a sudden maneuver and risk crashing at high speeds. Footage of the nearly flattened critter was shared on Twitter.

As you can see in the video, Espargaró didn’t really react when he rode past the wallaby. It was probably too fast to react, so it’s great that this had a happy ending and both Espargaró and the wallaby went about their day unharmed.

Why the wallaby may have been too calm about the motorcycles

Given that there hasn’t been any racing on Philip Island for the past two-and-a-half years because of COVID-19, local animals around the track aren’t used to fast vehicles. This could unfortunately result in more animals running out onto the track during races. Organizers will likely work to improve this situation before race weekend begins. Obviously, a collisuion between a wallaby and a motocyclist would be disatrious for both parties.

The MotoGP Australian Grand Prix is the third-to-last race of this season. It will take place this Sunday, Yahoo News reports. Hopefully any animals carrying their young in a pouch will find their way to preferred side of the racing surface before the event begins.

Many wallabies have been hit by cars because they often feed near roads and in urban areas. Wallabies are found all over Australia, especially in areas that are more remote or have lots of trees. They aren’t found as often on the open plains because they can’t run as fast as kangaroos. You can also find them on the island of New Guinea. Wallabies commonly fall prey to dingoes, both feral and domestic dogs, feral cats, and red foxes. Humans are also becoming a larger threat as we interact with them more often.