It was Race Director Mike Webb who, without beating around the bush, explained the reasons that led to moving the MotoGP race up to 11:30 (9:30 GMT) in order to try to race tomorrow.
“The biggest problem that we have with the new asphalt is that the water stands in some points. It does not run off in the event of intense rain – he said – This problem becomes even bigger in the case of the MotoGP bikes because of their weight and power.”
The forecast calls for a high chance of heavy rain around one o’clock in the afternoon, which is when the premier class race was scheduled to start.
“The Grand Prix promoter therefore asked us to move up the MotoGP race because it is the most interesting one for him. We spoke with the teams and came up with this time – he continued – This will also allow us to delay the start if necessary to wait for better conditions.”
There is no solution, but simply a gamble that only good fortune can reward. Webb is well-aware of this.
“In the coming hours, we will do everything in our power to limit the problem – he said – We also know that moving the race up does not protect us from the chance of intense rain, so what will we do in that case? Plan B is not racing. If the necessary safe conditions are not in place, we will not let the riders start. The same goes for Moto2 and Moto3, although the lower classes suffer less from the aquaplaning problem. Our goal is to have all three classes able to race, but if it is not safe, we will stop them.”
The races cannot be postponed until Monday, nor can they be made up so, in the worst-case scenario, they will have to be cancelled.
And then to think about the future and how to rectify the situation that has been created.
“There are two incriminating points: turns 8 and 9. The situation there is the worst. A lot of water accumulates in the braking sections – Webb explained – The problem is that the slope of the asphalt was changed and the water is not able to drain off. In the event of light right, however, we saw that the situation allows for racing. It is clear that for next year we need to solve this problem, as well as the problem with the dips. Franco Uncini, circuit homologation manager for FIM, is already discussing it.”
The Formula 1 drivers, including Hamilton and Sainz, had already warned last month about the poor quality of the work that had been done. “It seems like the old Nürburgring with so many dips” Lewis criticised.
“We knew their opinion, but the track conditions change a lot depending on the temperature and we did not know what to expect. We will certainly solve all the problems in view of next year”, Webb concluded.
Here is the new schedule for tomorrow (local times):
11:00 – 11:20 MotoGP Warm Up
11:30 – 11:50 Moto3 Warm Up
12:00 – 12:20 Moto2 Warm Up
1:30 MotoGP Race
3:00 Moto3 Race
4:30 Moto2 Race