It was not the Race Director who explained what happened today on the chaotic Losail Saturday. The spokesman instead was Loris Capirossi, member of Race Direction as Dorna representative. There is no denying that a night and day of torrential rain is quite a unique event for Qatar, but the organization - despite the fact that this possibility had been hypothesised for weeks - sailed blind, without having a reserve plan ready.
“We tried to have the riders go out on the track, but the problem was bigger than we had expected - Capirossi explains - No one expects rain in Qatar and this circuit has no drainage systems.”
Why did you wait so long before cancelling the qualifiers?
“We tried to find a solution, using pumps to remove the water, but it was not possible. In this situation, the ground just kept spitting out water.”
Hadn’t you done a test in February with the track wet?
“Yes, but not with the rain; we had wet the track. On that occasion I had not said that we could race, but that there was a possibility of having the riders test in those conditions. The final decision is always theirs.”
Today the situation was different…
“We discovered that in the event of strong rain here it is impossible to race, whether in the day or at night. Tomorrow, if there is light rain we can try, but otherwise, no.”
In the worst case scenario, what would happen?
“One option is to postpone the races until Monday.”
The forecast was not good. Why did you not have a contingency plan?
“It is impossible to arrive at a race weekend with a lot of plans. The situation is never clear. We can only see what happens day by day.”
This morning the track was wet. Why didn’t you summon the riders to have them practice?
“It is not easy to organize something like that.”
What is the plan for the future?
“The asphalt is old. It dates back to 2004 and we were already speaking with the circuit about resurfacing. There is still no set work schedule, but we will definitely intervene. Also, for the next winter tests at Losail, we will wet the asphalt to have the riders test in the wet.”