In 1980, Franco Uncini was not yet FIM safety representative but a rider, competing in a 500 race at Silverstone in conditions that were much worse than those of yesterday. “I remember, but they didn't make much about safety”. Times have changed for the better, and today the riders said 'no' to a race that carried too many risks.
“In the 80s, we riders were not considered, there was no Safety Commission - he explains - Now though, we can talk to them, we've taken huge steps forward in this regard”.
Also in terms of circuit safety, though in this case a check was perhaps overlooked…
“The circuit assured us that it will carry out an investigation and we'll have answers within 6 weeks. We'll wait to understand what happened, the new asphalt was clearly the cause of all the problems though”.
So no checks were carried out in recent months?
“I came to Silverstone right after the resurfacing, in late February. Everything seemed ok, and a month later Crutchlow carried out a test and confirmed that the track was perfect. We only learned about the dips after the Formula 1 race, there had been some serious degradation between March and July, and we need to understand why”.
You are responsible for homologating the FIM tracks, what tests do you carry out?
“We test the track with cars and bikes to understand the conditions, more in-depth tests are the responsibility of those who carry out the work and the circuit itself. It is they who must satisfy our requirements. Something like this has never happened before, we'll learn from it”.
Does homologation involve any testing in the wet?
“That would be difficult, we'd have to wet the track, decide how much water, then test with a MotoGP bike, but with a fast rider. It's very complicated and we have to trust in those carrying out the work. Silverstone didn't inform us about any problems in recent months”.
What will you do in future?
“The cause of all this was the poor resurfacing work. We definitely won't race at this track again in these conditions, it needs to be perfectly resurfaced. Also, in light of the problems, we will carry out comprehensive checks”.