2018 MotoGP Silverstone – Silverstone surface shambles as heavy rain cancels the race.
Well, what more can be said on the subject of the MotoGP Silverstone? As every man and his dog knows by now, the British round of the action-packed MotoGP series was cancelled after delayed starts due to a waterlogged track.
Accidents in practice caused chaos. Alex Rins jumped off his Suzuki at over 100mph as he aquaplaned on the Hangar Straight. Worst affected was Tito Rabat; after taking a spill and ending up in the gravel trap, Rabat was unintentionally hit by Franco Morbidelli’s Honda which broke Rabat’s leg. Tito has shown some remarkable grit though; after receiving surgery on his right femur, tibia and fibula he had taken steps on the leg, trying to begin his recovery process as soon as possible. We wish you a speedy recovery Tito!
There’s an awful lot of finger pointing circulating around the MotoGP Silverstone. The main concern is for rider safety, which has to be paramount. Franco Ucini, 1982 500cc champion turned FIM Safety bod, has claimed that the track has deteriorated since it was inspected in February. It if can deteriorate so badly in a matter of months, it makes you wonder how it was ever supposed to handle the abuse of heavy racing machinery. I’m wondering if the track was laid by dodgy Dave at the council who fills the potholes in? Claims to have sorted it only for it to be worse in a few months? Sound about right.
There will be a formal investigation into the track surface to determine the level of deterioration and who to point the fingers at. Silverstone were working late into Saturday night to make improvements to the drainage of the track. Unfortunately, those efforts were all for nothing. Silverstone circuit, complete with swimming pools every other corner… Not ideal really.
Herve Poncharal, Monster Yamaha team boss, claimed that only Johann Zarco and Jack Miller were up for racing in the wet conditions. I’m surprised that Crutchlow didn’t want to race out there, considering he is great rider in wet conditions? Racing on a short circuit is a safer form of racing than that of road racing. Not to take anything away from the MotoGP boys but riders like Michael Dunlop are willing to thrash around the Isle of Man TT course in damp conditions without a bother. Suppose hearing about Rabat’s injuries has spooked the riders? But what do I know, I’m only a sofa racer after all.
Madness on Monday?
A Monday race was always a possibility, but this idea was blocked too. Originally it was thought to be due to having too few staff available. But Stuart Higgs, clerk of the course, dismissed this as a load of you know what. Higgs was fully prepared for a Monday race with almost 300 staff ready to give up their bank holiday Monday to keep the MotoGP Silverstone race alive.
The idea of a Monday race was shot down as various factory teams decided not to participate in a Monday race. The proposition of a Monday race had to be unanimously agreed upon in order to move forward. Since Suzuki, Yamaha, Honda and KTM are all testing at Aragon on Wednesday, they opted not to race on the Monday. I understand the importance of testing the machinery you’re racing but opting to go and test rather than race for the fans is beyond me. Ultimately, it’s the fans who make these companies their money, buying everything from bikes to merchandise. Feels like two fingers to the fans to be honest, but what do I know?
Ultimately, I feel the party most at blame is Silverstone themselves. Their poor track conditions ultimately resulted in the race cancellation despite having apparently improved the track. Living in good old Blighty, we’re used to the fact that it rains. Our poor weather is almost as much of a British stereotype as tea and crumpets. Having a British race circuit with poor drainage is just ridiculous.
Despite the riders missing out on the opportunity to grab vital points in the championship, I feel that the fans are the ones who have missed out the most. People travel from all over the country to see the MotoGP race at Silverstone. They are the ones who have been deprived of their racing fix. To all those who ventured out there for the race and were left without, I am disappointed for you.
If you were at the MotoGP Silverstone, please leave a comment and let us know your thoughts on the matter. Could more have been done to resolve the issue? Should the MotoGP return to Silverstone next year? Let us know in the comments below or leave us a message on our social media.
All images courtesy of motogp.com