MotoGP Austria: Track unsafe in wet conditions, say top riders

Picture: Bonnie Lane

Riders from all three MotoGP classes have deemed the Red Bull Ring unsafe to race in wet conditions and organisers may well have a revolt on their hands should it rain at the circuit tomorrow.

There were at least 11 crashes during the opening Moto2 free practice on Friday when heavy rain started to fall and the alarmed MotoGP riders brought it up in the Safety Commission meeting last night. Fortunately, the weather forecast for the race is sunny, so the problem looks likely to be postponed for next year.

Sky VR46 rider Pecco Bagnaia blamed the crashes on oil, saying: “While I was sliding I could smell the oil, so maybe this is the reason of so many crashes.” But after more careful analysis, it emerged that the braking points are particularly slippery in the wet because of the rubber left by F1 cars.

“The track features three very hard braking areas. In case of rain, the track is very slippery and dangerous. We need to consider a plan B in advance and not wait and decide at the very last moment,” said a worried Dani Pedrosa. “The track is too slippery in wet conditions,” concurred Maverick Vinales.

“According to what we saw in the FP1 of the Moto2 class none will take the risk to go out first in case it rains tomorrow,” said pole setter Marc Marquez. “For the future we need to understand the situation better.”

“What happened during the Moto2 wet practice revealed a criticality of the track,” was Valentino Rossi’s opinion. “There is a lot of rubber left by the F1 cars and I think we need to re-consider this problem for the future.”

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