Valentino Rossi, the most experienced rider on the MotoGP grid and winner of the wet 2015British MotoGP, said that drainage more than bumps is what made the new Silverstone surface so treacherous in the wet.

Rossi was 'fortunately' not on track when half-a-dozen riders were caught out by aquaplaning at the end of the 200mph Hangar Straight.

Alex Rins, the first rider to fall, was doing 160km/h when he bailed off his Suzuki while Tito Rabat was hit in the gravel trap by Franco Morbidelli's motorcycle, suffering multiple leg fractures.

"I understand there was a lot of water and aquaplaning," said Rossi. "Tito crashed and the bike of Franco hit Tito. When the asphalt is normally wet: the grip is not so bad. The problem is that the water does not drain so it stays on the top and there is aquaplaning.

"If it rains very hard and you have a lot of water then it is dangerous. I don't know [if it's too dangerous to race] because I was not on the track in FP4, fortunately. If the other guys say it is like this, then it is true."

Asked to compare the conditions with those he faced on his way to victory on the old surface, in 2015, the nine-time world champion replied:

"It looks like the new asphalt has better grip, more than 2015, but it doesn't drain the water. It did in 2015, where it was slippery but normal conditions.

"The problem is that the new asphalt does not drain enough, I think. The bumps, where you have the rivers [between], are the same as 2015. Maybe now there are more [bumps] but for me it is the drainage."

Rossi went on to qualify twelfth and last in the drying Qualifying 2 session, after leaving the pits too late for his second run.

"I was very upset because we had a good strategy," said the Movistar Yamaha rider. "But we were a little bit tight and unfortunately we made a mistake in the box, lost a bit too much time to change the rear tyre and I missed the flag by two seconds.

"It’s a shame because I did a '10.7 on the last lap which would have been P5 and starting from the second row which would have been good. We had the right tyres but we were unlucky. So now I have to start from the fourth row and it will be more difficult.

"Fortunately I don't feel too bad with the bike. I saw that Dovi was a little faster than me but I was not so bad. It was strange conditions because it was half-half. We need to work more but the first impression is quite good."

Team-mate Maverick Vinales will start just one place ahead of Rossi.

Tomorrow's race start has been moved from 1pm to 11:30am to try and avoid the worst of the rain forecast for Sunday.

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