MotoGP race director Mike Webb is hopeful the ‘unique’ cancellation of the British round due to track surface problems triggered by heavy rain will be avoided in the future.

After the British MotoGP’s Sunday race schedule was altered, delayed and then cancelled due to unsafe levels of standing water on the new Silverstone surface, Webb felt a one-off series of events led the first full round cancellation in 38 years – since the 1980 Austria round was called off due to snow.

Webb has blamed the resurfaced Silverstone circuit and its lack of sufficient drainage for triggering events but also felt exceptional circumstances were also key having completed Moto2’s FP2 with a mid-session rain shower plus a drying circuit during MotoGP and Moto2 qualifying this weekend.

The MotoGP race director also lent on local knowledge from the clerk of the course Stuart Higgs on the varying intensity of rain on Sunday at Silverstone from previous rain-hit situations but the build-up of standing water with insufficient drainage on the new surface was judged too dangerous by the majority of MotoGP riders following an impromptu safety commission meeting during the delays.

Silverstone MotoGP

CrashTV: 
Video Thumbnail: 

“We spoke with the local officials and clerk of the course who run other events here. As seen in Moto2 practice when it was raining it was a normal session. It depends entirely on the rain, how consistent and how long it is,” Webb said. “When we talked about what they have done in the past they said they had wet events here with no particular drama.

“What we’ve discovered this time around is that more or less every circuit we go to it seems when the water does not drain away from the surface it builds up. So, if you have had relatively light rain for a long time you get surface water.

“At the beginning for the first two hours it is fine but then it gets worse and worse. It is a unique situation and we’ve never had to cancel a race like this.”

With weather forecasts predicting the worst of the rain arriving late Sunday morning, Webb had been eager to move race start times as early as possible.

Saturday’s revised schedule saw MotoGP’s race start time pushed forward by 90 minutes to 11:30 but with rain arriving midway through Moto3 warm-up, approximately 09:45, it saw the track become too wet for the planned start of the race.

Webb said starting the MotoGP races earlier than the revised schedule was suggested on Saturday but had been rejected in order to give time for fans to arrive at the track with a ‘compromise’ settled on between teams and promoters.

“All possibilities were discussed but looking at the weather forecast the idea was the earlier the better,” Webb said. “We discussed with the teams and agreed on the times to start.

“We discussed about earlier starts but the teams and more specifically the organisers needed a certain amount of time to get the people into the circuit in the morning.

“That is also a consideration, we need to consider the promoters needs as well. The compromise and the times agreed were after consolation with all teams and the promoters.

A six-week investigation into the Silverstone resurfacing will be carried out to avoid similar issues in the future.

 

Comments

Loading Comments...