'A disaster. One of the worst tracks I’ve ridden'

Aleix Espargaro says track conditions at Brno on Friday were 'not at the level of a MotoGP circuit'
'A disaster. One of the worst tracks I’ve ridden'

Aleix Espargaro's didn't mince his words when describing the state of the Brno circuit after Friday practice for the Czech Republic MotoGP.

The venue hasn't been resurfaced since 2008 and the slippery, bumpy conditions have been getting worse by the year.

"The track conditions are a disaster," Espargaro said. "It’s one of worst tracks I’ve ridden in my life, not just in terms of grip – which is very, very poor – but in terms of bumps.


"We had many crashes. In two or three places I was closer to the feeling of riding in the wet than dry. You cannot stress the front, you cannot push because you crash.

"Corner 10 and corner 13 are very, very bad. Corner 13 is unbelievable. I’m braking in the middle of the straight and in the corner you are 10 degrees less than in a normal corner. Corner 1 is also very, very bumpy. Everywhere.

"The track condition is not at the level of a MotoGP circuit. Apart from the bumps the grip was very low. The lap times of MotoGP were super slow. If you watch all the classes, the amount of crashes has been too much.

"It’s very risky to brake hard. Every time you take a bump you risk crashing. Also Pecco is injured.

"For me the worst thing has not been the bumps. It was the grip. Very, very low grip.

"It’s very difficult to manage a 300hp bike in these conditions. We had to put a lot of traction control to the bike to make it safer but for the condition of the track is not at the level."

Espargaro added that resurfacing should be mandatory if MotoGP is to return in 2021.

"For me, I’m just a rider so I can’t decide where I go to race or not. But for me it’s unacceptable to race here. It’s very far from being at the level of MotoGP. It’s a disaster this tarmac.

"We didn’t attend the Safety Commission meeting yet but all my colleagues will be the same. You can crash and hurt yourself. In the race it will be very difficult to be on the bike.

"I like this track, it’s one of most spectacular on the calendar. But it has to be in a better condition."

Aprilia team-mate Bradley Smith agreed.

"It's just my opinion and I'll be interested to see what happens in the Safety Commission, but certainly looking at the lap times from the last few years the drop in performance of the best tyres in the world - we're talking about MotoGP spec rubber - and even they drop 1.5-2sec at the end of the race. So there's definitely something here.

"I don’t think we allow any circuits to go more than 7 years now [without a resurfacing] so we're nearly double that. I don’t know how these guys have managed to keep it under the radar!

"It's something that definitely needs to be considered if they are going to extend the agreement to have the championship back here in 12 months."

Valentino Rossi warned that finding the money for resurfacing at a time when fans are not allowed at the track will not be easy.

"Here in Brno we expect, also in the last years, that the grip level is always low and there are a lot of bumps. The layout of the track is beautiful but the asphalt is not fantastic," said the Yamaha rider.

"But you understand that to resurface everything you need a lot of money, millions of Euros. And now there are no fans. So I don't know if they will resurface. For sure we will speak about it again in the Safety Commission and try to push, but the decision is between the circuit and Dorna."

The only rider to hold his Friday debrief after the scheduled Safety Commission meeting was Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso, who felt the new Michelin rear tyre was also a major factor.

"I’m a bit worried – but I think like every rider – for the tyre consumption and the [bike] movement on the exit. It’s something crazy. It’s never happened. I don’t know how much it’s the asphalt and how much it’s the tyre," Dovizioso said.

"I just finished the Safety Commission and like always the riders said different things. But I think it can be 50/50. The reaction of the tyre is the biggest reason for me.

"At this track when you are in the traction area you are with more angle because the corners are very long. You can’t really completely pick up the bike. In that area maybe the tyre casing is the reason there is all that movement.

"Every bike makes more or less the same, so there is something. It’s really difficult to manage, especially because the grip drops a lot. In this moment if the conditions remain the same for tomorrow and Sunday it will be a very strange race because the lap times will drop a lot."

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