Cal Crutchlow and Jack Miller have had more than their fair share of MotoGP success in the rain, but both are dreading the prospect of riding in heavy rain at the Red Bull Ring.

Storms are a threat for all three days at the Austrian round, as well as the following Styria Grand Prix at the same track.

"I don’t like riding here in the rain, honestly," said Crutchlow. "It seems over the last couple of years I didn't like riding anywhere in the rain, but I mean this one is honestly like ice. And it's not as if there is a lot of run-off. We're all pretty concerned about that.

"Especially when I was here on Tuesday afternoon and it rained for a couple of hours and the water was ankle deep on the track. Because there's a lot of undulations here, it sits from turn 1 to turn 2, the kink, right at the bottom where we start to shut the throttle, there was a lot of standing water.

"I watched a van go around actually and the spray coming off it was incredible. So I think we have to be sensible, look at the situation and see from there. But I mean it looks thunder-stormy. Yesterday we only had a spit of rain and it was supposed to rain all day. So it's difficult to say whether it will rain or not."

"100%," said Miller, when asked if the track is dangerous in the wet, as the rain could be heard hammering loudly on the roof above him. "If I had an umbrella I’d be going outside now and taking a photo of the waterfall coming down the track toward turn 1.

"It’s downhill so it’s an easy run for the water. You end up with water that deep running down the track and we have to ride in it at 300+ kph with aquaplaning and all that.

"For sure this track itself is not the safest on the calendar by far. And then to throw all the wet conditions into it, it’s not ideal. The braking at Turn 3 is very similar to Suzuka in the last corner. The issue they had there and why they stopped going there is because you’re braking towards a wall. If you lose the front you’re going into a wall."

"Everyone thinks I enjoy riding in the wet but I don’t. I hate it. I hope for dry!" added the Australian, renowned for his skills in wet and mixed conditions.

Crutchlow said the worst places at the Red Bull Ring are, "Turn 1, Turn 3, Turn 4, Turn 8-9, the last corner! I'm not a rider that's scared, I don’t ride around thinking 'oh my God this is close'. But I just think with our bikes at this circuit, it's already dangerous enough in the dry, let alone the rain."

Miller is certain the track action would be delayed by Race Direction if Thursday's heavy rain returns during the Grand Prix weekends.

"It will be interesting what they will do," Miller said. "I’m sure we will discuss this in the Safety Commission. But if it’s raining like [now] I guarantee we can’t ride because at the moment it’s absolutely pissing it down.

"It could be postponed. Who knows? Fortunately enough we’re here for two weeks so I’m sure we have enough time to do some racing!"

Crutchlow warned that if Race Direction doesn't intervene under such circumstances, all riders will effectively be 'forced' to go out.

"Somebody will leave the pit lane and it forces everybody to leave the pit lane. This is racing. It's like when you go testing and somebody is out on track, it forces somebody else to go on track," said the LCR Honda rider.

"You don't want to a disadvantage against your competitors so you go out even if you're not feeling great or feeling happy. It’s like a rider coming back injured, the other riders have to come back [early] as well!

"It's an ever-repeating circle that you will have one, two or five guys that are willing to risk it, so the rest have to go out because they can't lose that information. And their teams will force them to go out and everyone will say it's okay to go out.

"But I don’t believe this place is particularly safe in the rain and I'm a guy that's had some great results in the rain.

"I set pole position by [one] second at Silverstone in 'knee-deep' water, I don't mind taking risks, but this place is risky. But as I said, the competitors will always force your hand."

In terms of making the Red Bull Ring safer in future, Crutchlow said it needs:

"Every single wall in the whole circuit pushed back a long way! It's not as if they are struggling for money to do it, is it? I think they have the money to push some walls back here. And it's the service road they would have to eat into and then they would have to eat into something else [beyond] but I'm sure they own the land!

"They did move a couple of things back a couple of years ago, but it's still not enough that's for sure. But there's only so much you can do."

 

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