Argentina race may see mandatory pit stops

Published: 03 April 2016

A mixture of changing conditions and tyre issues has left today’s MotoGP race at Argentina’s Termas de Río Hondo circuit with a number of bewildering permeations as to how the day might pan out.

The removal of both of Michelin’s rear tyre options after an explosive delamination for Scott Redding has thrown a spanner into the works for the French firm, who had originally planned to allow riders only to use a third ‘safety’ option tyre.

However, heavy rain overnight and this morning at the track has meant that after this morning’s 30-minute warm-up session, there will be a number of possible outcomes as to the format for today’s race.

  • If warm-up is dry (unlikely given current conditions) and the race is dry, riders will only allowed to race using the ‘safety’ option for the original 25-lap race.
  • If warm-up is wet and the race is dry, riders will be again allowed to use yesterday’s tyres again, but with a mandatory pit-stop half way through the shortened 20-lap race. This replicates the solution used by Bridgestone at Phillip Island in 2013.
  • If the race starts wet and dries out, the race will be red flagged. Riders will then line up for a ten-lap sprint race on dry tyres.
  • If the race starts wet and remains wet, it will run for the original 25-lap distance on wet tyres.

Michelin’s new intermediate tyres, designed to run between wet and dry conditions, have been totally banned from use today, as rider still have barely completed any laps on them.