Hazy days in Malaysia causing concern

With the haze from the Indonesian fires creating havoc in Malaysia the threat to this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix is clear but Dorna feel that, at the moment, there are no major issues and the race should get the go ahead.

With the concern for health in Kuala Lumpur seeing schools closed and locals advised to stay indoors the threat to health is being taken seriously but at the moment the conditions in Sepang are at an acceptable level.

Dorna's managing director Javier Alonso commented on the situation by saying:

“We have been in conversations with the people at the circuit for some time now," said Alonso. "We knew about this problem. We thought it was going to blow away, but it's still here. We requested the circuit to bring some equipment to measure the air quality here, so we know the real situation. If you look on the internet for sure you will find somewhere that will tell you it is very bad to be here now.  The situation here, now, is that we are under 100 in the air quality index, which is the moderate level of the Pollution Standards Index.

"At that level we are OK to be here and OK to do any type of activity. If the levels go very high, probably more than 150, we will have to take decisions. But according to what we know that should not happen. I cannot say for sure, because it's quite unpredictable, but today, yesterday and the day before the levels have stayed the same. If it goes really wrong we will have to take decisions, but today the situation is normal, and therefore the race will go ahead as normal.” 

For the riders the general consensus was that the conditions are the same for everyone and that you just need to deal with it. Cal Crutchlow told MCN, "I've not been too bad but I do feel that I'm getting a little bit worse as the week has gone. But, typical of me, I went out and cycled on Tuesday and did 75km. I came back and my arms and legs were black. It was like I was riding off road! But it's the same for everyone and it was a little bad to breathe but it's the same for everybody. You can't stay indoors for it and we're all here to race. We can't complain too much about it. We're here to race but the locals have to live here with this."

For Bradley Smith the thoughts of his compatriot were echoed with the Tech3 rider adding that "We spend 45 minutes in the exhaust fumes of other riders which is probably much worse for your health."

Rain is forecast for Saturday and if that falls the smoke and ash should be brought down to ground level and the haze should clear. 

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Steve English

By Steve English