MotoGP: Monday race an unfeasible option at Silverstone

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Running yesterday’s cancelled race at the British Grand Prix today never seemed to have been a realistic option thanks to the logistical nightmare that it would have presented to organisers, with a series of factors working against any possibility of moving the event back 24 hours.

A race was last moved in 2009, when a torrential downpour on the grid for the Qatar Grand Prix saw the event postponed. However, that race was moved with much of the Losail circuit’s infrastructure permanent, with staff employed full time, with significantly lower attendance and with rules on working hours, security, health and safety much different in the Gulf state.

And with Monday a bank holiday in the UK, the possibility of finding replacements for the 3000 temporary staff that it takes to organise the event appears to have been insurmountable. From policing, security, and traffic management to cleaning, catering and logistics, finding replacements at late notice would have presented an all-but-impossible challenge.

There is also much of the Silverstone infrastructure that is temporary in nature, with everything from the generators that power the paddock to the portaloos and catering trucks that provide for fans, extending the rental deal on that equipment overnight was another major challenge.

Another factor playing a role is the logistics of moving the paddock, with a series of teams to have also vetoed any decision to race on Monday thanks to testing later this week in Spain. With Yamaha, KTM and Suzuki among those heading to Aragoin for crucial mid-season testing, Tech 3 Yamaha boss and IRTA president Herve Poncheral told TV after the decision to cancel that they also blocked the move from that side.

However, while factory teams might have been considering the cost of cancelling their testing later this week, moving the race would also have left smaller teams with substantially increased costs. Flight bookings, extra hotels and changed travel plans would no doubt have left some of the less financially secure teams in a difficult position.

In fact, the only side of the triangle of race control, operations and teams that were ready to run today seems to have been the race control side organised by British Superbike boss Stuart Higgs. Clerk of Course for the British Grand Prix and in charge of things like medical cover and marshaling, he claimed on Sunday night on social media that he was able to put a contingency plan in place at short notice.

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer