MotoGP: Riders ‘won’t be able to race’ if Silverstone conditions return

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The MotoGP grid have slammed track conditions during today’s free practice session at the British Grand Prix, after a series of riders crashed in quick succession at Stowe corner in heavy rain. Aquaplaning in treacherous conditions, Alex Rins, Tito Rabat and France Morbidelli fell and Cal Crutchlow, Marc Marquez, Jorge Lorenzo, Aleix Espargaro, Danilo Petrucci and Jack Miller were forced to run into the gravel traps to avoid a similar fate. Rabat was the worst of the fallers, suffering serious leg injuries that will require emergency surgery later tonight.

Speaking after the session was eventually red flagged and after a qualifying session run in damp but drying conditions, reigning champion Marc Marquez laid the blame for the crashes on Silverstone’s new resurfacing, claiming that the bumps riders were complaining of yesterday caused standing water that led to the falls.

“I don’t want to say this because I love racing, but if the conditions tomorrow are like they were in FP4 then we won’t be able to race. I went out of the box and thankfully closed the gas in the middle of the first straight because I saw a lot of water. I arrived to turn seven really slowly and even then, the aquaplaning was amazing.

“The problem is the bumps. The water is inside the bumps and that means you have aquaplaning where you don’t expect it. You don’t have the same amount of water everywhere.”

His comments were echoed by Cal Crutchlow, with the LCR Honda rider agreeing that tomorrow’s race shouldn’t go ahead if conditions are similar to today’s in tomorrow’s rescheduled race.

“Today was forecast for 1mm of rain of rain and tomorrow is forecast for 16mm. Either we won’t be having a bank holiday on Monday or we’ll see everyone in Misano. I ran on but didn’t crash, but I never braked going into the corner because I’d already lost it in sixth gear on the straight. We have to assess the situation tomorrow.”

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer