Silverstone’s new asphalt has been branded a disaster by a host of top MotoGP riders after the opening day of action at the British Grand Prix. The entire 3.6-mile circuit was re-laid ahead of this year’s race especially for MotoGP, but seems to have come out of the multi-million-pound operation worse off than before.
With almost-unanimous criticism from not only MotoGP riders but Moto2 and Moto3 as well, local rider Cal Crutchlow was among the most vocal. Already haven given the track a clean bill of health when he rode it at a media event in May, he admitted after the opening day of practice that it’s now dramatically different.
“When I rode it in May there was two bumps on the whole track, and now it’s unreal. But I’m sure it’s not the F1 race that has made the difference – it’s maybe made a few places a little bit worse but it was bumpy on the first day that they drove it too. We do have a constant surface, but it’s really bumpy.”
That was echoed by fellow Honda riders Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, with the reigning world champion declaring the resurfacing job a ‘disaster.’
“It was so difficult to understand the surface. Everyone expected the new asphalt to be a good track, but it was a disaster. It’s worse than last year, with better grip but many bumps.”
But with the 2018 Aprilia RS-GP already struggling with stability, especially through corners like Silverstone’s long and fast bends, perhaps the most vocal rider after free practice was Aleix Espargaro, who says the track is a disaster.
“I don’t understand what has happened because I’ve never seen anything like this before. Many times in the safety commission we’ve pushed to have other tracks resurfaced that are in better condition than this. It’s a shame because Silverstone is a great track to ride but I spent most of the day trying to avoid a crash instead of being competitive.”
A spokesperson for Silverstone was unavailable for comment.
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