Michel pois eu apesar de gostar mto do Rossi e estar contente com as prestações dele no mundial concordo com a leitura do Almareado, nunca mais vai ser campeão.
O Lorenzo saiu da Yamaha por se aperceber que ainda faltavam 4 anos para ele ser o piloto nº1 na Yamaha pelo menos...para um 5 vezes campeão do mundo que garantiu o ultimo titulo da marca, quando receberam o Rossi de rastos vindo de uma Ducati sem sucesso...é dificil de engolir ou de gerir a motivação.
A Yamaha com o Vinales a contrato ainda e resultados aquém, Rossi superstar firme e com resultados que validam a permanência na equipa, Tech3 perdida para KTM...perdeu de facto a hipótese de ficar com um Zarco em boa forma e potencial de crescimento.
Assim como apesar de não achar mta piada ao Lorenzo tenho de admitir que conseguiu dar a volta por cima na Ducati a vencer em Itália em grande dominio. E espero mesmo que tenha uma época forte a bater-se com o Marquez, Dovizioso e Rossi pelas vitórias, já que pelo campeonato pode ser mais complicado.
E que na Honda consiga fazer o campeonato por duas marcas e tirando uns recordes ao Marquez no entretanto eheheehehhe
Um abraco e mto boas curvas!!
O Vinales no inicio do ano renovou contrato até 2020.
(08-06-2018 às 14:35)mr_trecolareco Escreveu: Michel pois eu apesar de gostar mto do Rossi e estar contente com as prestações dele no mundial concordo com a leitura do Almareado, nunca mais vai ser campeão.
Aqui concordo, e embora gostasse que ele chegasse aos 10, sei que é pouco provável. A menos que algum dos outros perca por queda ou afins. Esteve muito próximo no ano da confusão com o Marquez, e para mim toda a cena foi propositada, agora acho difícil conseguir novamente...
Percebo que possa ter sido duro para o Lorenzo, mas o estatuto que o Rossi tinha, e ainda tem em boa parte, acabou por ofusca-lo é verdade, mas não foi por isso que deixou de ser campeão e talvez o tivesse voltado a ser na Yamaha. Espero que na Honda melhore o nível e faça com que o Marquez não ganhe tudo.
O Vinales prometeu muito mas desapareceu por completo, não sei bem porquê e fico com pena... Parecia um piloto discreto que fazia o que tinha a fazer e ganhava sem dramas, novelas, episódios, etc etc Espero que volta a esse nível mas tenho algumas dúvidas...
As minhas máquinas (e ex):
Kawasaki Versys 1000 / KTM 1290 Super Duke GT
Yamaha FZS 600 Fazer
Redding descreve a mota como 'monte de merda'
[spoiler="Artigo - Clicka para abrir"]
Aprilia MotoGP rider Scott Redding has described his RS-GP machine as a “piece of s***” following his 20th place finish in Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix.
Redding starred when the weather took a turn for the worse during the Red Bull Ring weekend, setting the second-quickest time in a rain-soaked Friday afternoon practice and ending up third in similar conditions on Saturday morning.
However, qualifying and the race both took place in dry conditions, with Redding managing only 20th on the grid and the same position in the race, 22 seconds down on teammate Aleix Espargaro.
The Briton said his strong performance in the wet made his struggles in the dry that much harder to accept.
“It's been a f***ing horrible weekend,” said Redding post-race. “When the conditions bring the machines closer [together], I can see my potential. I can be fast. It just reminded me of how good I actually can be.
“I just accepted it this year, I never had a wet session. But then, this weekend was like ‘yeah, you can mix with the best guys in the world when the level comes a bit lower with the machinery’.
“Then it dries again, and [I'm] f***ing out in the field again.
“To be honest, to have a race like that is heartbreaking, because I try all the time and it just doesn't get easier. There’s always a problem, with something, every weekend.
“I've tried to accept it and tried to just deal with it, but honestly, it is a bit of a disaster at the moment, and I'm not happy. This weekend was a reality check for me. Riding around there [in that position] hurts.”
He added: “I have to go now to Silverstone, the next race, I need to smile in front of everyone and say I'm gonna do a good performance, and it’s all bulls*** because you can't do anything.
“You cannot make a piece of s*** shine. I know it sounds harsh and I shouldn't say it, but that is what it is. You're trying to make something average be better.”
Asked if his problems were related to the fact he is leaving Aprilia after this season, Redding replied: “No, it's nothing to do with that. The guys are trying but it is just a bit of a joke.
“There are so many things that I'm not even allowed to say that in a team of this level should not be happening, and it is happening. And I accept it.
“But I come here, I can be fast here, I make good results in the past, I like the track, it suits my style, I thought I come here, I've got a good chance of making it a good enough result for us. And it was hell from the beginning.
“Then we find out yesterday night there was a problem with the sensor, this, this and this, the suspension is reading different than what it is doing, f***ing hell.
“This is a MotoGP full factory team, why is this happening?
“I've got problems with the electronics all the weekend, cannot get it to work. So what hope do I have to make a result here? I can't, and that is the thing that's making it hard at the moment.”
Espargaro: "Impossible" to stay in points
Espargaro ran as high as eighth in the early laps before he started to haemorrhage places in the second half of the race, sliding out of the points and finishing 17th.
“We lost a lot in acceleration, maximum lean, [it was] difficult to stop the bike so the first part [of the race] I was very aggressive on the brakes, very focused on the limit,” explained the Spanish rider.
“I was very fast in the beginning, very competitive, but as soon as the tyres dropped it was impossible, I lost a lot in acceleration. I tried everything but was impossible to finish in the points.”
28-08-2018 às 22:25 (Mensagem modificada pela última vez: 28-08-2018 às 22:35 por vindaloo.)
Um artigo com uma maneira ''porreira'' e talvez um pouco negra, de colocar os assuntos em perspectiva, escrito por Mat Oxley (que a par com o David Emmett) sao para mim os melhores jornalistas de motociclismo de competição:
Citar:Should the riders have raced on Sunday? Do they have too much say in their own safety?
MotoGP has always existed on a knife edge, which is why we love it. And despite safer tracks, better riding gear and everything else, the riders exist on that knife edge more now than in many a year, because getting them and their 220mph motorcycles around a racetrack with no major injuries or fatalities is quite a feat, even on a sunny day. This miracle occurs almost every race, which fools some people into thinking that MotoGP can’t be that dangerous. But believe me, Race Direction leaves the track most Sunday evenings with a huge sigh of relief: we got away with it again!
However, sometimes things do go wrong.
Sunday’s British Grand Prix was a disaster for everyone, especially for the fans who had made the pilgrimage and spent the day soaking and shivering, hoping to see some action at one of the championship’s fastest, scariest racetracks.
Everyone went home disappointed: the fans, the riders and the teams. Some fans went home feeling angry that they were kept waiting so long, for nothing. And they have every right to feel hard done by. But, at the end of the day, all that really matters is that no one died.
This is important to remember, because riders still do die in MotoGP, currently at the rate of one every three seasons.
Some riders, even The Maniac himself thinks it’s all getting a bit too much
No one died at Silverstone, but Tito Rabat remains in hospital in Coventry, nursing a broken right femur, tibia and fibula, after he came off worst in Saturday afternoon’s pile-up at Stowe corner. The Spaniard’s shattered leg was bleeding so badly that medics assumed he had severed a femoral artery – a very quick and easy way to die.
Rabat wasn’t injured when he aquaplaned on a small lake of standing rainwater and fell at the end of Hangar Straight, he was injured when another fallen machine smashed into him while he lay stranded in the gravel trap. Shoya Tomizawa died at Misano in 2010 when he was hit by a rival’s bike. And a similar fate befell Marco Simoncelli at Sepang in 2011. It is impossible to fully protect a rider once he’s on the ground, with machines moving at speed all around him.
Alex Rins was the first to crash at Stowe near the end of FP4, bravely jumping off at high speed when he felt his Suzuki GSX-RR aquaplane.
“I felt the water, cut the throttle at 290 [180mph], tried to brake, but the front was aquaplaning and locked,” he said. “I saw the wall coming at me fast, so I jumped off the bike. Then I was waving, trying to tell Tito that [Franco] Morbidelli’s bike was coming. He turned and saw the bike, but couldn’t move in time and he flew 10 metres.”
At a guess, Morbidelli’s bike was travelling at close to 100mph when it hit Rabat, who was incredibly lucky that the bike broke his leg and not his head.
Stowe was a scary mess: three riders on the ground and several more losing control and hurtling through the gravel trap, lucky to stay onboard. It could have been much worse. From that moment the Grand Prix was in jeopardy.
On Sunday, riders, teams and Race Direction waited hours for the weather to clear, but it never quite happened. Shortly before 4pm the riders had a final safety commission meeting and, because there was a possibility of yet more rain, the majority decided it was too risky to race, so at the event was abandoned.
This would not have happened in the old days.
In the old days the promoters would’ve told the riders to race and the event would have gone ahead, no matter what.
This happened on numerous occasions during the 1970s and 1980s, when the riders fought a running battle with the promoters and the FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme) to decrease the number of deaths and injuries.
The FIM and promoters were shockingly callous at that time. When Jarno Saarinen and Renzo Pasolini died together during the 1973 Italian Grand Prix at Monza the race wasn’t even stopped.
“It was just bloody carnage,” remembers Chas Mortimer, one of many riders caught in the deadly pile-up. “I was about the only person able to walk away from it. Everyone else was stretchered away. I remember running over to see Jarno – virtually all his head had gone – it was bloody horrendous. Actually, I killed Pasolini. There’s a picture of me coming out of the flames with Pasolini lying right across the road and I ran straight into him. It was like what happened when Marco Simoncelli was killed.”
The race only ended when the survivors got sick of weaving through the mess of burning, tangled machinery and returned to the pits.
Two weeks later, Monza staged a national meeting. Dr Claudio Costa – creator of MotoGP’s famous Clinica Mobile – begged the organisers to place an ambulance at Curve Grande, where Saarinen and Pasolini had lost their lives. His request was refused and three more riders died.
Four years later Swiss rider Hans Stadelmann was killed in a similar mass pile-up during the 250cc Austrian GP at the Salzburgring. Again, the promoters saw no need to stop the race, at least until eight laps after the accident, which also left Johnny Cecotto, Dieter Braun and Patrick Fernandez seriously injured. All the other big stars of the day – Barry Sheene, Giacomo Agostini and the others – refused to start the 500cc Grand Prix around the terrifying (but beautiful) Armco-lined circuit. Incredibly, the FIM gave Sheene an official warning for his insolence. Meanwhile the organisers rushed around the paddock, offering twice the normal start money to anyone who would race.
This set the pattern for years to come. When the stars went on strike, trying to force safety improvements, the skint privateers went out and raced, taking the rare opportunity to earn enough cash to put food in their bellies and diesel in their vans. Continental Circus stalwart Jack Findlay, who rode his first Grand Prix in 1958 and his last in 1978, won the race and ate better than usual over the next few weeks.
In 1982 the same kind of thing happened at the French Grand Prix at Nogaro. I was at that event, helping out British privateer Chris Guy. As Sheene, Kenny Roberts and others left the paddock on Sunday morning I wandered down to the circuit gate to see what was happening. The French fans had seen Sheene driving off in his Roll-Royce so they knew about the strike and they weren’t going to pay top dollar to see a bunch of motley privateers riding around. So they trampled down the perimeter fence and poured into the circuit to watch Michel Frutschi win the 500 race. A year later Frutschi was dead.
In 1989 it happened again at Misano. The track was so treacherous in the rain that all the top riders – Kevin Schwantz, Wayne Rainey, Eddie Lawson, Mick Doohan, Wayne Gardner and so on – pulled into the pits after the first few laps when it started raining. The race was restarted in heavy rain and won by local hero Pier Francesco Chili, ahead of British privateer Simon Buckmaster. Throughout the race, Lawson, Schwantz and their fellow strikers stood in the pits shouting insults at the so-called scabs who had broken their strike.
After the race Chili, whose Italian team had told him he must ride, sobbed on the podium, because he knew he had failed his fellow riders.
All these battles were hard won, fought by riders who had had enough of risking their lives when they thought the risks were too great. All of them, at one time or another, were called wimps or prima donnas by those who felt that it’s a motorcycle racer’s job to risk his or her life, come what may. Promoters and fans complained that the tail was wagging the dog, which was the exact same complaint of some fans at Silverstone on Sunday.
Today’s riders owe a huge debt of gratitude to those who many years ago fought a sometimes vicious, sometimes hopeless battle with the powers that be. In 1982 the riders helped their cause by hiring former racer Mike Trimby – now in charge of teams’ association IRTA – to fight for their rights.
“By the time I arrived there was more runoff, but this was before gravel beds, so they had catch fencing, which the car guys wanted to slow the cars down,” says Trimby. “The problem was that the fencing was held up by wooden posts – Frutschi was killed by one of those posts at Le Mans in 1983. It was like planting trees around the racetracks! We had loads of arguments with circuits. We ended up removing a lot of catch fencing ourselves.
“What we wanted was something that would gradually collapse to slow riders after they’d crashed, which meant good old haybales. I remember at Mugello in 1983, the circuit people took out the fencing, then told us: right, your haybales are on that tractor over there, so go and put them out, which we did – us and the riders.
“Once IRTA was launched in 1986 we had a formal voice. The other turning point was 1992 when Dorna came in. The deal with them was that we didn’t have to race anywhere we didn’t want to race. Now, when someone designs a new circuit, they incorporate what we want for bikes. The situation can never be perfect but it’s about as close as it can get.”
“I lost it in a straight line in sixth gear when I shut the throttle, I never even hit the brake,” said Cal Crutchlow
Therefore MotoGP surely can’t be that dangerous, because primary safety and secondary safety have evolved to such a level? This is true, but now there are new dangers to consider.
First, the speed. The best MotoGP bikes can surpass 220mph. If you crash at that speed, you are in the lap of the gods. When Marc Márquez went down at 209mph at Mugello in 2013 he fell off the right side of the bike and escaped serious injury. If he had fallen off the other side, where a concrete wall stood, who knows what might have happened.
Second, the racing is much closer than ever, handlebar to handlebar at 200mph, thanks to the current technical rules.
For all these reasons, some riders, even The Maniac himself thinks it’s all getting a bit too much. “For sure it’s more dangerous now,” says Andrea Iannone.
If that downpour hadn’t hit Silverstone on Saturday, Rabat and the others wouldn’t have crashed. The race would have happened, ignorant of what lay ahead. The rain wasn’t the problem.
The problem was the standing water at the end of Hangar and at other parts of the track, which had been formed by a botched multi-million-pound resurfacing job that doesn’t allow rain to drain through the asphalt.
Bemsee [British Motorcycle Racing Club] club racers and Formula Ford drivers who had used Silverstone in the rain in the months before the MotoGP round also complained of standing water and aquaplaning.
Aquaplaning is probably the most dangerous that can happen to you on a motorcycle: the tyres ride atop the water and lose contact with the racetrack. It’s worse than riding on sheet ice, so unless you’re superhuman and very lucky, you will crash.
“I lost it in a straight line in sixth gear when I shut the throttle, I never even hit the brake,” said Cal Crutchlow, who was one of the riders who ran off the track at Stowe during FP4. “Nobody will finish the race if it rains a lot tomorrow. The problem is you’re doing 300 ks in the rain. The surface was like a mirror, there was that much surface water.”
Surface water wasn’t the only nightmare at the fastest part of the track. The asphalt had been polished glass smooth by the titanium skid pans of F1 cars, which raced at Silverstone last month, and also by endurance cars, which had raced the week before the MotoGP round. Recent work to reduce the bumps in the new surface only added to the problem – workers used grinders to remove the high spots in the asphalt, which also drastically reduced grip.
The important thing is that the promoters didn’t allow a handful of riders to race to try and divide and conquer the grid, as was the way in the old days. If the top riders consider the track too dangerous, then the promoters should consider it too dangerous.
What would’ve happened if the race had gone ahead in the rain? If the riders had got through the sighting and warm-up laps, there would’ve been mass destruction at Stowe, as 24 riders fought for position on a skidpan in a fog of spray. And most likely we’d be mourning much more than Rabat’s broken leg.
By my calculations, Luis Salom was the hundredth Grand Prix rider to die, when he ran out of runoff at Catalunya two years ago. It would be wonderful if Salom will go down in history as the last GP rider to lose his life. But he won’t.
More on this and other matters in MotoGP Mutterings, coming soon.
Sem dúvida. Vale mais lidar com um magote de gente insatisfeita por não assistir a um "espetáculo", do que ter de lidar com a morte do "artista".
O risco neste competição é alto, existe, sempre existiu, e estará sempre lá.
Adicionar a isso condições que transformam o risco numa forte probabilidade, não passa quanto a mim de um desejo suicida (ou homicida).
A meu ver a decisão foi bem tomada.
Suzuki GSX1300R * BMW F800R * ex-Kawasaki ZZR 1100 * ex-Honda Hornet 600 * ex-Honda CBF 125 * ex-Yamaha DT 50 LC (x2)
Concordo, é melhor adiar que depois se chorar mais perdas... É a vida, nem sempre sai como planeado.
As minhas máquinas (e ex):
Kawasaki Versys 1000 / KTM 1290 Super Duke GT
Yamaha FZS 600 Fazer
Por muito chato que tenha sido, principalmente para aqueles que se deslocaram ao circuito apenas para enregelarem e apanhar uma molha, a pista estava manifestamente imprópria.
Não deixa de ser vergonhoso ver uma situação destas num dos mais importantes circuitos do mundo que recebe os melhores pilotos do mundo e num país onde chove quase todos os dias.
Os milhões que andam a rolar nas mão de promotores e organizadores deviam ser mais empregues em solucionar situações destas.
(28-08-2018 às 23:02)Johnny_1056 Escreveu: Boas;
Não deixa de ser vergonhoso ver uma situação destas num dos mais importantes circuitos do mundo que recebe os melhores pilotos do mundo e num país onde chove quase todos os dias.
Os milhões que andam a rolar nas mão de promotores e organizadores deviam ser mais empregues em solucionar situações destas.
Especialmente quando havia antecedentes e ja se tinha avisado... varias vezes...
Sei que e puxadote, mas deixo mais um artigo para quem lhe apeteca ler
Citar:The latest MotoGP mutterings from the washed-out British round, at Silverstone
The two degrees that ruined Sunday
MotoGP made history on Sunday: the first Grand Prix to be abandoned since the 1980 Austrian Grand Prix, which was called off after three feet of snow fell on the eve of practice.
Salzburgring 1980 was 37 years and more than 500 races ago. In other words, this kind of thing doesn’t happen often.
So why did it happen on Sunday? Best deal with this chronologically.
Silverstone had need resurfacing for a while. I hugely enjoyed watching Valentino Rossi control his spinning, bucking Yamaha across the bumps and through the puddles in 2015 (one of his greatest victories, in my opinion), but it was obvious then that the track needed some TLC. Silverstone hadn’t had a full resurface since 1996, so the plan was to replace the patchwork of different asphalts with a uniform surface, while also smoothing out bumps and improving drainage.
Silverstone engaged Aggregate Industries to do the job. AI is a huge concern with an annual turnover of more than £1 billion. The company lays, maintains and resurfaces almost half of Britain’s motorways and major trunk roads. AI has also worked on numerous high-end projects, like the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge at Dartford, the Shard skyscraper, the Channel and Mersey tunnels and so on. They should know what they’re doing, but obviously they don’t know enough about racetracks.
The new asphalt was laid in early February, just before the ‘Beast from the East’ hit Britain, so it endured the country’s coldest winter in decades, followed by the longest summer heatwave in decades. The heat wasn’t a problem, because asphalt is mixed at 350 degC. It was the cold weather that was the problem, because in cold conditions the asphalt cools too much during the laying process, which makes the surface difficult to compact and create the desired degree of smoothness and camber for drainage.
MotoGP safety officer and 1982 500cc world champion Franco Uncini wouldn’t have noticed these issues when he inspected the new surface at the end of February, because the only way to really evaluate a track for MotoGP bikes is by riding a MotoGP flat out in all conditions. This wasn’t possible because teams didn’t have time to try the circuit in the frantic early stages of the season.
But the new surface was used by bikes and cars. In April, Bemsee (Britain’s oldest motorcycle-racing club) had a race weekend at Silverstone, when riders reported aquaplaning on Hangar Straight during heavy rain. Weeks later Formula Ford drivers found the same problem, some of them spinning off into the gravel at speed, due to standing water at various parts of the track.
In May, Cal Crutchlow evaluated the new surface in the dry, riding a Honda RSV213V-S road bike. He was impressed and predicted the lap record would fall by more than a second. But he did ask for a few bumps to be smoothed out. Former 500cc GP winner and Dorna’s current pitlane commentator Simon Crafar tried the new surface during a track day and suggested more bumps needed smoothing out. Consequently, workers were called in to use grinders to remove high spots where required, but this also polishes the surface, reducing grip.
To further complicate matters, the British Formula 1 Grand Prix took place on July 8 and the four-wheel World Endurance Championship on August 17. Both F1 and WEC cars use skid blocks that polished more areas of the asphalt to a mirror finish, especially at the end of Hangar, where speeds and therefore downforce are at their highest.
Thus, all that was required to complete the perfect storm was a British summer downpour over the MotoGP weekend.
So, who is to blame? Firstly, Aggregate Industries. A company like AI – which has been around since the 1850s! – shouldn’t mess up a job like Silverstone. But they did, big time, perhaps because they have no real experience of racetrack work.
The problem isn’t lack of drainage through the asphalt, as assumed by many (myself included). This is not how asphalt drains. All road surfaces need a minimum of two percent cross slope for rainwater to drain off either side of the road or racetrack.
Racetracks aren’t crowned like normal roads to aid drainage, because a crown in the middle of a racetrack requires riders to deal with four changes of camber as they ride through each corner: as you peel in from the outside of the track you go from positive camber and over the crown to negative camber as you approach the corner apex on the brakes. Not nice. Then when you get on the throttle you go from positive camber and over the crown to negative camber, at the very moment you try to open the throttle fully. Also not nice.
Assen was the only MotoGP track that had a street-type crown in the middle with a camber to left and right, but the track was flattened a few years ago to reduce accidents and injuries caused by those multiple changes of camber.
But even without a proper crown in the middle of the track you need a profile that slopes to left and right. It is the lack of that two-degree slope that ruined everyone’s day on Sunday, especially in the undulating sections like the approach to Stowe and Vale, where small lakes of standing water gathered to make the track treacherous at best and lethal at worst.
Quite simply, you cannot run a race when there is danger of aquaplaning.
Obviously, Silverstone is also to blame. They should have had the world’s best racetrack construction experts advising Aggregate Industries throughout the process. And they should have listened to the complaints of Bemsee bike racers and Formula Ford drivers, if these people did indeed complain.
But Dorna and the FIM also share the responsibility. The racetrack belongs to Silverstone, but the event belongs to the MotoGP rights-holders and the sport’s governing body, who should communicate with bike racers who use a track that’s been modified or resurfaced before a major event.
“The FIM track inspection process during and after a full or partial resurfacing isn’t good enough; they need to be more involved,” WSB rider Chaz Davies tweeted on Sunday night. “They are aware of my opinion but I’m yet to see change.”
Finally, what about Sunday? The day was a misery for tens of thousands of bedraggled spectators.
The first priority of Dorna and Silverstone was to make the headline MotoGP race happen, so to beat the rain it was brought forward to 11.30am, the earliest that teams could cope with following the 9am warm-up. But as soon as the riders rode out for their sighting lap the drizzle turned into a downpour. The standing water was already so bad that riders were spinning and getting sideways as soon as they rode out of pit-lane towards Maggotts.
“We want to race, but in safer conditions,” said Suzuki’s Alex Rins, who had jumped off his GSX-RR at around 100mph during Saturday’s FP4 session when he aquaplaned on the lake at the end of Hangar Straight. “It was almost impossible during the sighting lap – in second gear and third gear with just 15 per cent of throttle the rear was spinning like crazy. So imagine what it would be like with 24 riders actually racing.”
It’s worth mentioning that the Isle of Man TT used to stage races in the rain but no longer does so. Likewise, races at this year’s North West 200 were red-flagged and cancelled due to the weather.
Many fans have criticised Dorna and Silverstone for waiting so long before abandoning the event, but the long, tedious wait was in the hope of a big enough respite from the rainfall. Live Met Office weather maps suggested there would indeed be a window during the afternoon, so the race was briefly scheduled to start at 2pm; which was again delayed to 4pm, after a final safety commission meeting between the riders, MotoGP safety reps and Dorna.
Meanwhile other fans have criticised Dorna and Silverstone for not waiting long enough, when there was a bigger window in the weather forecast for the early evening.
Throughout the day MotoGP safety reps and former world champions Uncini and Loris Capirossi drove numerous fast laps in BMW safety cars to continually assess, in case it dried out enough to go racing. They never thought it did, which is why there wasn’t another sighting lap.
However, some riders – Jack Miller, Johann Zarco, Scott Redding and one or two others – did want to try to race. “You just need to get heat into the tyres and dodge the puddles,” said Miller. “I think the bikes would’ve cleared the water pretty quick.”
“Tell them all to shut up and let’s go,” added Redding, who didn’t even turn up at the final safety commission meeting.
When riders emerged from that meeting in the IRTA offices the majority had voted that conditions weren’t good enough, with further rain coming in. Whenever Race Direction made a plan, they were confounded by the weather. Saturday evening was beautiful. Sunday morning was okay, until the bikes went out. And an hour or so after the meeting was abandoned the sun came out. But by then, team artics were already leaving.
A few teams did want to try to race at 6pm or 7pm. Others wanted a Monday race, but this was a logistics nightmare, with 300 artic lorries booked across the Channel on Sunday night/Monday morning and 2000 paddock staff booked on planes. In addition, Silverstone was unable to secure the required number of police and circuit staff at such short notice.
People who suggested the promoters couldn’t be bothered to make the race happen couldn’t be more wrong. Silverstone wanted the race to go ahead at almost any cost, firstly to keep the fans happy and secondly to avoid paying out millions of pounds in ticket refunds
And people who suggested on social media that MotoGP riders “need to grow a pair” should hang their heads in shame. Safety must always be the highest priority. And to suggest that Crutchlow, Marc Márquez, Valentino Rossi are somehow delicate and frightened is laughable.
Perhaps Silverstone’s biggest failure was not keeping the fans amused. The situation was in meltdown, the track and the teams in a constant state of alert, in case the weather suddenly did improve.
In hindsight, they should’ve sent out the riders on a truck to at least acknowledge the crowd, but the riders were in a constant state of alert, ready to scramble if the race went ahead. Even better, they should’ve sent them out in 20 hire cars. Believe me, there are few things funnier than watching a bunch of bike racers racing each other in rental cars. But it didn’t happen.
Right now, what happens next is important. Communications between Silverstone and Aggregate Industries will be interesting in the next weeks and months. Surely, AI need to do the job again, for free, with racetrack experts ensuring they get it right this time. The problem, of course, is finding a long enough free period to lay and cure the surface when the weather isn’t too cold.
Are bumps such a bad thing?
Throughout Friday and on Saturday morning, the British Grand Prix ran perfectly smoothly. Well, apart from the bumps.
The first inklings that things weren’t quite right with the new surface came after FP1 and FP2. The combination of cold wind, bumps and high-speed corners had a few riders looking a whiter shade of pale.
“It’s a shame because Silverstone is a very nice track with some very fast corners,” said Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro. “But now we are trying to avoid crashing on the bumps instead of focus on being fast. Our bike is super-unstable, plus we’re not putting enough temperature into the front tyre, so it’s a bit scary.
“This isn’t easy to fix because you want to make the bike longer to gain stability, but also we want to raise the bike to put more temperature in the tyres [by increasing load transfer during acceleration and braking]. We did this in FP2 and increased tyre temperature by a few degrees, but now the bike is worse on the bumps, so it’s a very difficult compromise.”
Espargaro used a new frame at Silverstone, with shallower main beam sections to increase flex to improve turning and bump absorption.
Diminutive Repsol Honda rider Dani Pedrosa had a more challenging time than most, because he’s not heavy enough to get heat into the tyres and not big enough to wrestle the bike over the bumps. And he can’t fix the problem with electronics.
“The traction control works when you lose grip, via the suspension, the tyre or the track temperature,” said the 32-year-old, preparing for his last British GP. “If you don’t have grip when you lose load jumping over the bumps, then the traction control thinks that in fact you are spinning, so it starts working when don’t want it to work, then the bike starts shaking and everything becomes confusing. The only thing you can do is set the traction control freer, but when you turn it down you don’t have it when you need it in the corners. So you just have to deal with the situation.”
Valentino Rossi, who ended FP1 a close second to Movistar Yamaha team-mate Maverick Viñales, had his own way of dealing with the bumps.
“From what I understand during my career the secret to riding a bumpy track is to not care,” said the 39-year-old who was hoping to end Yamaha’s 21-race victory drought. “If you start trying to ride in a different way or you don’t attack the bumps or you try to go around them, then everything gets worse. It’s a bit like motocross: if you are scared of the bumps it’s worse, so you have to go and hope that everything is OK. This is the best way!”
The bumps were bad. Most riders thought they were very bad, but this is partly a consequence of many top tracks getting smoother and smoother, so when riders and bikes come up against a bumpy surface, the negatives are magnified. I have to admit I enjoy watching riders deal with the bumps, muscling their bikes around as the suspension loads and unloads across the peaks and troughs. But that may just be me…
Rossi: "The road is long"
Viñales had the best race pace in the dry at Silverstone, for two reasons: Silverstone is a chassis track, not a horsepower/electronics track, because it’s dominated by fast corners, where maintaining momentum, especially across the bumps, is paramount.
Both Viñales and Rossi also benefitted from work done during a Misano test the previous weekend. “First, this track is friendlier to our M1,” said Rossi. “Also, in FP2 we tried something that Maverick tried at Misano, which was positive. We are working on the electronics in acceleration, and it looks like we’ve made a step forward because our engine is a bit smoother from the bottom, which is important.”
The Movistar team did not have new electronics expert Michele Gadda at Silverstone because Gadda is contracted to the Pata WSB team. Currently Gadda is in a middle of a tug of love between the two outfits.
“Unfortunately Michele isn’t here with us, because he is busy with the superbike team,” added Rossi. “But we have worked together in recent weeks and it looks like we’re starting to move in the right direction with the electronics. The road is long and there’s a lot of work to do, but in FP2 I felt something better, Maverick too, so it’s positive.”
Expect Yamaha to come out swinging at Misano next week: the factory team has tested there and the factory will be working harder than ever to ensure it doesn’t match its longest victory drought since the 1990s.
"A racer’s helmet is a diamond!"
Silverstone’s annual Day of Champions charity event raised a record £290,000, towards improving health in impoverished areas of Africa. The onstage memorabilia auction by Two Wheels For Life raised £103,000 alone. Inevitably, anything to do with Rossi earned the most money, topping out at £3000 for the opportunity to take a selfie with the nine-time world champion.
Johann Zarco was eloquent in his admiration for the event. “I’m impressed by the fans who came to the Day of Champions,” said the Frenchman. “It reminds me of the days when I wasn’t a racer – a top rider’s leathers or helmet look like a diamond to a race fan! These things are sold for a lot of money at the action, which fulfils the dreams of the fans, while at the same time helping an important charity. I think we should do the Day of Champions at other races as well.”
South-east Asia’s First MotoGP team is go
The worst-kept secret of 2018 was finally put to rest at Silverstone when the Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team was officially announced on Friday evening. This is significant news because South East Asia is the only region of the world where motorcycling is really booming.
The new outfit will run Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo in MotoGP, Khairul Idham Pawi in Moto2 and Ayumu Sasaki and John McPhee in Moto3. The riders were joined at Silverstone by Yamaha factory officials, Petronas CEO Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin and Sepang CEO Dato Razlan Razali.
Morbidelli will get A-spec YZR-M1s, which means 2019 bikes, essentially identical to those to be ridden by Rossi and Viñales, while Quartararo will ride his rookie season on B-spec M1s, basically this year’s bikes. The plan is for the 23-year-old Italian and 19-year-old Frenchman to graduate to the factory team
“At the right time, when our factory team has the places and these riders have the potential, that’s definitely the intention,” said Yamaha racing director Lin Jarvis.
Yet more new electronics rules
New-for-2019 MotoGP technical rules were confirmed at Silverstone. Electronics, as usual, was the big talking point, as MotoGP technical staff work to ensure that all the factories are using the exact-same equipment, with no chance of fiddling the zeroes and ones.
From next year all MotoGP bikes will be restricted to the same Magneti Marelli IMU (inertial platform), a small black box of gyroscopes and accelerometers that help manage the various rider controls by measuring yaw, pitch and lean to tell the ECU the position of the motorcycle in relation to the ground.
The plan for the spec IMU was revealed earlier this year to prevent teams and factories cheating via clever electronics tricks. On Thursday, MotoGP director of technology Corrado Cecchinelli announced another new regulation, also aimed at preventing cheating.
“As well as the unified IMU, which will stop people doing things that aren’t allowed, we will also restrict the layout of the CAN (Controller Area Network) connections on all bikes,” said the former Ducati MotoGP engineer who said he has no proof that any of the teams are actually cheating.
“By restricting the CAN layout we will make it impossible for devices within the electronic system to communicate with each other when they aren’t supposed to communicate with each other.”
A CAN allows the various microcontrollers on a MotoGP bike to communicate with the ECU. MotoGP bikes are allowed four CAN lines: two are used by the IMU box (which is a doubled-up aero-type system with two IMUs, in case one fails), the third is used by the team for other lines and the third is shared with the Dorna onboard module, which sends all the bike info you see on television.
MotoGP technical director Danny Aldridge also confirmed next year’s revised aerodynamics regulations, which tighten up the current rules but won’t make much difference to the look of the bikes.
Teams will only be allowed two different bodywork designs all year. They are allowed two designs this year, but they can remove sections from these to create multiple different options. This won’t be allowed from 2019. All aero will be checked in an official jig, rather like the metal frames used by airlines to check the size of cabin baggage.
Expect most factories to homologate both their aero options early in the season, so they can switch back and forth as required.