Safety Commission: Qatar Needs to Be Re-Paved, Re-Engineered …


It could be worse. It could rain again. Even tonight.

After the cancellation of the Qualifying session of the opening round of the 2017 MotoGP season, there is a plan B to race on Monday. It happened once in 2009 because the Losail track doesn’t have a drainage system. It is no meant that it rains so much in the desert so when it happened with heavy showers on Friday night and again on Saturday morning, the run off areas transformed into lakes and water was crossing the track. The attempts of the Race Direction to take out water with pumps were useless because water came back 15 minutes later from the rain-sogged soil.

“It’s an extreme situation” said MotoGP safety chief Loris Capirossi, “there were lakes and rivers in the track. it was too risky, especially turns 1,3,4 and 10. We tried to do the practice tonight and we thinking we could resolve the problems but in the end we understand the problem is bigger and we decide to cancel everything. The main problem of the track is no drainage because normally we don’t expect rain in Qatar.”

The Italian had tested last March in Qatar with a full wet track but it was not raining.
“We could try if it was completely full” said Valentino Rossi, who is one of the most penalized by the situation as he will take the start from the 4th row. “I could have improve in full wet or full dry but it was not possible to ride in these mixed conditions”. Regarding the possibility of racing even if it rains, Rossi added: “Capirossi tried but it was not with a MotoGP machine and it was not raining. We need to evaluate the situation with 22 bikes on track. It’s a problem of visibility and reflection”.

The Safety Commission will meet again but one things has been already decided. “We asked to resurface completely the track for next year”, said Capirossi, “the asphalt is so slippery when it’s wet because it was not meant for that, we need to do a drainage system”.

Capirossi also said that the race could be run on Monday if the weather doesn’t get any better as it was in 2009.

All the riders, from Valentino to Vinales, from Lorenzo to Marquez, all agree that “it was too risky to go out on track”.
Maverick celebrates his first pole position with Yamaha, “although I would have preferred to conquer it on track”, he said. Iannone will try to benefit from starting from the front row as he does not the pace of Vinales or Marquez, while Valentino will count on the 30 minutes of warm up to test some different solutions and … hope for the miracle.


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