With a wet start to the day, the lightweight and premier class had dried up the track to adequate levels by the time Moto2 riders took their turn on the playground. The added confidence resulted in some early crashes for the likes of Brad Binder, Joan Mir or Xavi Vierge but the repair job was minimal and allowed them to rejoin with sufficient time.
The fabled rain that kept getting mentions throughout the day was hinted at by dark clouds but never really made an appearance so track action could go ahead as planned for all three classes. The intermediate class rode under heavy cloud cover as well but the track was bone dry.
Intermediate class riders were the last to have a go in the sunshine of coastal Italy and the usual faces/bikes were at the front throughout the session. Title rivals Pecco Bagnaia and Miguel Oliveira started their morning at the front of the pack, with the Italian having the upper hand by the time the checkered flag came out.
Dorna today unveiled the provisional MotoGP calendar for 2019, confirming much of what we already knew. The schedule will consist of 19 races, as the circuit in Mexico City will not be ready to host a MotoGP race next year, and the Kymiring in Finland is also still under construction. Both races are provisionally expected to be on the 2020 calendar.
The calendar is broadly similar to this year's schedule, with a few tweaks. The season kicks off at Qatar on 10th March, earlier than usual and a week before F1, which normally starts before MotoGP. Three weekends later, the series is racing in Argentina at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit, and two weeks after that, the whole circus heads north for the US round in Austin.
We are a week away from being able to book (provisionally, with free cancellation) to see a race in 2019. The provisional MotoGP calendar for 2019 is due to be published at the Misano round in just under 10 days' time.
As the official MotoGP.com website revealed over the weekend, there will only be 19 rounds in 2019. The numerical symmetry of that may be pleasing, but there were plans to have 20 races next season. The debut of the Kymiring in Finland has been delayed by a year to 2020, as the circuit will not be ready in time for a 2019 date. And the planned round in Mexico at the Hermanos Rodriguez circuit in Mexico City has been dropped, unless the circuit is prepared to make changes.
The Silverstone Circuit issued the following press release following the cancellation of the British round of MotoGP at Silverstone on Sunday:
Track conditions have forced the cancellation of the 2018 British Grand Prix at Silverstone. The original schedule had been changed after problems with standing water during the FP4 session for the MotoGP class on Saturday afternoon, with the MotoGP race moved to an 11:30 start and the first race of the day. But after a series of delays due to water on the track, the races were officially canceled after a meeting of the Safety Commission at 4pm on Sunday afternoon.
The circuit had been hopeful of being able to hold the races. The MotoGP warm up had started in the dry, the first spots of rain starting to fall during the Moto3 warm up. The rain fell steadily, but not heavily, and the riders who returned from the sighting lap when they went to the grid reported aquaplaning all around the track. On Saturday, there had only been problems at the entry to Stowe and to Vale. On Sunday, there were problems everywhere.
Results and summary of qualifying for the Moto2 class at Silverstone:
In stark contrast to the first session of the day, clear patches of sky were clear to see by the time the intermediate class hit the track for the first time on Saturday. The mostly dry surface seemed to revive Marcel Schrotter, who faded in a rainy FP2 after an exceptional FP1 in the dry. The Dynavolt rider secured top spot in the session after a handful of laps and stayed fastest as spots of rain returned in the final 13 minutes of FP3.