For the second time this season, the MotoGP series has lost an afternoon to extraordinary circumstances. At Assen, it was a blown engine during Moto2 practice combined with pouring rain to force the cancellation of FP2 sessions for all three classes, while at the Motorland Aragon circuit today, a defective transformer saw all power lost at the circuit, forcing the cancellation of FP2 for the MotoGP and Moto2 classes. The lack of power meant that all of the facilities at the circuit shut down, meaning a lack of power for timing, in the pit garages, and more importantly, in the circuit control tower. Without the ability to monitor the track via CCTV and reliably communicate with all parts of the track, having racing motorcycles circulating posed too much of a danger to the safety of the riders. As a result, the decision was taken to cancel practice for the rest of the afternoon, despite power returning intermittently as the UPS and backup transformer took over.
The Motorland Aragon circuit management told the press that the decision had been taken because of the danger to the riders. Their safety was paramount, the circuit management said, and therefore all practice had been canceled. The backup transformer which had taken over once the main transformer had failed had shown some strange readings, they explained, probably as a result of the complex electronics used to control the power supply getting confused once the main transformer failed. Fortunately, the circuit has a replacement transformer stored in the town of Alcañiz, which has been transported to the circuit and will be used to replace the failed transformer this evening, once the media center has emptied and the teams have completed their work in the garages.
Replacing the broken transformer should take between one and two hours, and everything should be back and fully functional once the switch has been made. In the extremely unlikely event of the replacement transformer also failing, the track has a number of generators on standby, ready to power the facilities at the track. Work is already going on to ensure that the track can be switched over to generator power as quickly as possible should the worst happen.
The cancellation of practice this afternoon has meant that practice on Saturday morning has been rescheduled. Practice for the 125cc class starts an hour earlier, at 8:45am local time (CEST), though as the 125cc class had a full session of practice on Friday afternoon, their session will be the normal, 40-minute length. Both the MotoGP and Moto2 classes will get 30 minutes extra practice tacked onto their sessions, with FP2 being extended from 45 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes for both classes.
Below is the revised schedule for Saturday, September 17th
|08:45-09:25||125cc||Free Practice 3|
|09:35-10:50||MotoGP||Free Practice 2|
|11:00-12:15||Moto2||Free Practice 2|