Argentina MotoGP Schedule: Early FP Canceled, Plans in Place to Handle Conditions

The problems with Michelin tires yesterday have combined with wet weather at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit to force Race Direction to put a string of contingency plans in place to deal with variable conditions. Here is the plan as it stands:

  • The extra session of warm up for MotoGP has been canceled. The wet track meant the teams could not test the new rear tire on offer from Michelin. That, in turn, would have meant they would have needed a sixth session of free practice if the track dried out again to test the new tires. There were concerns that the teams did not have enough race fuel to cover six sessions of free practice, and the extra morning session on a wet track would have been fairly meaningless anyway. At any other track, if it rained on Sunday, the teams would only have warm up to find a wet set up.
  • If MotoGP warm up is dry, the session will be extended to allow the teams to find a set up.
  • If MotoGP warm up is wet, then it will be extended for 10 minutes to give the riders a chance to get a feel for the wet Michelins, which they have only tested at Brno and Phillip Island.
  • If the track dries ahead of the start of the MotoGP race, an extra session of free practice will be added, to allow the teams to find a set up with the stiffer construction medium tire Michelin brought as a contingency. The timing of that session is to be decided.
  • If the track starts wet, but then dries out, then the current plan is that the race will be red-flagged. However, there were also reports that the medium tire which Michelin withdrew yesterday could be used. Tire temperatures on a drying track will not be an issue, but the riders will not be allowed to do more than ten laps on the tire in the dry, meaning another compulsory pit stop might be possible.

​The situation is changing fast, however. With so many circumstances which cannot be predicted, Race Direction is having to adapt to events as they occur. 

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Comments

I think everyone is doing the best they can under the circumstances. Hindsight is 20/20 but it's hard to predict the heat, tires, and the weather.  It should be a very interesting day...