All Races Canceled At Silverstone MotoGP Round

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.

There were team meetings and regular track inspections throughout the day, Franco Uncini and Loris Capirossi putting in plenty of laps in the Safety Car. But each time they came back, the conclusion was the same: too much standing water, which wasn't clearing. As a result, the track was not deemed safe to ride.

A final inspection had been scheduled for 4pm local time, but 20 minutes beforehand, an impromptu meeting of the Safety Commission was held. There, the riders decided nearly unanimously that the track was not safe to ride, and that the race should be called off. Dorna called off racing in all three classes, on the grounds that if it was not safe for the MotoGP riders to race, then it would not be fair to expect riders in other classes to race either. 

On Sunday evening, Silverstone Circuit, by way of its managing director, Stuart Pringle, said that they would investigate the causes of the standing water, and bring in an independent body to assist in the investigation. 

With the race canceled, no points were awarded, and the championship standings in all three classes will remain the same as after the Austrian round at the Red Bull Ring. Seven races remain in the 2018 Championship.

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Comments

Even Qatar, the last time I can remmeber this happening, ran the race the following day.  

What a mess and I feel for the fans who scheduled vacations, time off, etc.  The contractor who did the asphalt is probably trying to get to the airport.  From what everyone is saying it wasn’t the rain that is at fault.  Prayers for Tito.  He was the biggest victim in all this.  

Please move the race to Donington Park.

Total votes: 46

I totally agree, I always felt Silverstone was the KFC of the MotoGP world, looks good on a picture, but gives you the runners. Donington is a real circuit, not a corporate shit hole.
 

I also find it a little interesting that Miller and Zarco did want to race it.

Total votes: 16

Where do you start?

The management of Silverstone should be hanging their heads in shame. 

To spend millions on a "resurfacing" that leaves the track more bumpy and with obvious drainage issues suggests project management of the worst kind.

So what about next year? Move the date? Unlikely given the uncertain nature of the UK weather. Resurface again? Doubt they can afford it. Give up the rights to the MotoGP? Only Donington could cope and that presumably will need upgrade work.

I feel sorry for the thousand of fans trudging their soggy way home, having spent a lot of hard earned cash to spend a day in the rain watching nothing. Do they get their money back? 

What about all the sponsors who had influential guests there? Some will understand but there will be a fair few who won't be spending their sponsorship bucks in MotoGP next year.

Additionally, Silverstone has appled the break clause in their F1 GP contract after 2019, citing the extreme cost escalation agreed to under Bernie Ecclestone's reign. So where does that leave "The home of British Motor Racing"?

In a sorry state, that's where.

 

Total votes: 44

But Silverstone in UK? Track Owned by BRDC. Bad drainage? Bad bad, verry bad joke. 

Total votes: 13

Why didn't the managers of Silverstone test for drainage after the re-resurfacing or prior to the race?  Usually on these projects their is a post job inspection to verify the contracted work meets the standards for acceptance.  Something screwy here.

Total votes: 13

> the riders who returned from the sighting lap when they went to the grid reported aquaplaning all around the track.

On the sighting lap, at the sharp left from Vale into Club, two riders went straight on into the gravel, but stayed upright.
It may have been Abraham, but it was wet, and I wasn't concentrating that hard at that point - it's just the sighting lap, right?
Well, at least we heard them go round once.

I guess ticket refunds will be offered, but any other expenditure (my sons rail ticket, petrol, etc) are unlikely to be taken into account.

The most annoying bit is that Monday was the ideal time to re-run it, since its a bank holiday in England. Pre-TV rights, that would have been a viable option. Not in the modern era, it seems.

The financial hit of a Monday race would have been far (far!) less than the financial loss due to bad publicity that this is going to generate.

Total votes: 30

It was Bautista who went through the gravel. 

His explanation was that he was super careful on the sighting lap and lost all heart in the carbon brakes. He went in the gravel, not because of aquaplaning, but no brakes.

Total votes: 13

When people are planning which MotoGP race to go to next year how many will be thinking "Look what happened at Silverstone last year?"... I certainly will because there's a lot of money involved in getting tickets and then flying there and getting accommodation...  which is exactly what my friends and I had planned to do.  A brief chat with a few today has us deciding to go to Europe... still a chance of rain but, most probably, not a wash-out.

Silverstone management need to be able to convince people that this lying water is no longer an issue due to whatever action they will take and that's going to be hard on a circuit so big.  Sad to see because it can be a superb venue.

Total votes: 24

Especially considering there were 3 or 4 riders who looked stronger in the dry. 

Total votes: 13

Not sure what to make of the Silverstone management. The combination of high rainfall on brand new tarmac may have been sheer bad luck but you’d hope that excellent drainage would be top of the spec sheet for any resurfacing project in this climate (NB not ‘weather’.) I note the comments of the visiting CEO from the Sepang circuit who diplomatically pointed out they hired a third party consultant to work on their most recent resurfacing with Dorna, the FIM etc and the contractors to ensure a better result that their previous time some ten years ago.

The silver lining for the TV audience in the UK was the extended behind the scenes footage that BT Sport laid on to fill the hours of screen time in the absence of track action.  Huge credit to Suzy Perry and the BTSport team for a fabulous job IMHO. Toseland on the Moto2 Triumph, Gavin Emmett’s pillion ride with Cal,Colin Edwards loose in the campsite, the rider & team boss interviews (knighthood for Herve Poncharal please!) and lots of interesting snippets - scary old Alberto Puig letting slip the RCV is making 300bhp etc etc.

Looking forward to your post weekend review this week David. Especially your thoughts on the race cancellation situation. Amid the confusion it seemed most of the riders were understandably spooked by yesterday’s pile up and caution prevailed when they might otherwise have pulled on the rain suits and gone for what might have been a fairly normal wet race.  However we know that Miller, Redding, Zarco and Smith all had strong personal reasons for wanting to race and the Ducati and Tech3 team bosses were leading the charge but it seems Honda and Yamaha were opposed, presumably because the chance was too high they would lose points in the championship. So politics as well as safety was in play. Do tell us what you think.

Total votes: 36

One of the things I like about MotoGP versus F1 was a sort of pragmatic attitude to the rules in order for the racing to go ahead. An ability to adjust on the fly rather than stick rigidily to the rules to the point of counter production. Unfortunately that hasn't happened today.

Total votes: 30

On the flip side that willingness to ignore protocol for the show got Jules Bianchi killed. It was too dark, too wet and the helicopters couldn't fly, but the race was already going and they didn't want to wave the red flags. After Rabat's injury yesterday I expect Capirossi won't have been in a very compromising mood. It's his job to prevent stuff like that happening.

.

Not being able to try running the race on Monday sounds pretty silly, but then again getting a hold of the marshalls and Ambulances for an extra day is probably near impossible.

Total votes: 12

I don't know what a Sunday ticket price at Silverstone was but if you use the one day (Sunday) ticket price at Misano listed on the MotoGP.com site of $92 and toss in the number of 90,000 fans at Silverstone that kept getting thrown out

That's $8,280,000.00

Now what? Give the fans their money back? Is there something on the ticket that says weather might cancel event. If so....? That's a big hit for Dorna

Water runoff seems a fairly easy thing to plan for. Good effective drainage seems like something that wouldn't take that much enginering to come up with. 

Could someone with more knowledge on track engineering chime in on this?

The best laid plans....

Total votes: 12

Every race needs marshals to run safely - not enough available at short notice to simply shift to Monday. Desperately sorry for everyone who was there today. I usually would be but chose to cough up to go to Misano for the first time this year. Glad about that but such a shame to see an already struggling British MotoGP (circuit of Wales debacle, falling spectator numbers) come to such an unfortunate pass.

Later edit: just seen a comment on Twitter suggesting that marshals were available, it was factory teams with a test on Wednesday who wouldn't race on Monday... 

Total votes: 21

Well, that was certainly depressing. A British GP track unable to cope with a bit of mild national climate is like hearing Lucifer is stumped by hot coals...one tends to lose faith in things.

A few observations:

A crowned road surface, present on almost all public roads (and most classic race tracks, notably Assen before it was disfigured) is a drainage concept that goes back to the Romans. It works. And while other aspects of circuit design and construction have advanced considerably in the last 2,000 years, I am reliably informed that water still runs downhill. 

We all know that the four wheel types hate crowns, as it mucks up the camber of their enormously wide tires and upsets their under-body aerodynamics. So modern track surface design seems to rely on a complex relationship between the tilting of a nominally flat racing surface and the texture of that same surface (e.g., size and pattern of voids and both the individual and aggregate volume characteristics of those voids) to drain the weather. And more power to those who do the sums for these new designs, but I think we have now thrown the baby out with the rain water; a reduction in the radius of the crown height was required by the autos, but perhaps we could now look to put a bit back in (what crowning there is now appears only to ensure that the surface doesn't get built with a concave profile, rather than establishing a clearly convex one).

A an aside: How do you establish stability in a structure with (essentially) no tensile strength? Well, an arch seems to do this nicely. I cannot help but think a bit of a crowned arch to the racing surface profile would go a long way to reducing the frequency and size of all these bumps we constantly hear about. A dead flat surface has no mechanism for distributing loads in compression (which is pretty much all a racing surface has to rely on for stability), a crowned surface does.

The "tilted plane" design of many modern tracks will force all of the drainage to one side only. This is hazardous if your "one side" does not have the capacity to absorb 100% of the runoff (as opposed to 50% in a crowned profile), but may be helpful if your modern tack has lots of high curbs at the edges. Curbs make for very nice little dams, so tilting the drainage pattern away from these may be required. 

Tracks are getting wider and wider, which means more area and a greater volume of water to deal with. A lot more. Honestly. looking at the shear area/volume numbers we are looking at, my first instinct is to skip most thoughts of drainage and start specifying pumps for the task. Drainage can be made to work, but it is bloody expensive. The entire area surrounding the track surface has to be constructed as a drain field, and that means then filling the excavated volumes with the appropriate material (i.e., gravel or a matrix of materials that will provide both stability and sufficient voids to act as a reservoir). And nobody will see the results of all that treasure except for once every seven years when nature roars. The temptation to go on the cheap and play the house odds is overwhelming, especially so when the F1 syndicate appears dedicated to elevating the act of extortion to a virtue.

The Press conference was brave...but hollow. OK, the riders decided that it was unsafe...but based on what data? Their experiences during the 11:30 AM sighting laps? Hardly relevant, as it was now 4-1/2 hours later and conditions had changed (i.e., no longer any steady rainfall). Driving around the course in that spiffy BMW earlier was all well and good, but all of those tours were undertaken when it was still raining vigorously (and frankly I would not have bothered). There was some talk that the concern of the riders was that if it began to rain again the track surface would quickly become unsafe (if it was not already), but at 4:30 the rain had stopped and I saw no forecasts for a return before dark fall. Were the riders aware of this? Whose forecasts were being used? Was there a "common" set of data points being considered, or were each individual team to make their own choice?

Then there is human nature and inertia. Hell, half of life is just overcoming both of these. Yes, safety first, last, and always. But there is a difference between considering the safety aspects in your street clothes, with a hot shower and a hot meal less than an hour away, and doing so after getting back into your leathers and doing a sighting lap at 4:45, with a clear understanding that the conditions during the sighting lap were expected to see no further degradation over the next three hours. I am not criticizing the teams and riders for being human, and wanting a resolution after a long, cold, and very frustrating day. But I suspect that not having them all suit up and go out for a lap or two put a heavy thumb on the scales they used to weigh their ultimate decision, and I think the fans should have been accorded the respect that a few sighting laps would have demonstrated. After that, I know we would all respect the riders decisions regarding safety 100%, and fully acknowledge that a track's appearance is not the determining factor. A racing surface may cause hydroplaning without any puddles being visible. Another track may be perfectly ride-able with some evidence of standing water. So it may have ultimately been a fair decision to cancel, but I am not convinced it was made with fair data...or that a hot shower and a hot meal didn't stuff a few votes into the ballot box. Cheers.

PS - Note to Capirossi: There is a difference between a task and a responsibility. It may not have been your task to personally inform each rider of the late safety meeting, but it was damn sure your responsibility to make sure it was done, mate. The "it's not my job" rubbish played very badly.

PPS - Note to Franco: Yes, it may be difficult to accomplish a full-up test and evaluation of a resurfaced track under all possible conditions. But I can bloody well tell you where the water is going to wind up with nothing more than a bag of marbles. Get some.

 

Total votes: 82

There should be no need to make a crown on race tracks.  Porous tarmac has been available and used on circuits for many years.

Apparently Delugrip is the most commonly used.  It's certainly used by MSVR, who own most of the UK circuits.  I've never known Brands Hatch to have flooding problems, if there were, Bottom Straight would have serious issues.

For some reason Silverstone chose to use Supercurve asphalt, whereas Superprixmat is the normal motor racing circuit asphalt supplied by Aggregate Industries.  I wonder if Silverstone chose a cheaper option.

 

Total votes: 18

Nice write up. A horrible confluence of events: bad repave, bad rain, race officials unable to make the hard decisions (run the races in the morning), etc. Ok, hindsight is 20-20, but to not make a sighting lap near the end of the day, that is shameful for the RIDERS. Not having Monday as a contingency is shameful for the organizers. Capirossi? After what he did to Harada, should we expect any better?

Total votes: 13

Why wasn't the race run instead of the morning warm-up? It's like they were waiting for the bad weather....

Total votes: 20

Marquez surely was...

Total votes: 14

I managed to avoid any spoilers and got home from a 14 hour shift, ready for an exciting race day.

Nope.

What a total bummer, especially after the longest hottest summer since ‘76.

gggggrrfaaahhhnjohyffjhcgezhgvljh,nbkhgygkhblh!!!!!,!!!!

Its not coming home. We are leaving Europe. The Tories really are in power. A pint really is £5 or more. The largest, most prestigious, best financed motorsports venue in the country can’t weather the storm (sic) of a post irony bank holiday downpour?

fuck everything.

Omnishambles.

Total votes: 42

I blame global warming ;)'  or Tony Abbott..............

GM.

Total votes: 30

no it was probably Diane Abbott who calculated the drainage rates for the new surface 😂

Total votes: 13

"riders decided nearly unanimously"

Who were the ones who wanted to race?   I can think of Redding, Smith, Syahrin.   

Total votes: 32

to wait as late as possible and give it a go (according to reports).  Rossi abstained, and Dovizioso was not informed of the meeting in time to attend!

Total votes: 17

Rain is the great leveler.  Basically, anyone who doesn't normally finish on the podium should welcome (hesitantly) a wet race.

Total votes: 18

I saw their interviews on motogp website.  Im thinking just Redding and Sayrhin.

Why Miller?  

Total votes: 18

They had an inteview with Miller on the Australian TV coverage, saying it wasn't too bad if you took the dryest lines.  You'd think he would have hopes of following up his wet Assen win too.

 

Total votes: 23

Got robbed here from a possible win, just like in Argentina. These big boy Prima Donna's (yes, Marquez is now one too, seems to become even more vocal actually) are ruining it for a young man like him.

You voted 1. Total votes: 14

James, Neil, Suzie and Colin did an excellent job of keeping myself for one entertained over the course of the no-go and rightly so Silverstone round. A dismally failed resurfacing job is actually all its about as an outsider looking in. The political elite need to look into Russian meddling in the event. Skripal's disappear, Silverstone races sabotaged and disappear. GPC entities were infiltrated to call it off before official cut off time. Marc Marquez colluded with the Russian FSB to extend his title advantage. It is 'probably' and 'highly likely' based on no tested evidence that novichock infiltrated the surface drainage capacity just before Alex Rins jumped off his bike at 200km/hr. Hey! Have fun with that tongue in cheek bit. From Friday FP2, I viewed the track as a bit of a convoluted mess. As Marquez' continually extracts the n'th degree out of a bike he also extracts the n'th degree out of a track surface. The bumps were and lumps looked awfull. The drainage looked dismal. Jack and Johan may have wanted throw the dice and race, but with good reason the rest were not keen. The track was resurfaced with 80% F1 in mind and a 20% MGP consideration. The UK need to ressurect the Welsh GP track and make it exclusive for 2 wheel events is my opinion. Brands Hatch and Donington Park are just too hamstrung for 270-300bhp(Puig?) two wheel events.

 

Total votes: 13