2019 Austin Saturday MotoGP Round Up: Poor Weather, Strong Winds, And Battles Which Are Still Wide Open

It never rains, but it pours. Especially around Austin, where warm damp air blows in from the Gulf of Mexico, and the rising terrain of the start of Hill Country generates turbulence which causes the towering clouds to dump their burden of moisture onto the earth below. That happened early on Saturday morning, when the heavens opened and a torrential rain drenched the ground, causing deep puddles and running streams throughout the area east of Austin which houses the Circuit of the Americas. And it happened again in the late morning, a brief but enormously intense storm dumped another centimeter or so of rain onto the track in the space of a quarter of an hour.

Both rainstorms were accompanied by thunder and lightning, which caused the most problems for the organizers. Lightning poses a significant danger, not just to anyone foolish enough to try to race a motorcycle in a thunderstorm, but to corner workers, the fans and the staff who work around the track. Lightning strikes regularly claim lives in Texas, so when a thunderstorm hits, it gets taken very seriously indeed.

It never rains but it pours in the metaphorical sense as well. After Friday's raft of complaints aimed at the bumpiness of the Austin track, Saturday started off with track action being first delayed, and then canceled, and fans being locked out of the circuit for safety reasons. It was very much an inauspicious start to the weekend.

No track time, no experience

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2019 Austin MotoGP FP4 Result: Marquez Issues A Reminder

Marc Marquez sent a friendly reminder to Maverick Vinales and the rest of the field on Saturday that his second-place showing in FP2 was a simple setback and not a trend at the Circuit of the Americas track in Texas. Marquez's 2'05.478 beat Cal Crutchlow's best lap by nearly two seconds in mixed conditions that saw the field start the session on rain tires and end it on slicks. 

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2019 Austin FP3: Cancelled Sessions Due To Weather Conditions

After rain and lightning provided early morning action and a two hour delay to FP3 sessions, a decision was eventually made to cancel all practice sessions for the three classes due to lightning in the area surrounding the circuit. Qualifying schedule will be subject to weather conditions so fingers crossed. 

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Assen WorldSBK Saturday, Sunday Schedule Reshuffled After Race 1 Canceled Due To Snow

The weather in Assen has not been kind to WorldSBK. Exceptionally cold temperatures on Saturday caused problems for the Superpole session, but shortly after Superpole, it started to snow. That forced the organizers  to delay the start of Race 1, but after snow started to fall again, the rest of the action was canceled, meaning both WorldSBK Race 1 and the WorldSSP300 Last Chance Race were called off.

The cancelation of Race 1 means a new schedule for Sunday at Assen. The Superpole race has been canceled, with two full races to be held on Sunday instead. WorldSBK Race 1 will start at 11am CEST, while Race 2 will start at the normal time of 2pm CEST.

Below is the press release announcing the change:


WorldSBK Race 1 postponed due to weather condition in Assen

Unpredictable weather condition forces Saturday’s WorldSBK Race 1 to be postponed to Sunday

Following severe weather condition on Saturday afternoon during the Motul Dutch Round in Assen, the difficult decision was taken to postpone WorldSBK Race 1 to Sunday.

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