MotoGP Buriram: Through the monsoon

Miguel Oliveira trotzte den Bedingungen beim Thailand GP

The riders of the Moto3 were still lucky. Their race at the Thailand GP in Buriram took place in dry conditions. Not so for the Moto2. Just in time for the start of the race, the first drops announced themselves, just as the teams were getting ready on the grid for the start of the race. On the helicopter pictures you could see very well that a rain front was heading directly towards the track. The drops became more and in some sections of the track it was already raining very hard. The race control initiated the “rain on grid procedure”. This means that the teams are now able to change the motorcycles on the grid so that they can brave the rain. A flurry of activity broke out. Because not all teams are lucky enough to have their pits close to the starting grid. The distances are long and time is short. For Albert Arenas (GASGAS Aspar Team), Manuel Gonzalez (Yamaha VR46 Master Camp) and Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Italtrans Racing) the time was not enough, they had to start the race from the pit lane. Perhaps in the future it would be fairer if the time corridor is adjusted so that it is also possible for the teams from the rear pits to make adjustments. The Moto2 race was started as a wet race with a shortened race distance. Right from the start, people wondered when the race would finally be stopped. Nothing happened for a long time, although the track conditions were intolerable. The water stood on the track and the rain did not decrease. Aquaplaning, crashes and yet nothing happened until the drivers raised their hands. The race was interrupted. Listening to the drivers’ assessment and acting on it is a good approach. But isn’t it also perhaps too risky. Aren’t the drivers also willing to take more risks to prove themselves? Don’t you have to protect them from themselves at a certain point?

The Moto2 race was restarted after a break, only to be finally abandoned. A second rain front moved onto the track. The race was over and half points were awarded to the riders for not riding the required race distance.

The MotoGP riders had the opportunity to visit the track and complete laps due to the 10 minute opening of the pit lane. A good three laps were possible in the 10 minutes. However, most drivers decided to do only two laps. After these laps, it was off to the grid. Unlike in Moto2, it had stopped raining. There was still a need to talk. First and foremost, Aleix Espargaro did not seem satisfied with starting the race in the track conditions. He sought again and again the conversation with individual riders and the officials. But the race did start – 55 minutes behind schedule. Only the initial phase posed a danger due to the narrow field of riders and the accompanying spray. After the field had straightened out, however, the only thing that could fail was to misjudge the conditions. The MotoGP riders had a better condition than the Moto2 riders in their race, albeit in wet conditions. They had to ride through the monsoon. At the end of the MotoGP race, KTM factory rider Miguel Oliveira triumphed, he was able to handle the situation best. Jack Miller and Pecco Bagnaia followed in second and third place.

Holding a race weekend in a country during the rainy season always offers the risk of monsoon-like rain, turning everything upside down. The only way to change that is to race at a different time. But if you don’t want to do that, you have to create equal conditions for everyone and guarantee safety for every single rider.

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