Opening day cancelled at Motegi due to adverse weather
Reduced visibility as a result of low-lying cloud forced the cancellation of free practice sessions for all classes on the opening day of the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi.
The cause of the cancellation was not due to visibility on track, which remains relatively clear, but because the low-lying cloud kept the medical helicopter grounded. With the nearest hospital an hour away by road, the medical helicopter is essential to ensure the speedy evacuation of injured riders.
The many fans who’d braved the weather to attend the opening day at Motegi were entertained in the absence of free practice by the riders, all of whom took to the paddock to meet fans, pose for photos and sign autographs.
The revised schedule for the weekend is completely dependent on the weather conditions and the availability of the medical helicopter.
If the weather allows the medical helicopter to fly tomorrow morning then the sessions will be run as per the normal schedule and the Sunday schedule will be unaffected.
If the medical helicopter can only fly in the afternoon then qualifying will be replaced with free practice for all classes and a revised Sunday schedule will be put in place.
If the medical helicopter cannot fly at all tomorrow then two helicopters will be dismantled, shipped to the circuit by road and then reassembled overnight ready for Sunday, when the weather is forecast to improve. In this instance a revised Sunday schedule will be put in place.
The revised Sunday schedule for the latter two options is as follows:
|Moto2||06.10 – 06.55|
|MotoGP||07.05 – 08.05|
|Moto3||08.15 – 09.00|
|Moto2||09.10 – 09.50|
|MotoGP||10.00 – 10.40|
|Moto3||10.50 – 11.30|
|Moto2||12.20 – 23 Laps/110.423km|
|MotoGP||14.00 – 24 Laps/115.224km|
|Moto3||15.30 – 20 Laps/96.600km|
Michael Bartholemy // Team Principal
“With Scott only passed fit to ride yesterday after his crash and the surgery in Australia, the two free practice sessions today would have been useful for him to adapt his riding style to compensate a little for his injury. Livio could also have done with the track time, as this is his first visit to Motegi. However, the organisers were left with no option but to cancel today’s sessions on safety grounds. It was definitely the right decision. Now we are completely dependent on the weather conditions and the availability of the medical helicopter. We have a revised schedule that takes into account almost every eventuality, so we will definitely race this weekend, but we need to remain flexible and we need to be ready to go as soon as we get the green light.”