MotoGP riders cleaning dirty tracks are “f****** dangerous”
Friday’s first MotoGP action in Indonesia since 1997 was halted for more than an hour in the morning due to the amount of dirt on the circuit after the previous rain.
The stop was called to allow track workers to sweep the surface, while a meeting was held between the riders, Dorna Sports and FIM safety officer Franco Uncini to find a solution.
Riders were asked to complete a minimum of 20 laps each to try and help clear the surface, which was criticized by some.
The session was able to go all the way to the checkered flag as lap times improved considerably, although only Honda’s Pol Espargaro was able to dive below the existing Superbike world lap record of 1m32.882s with his 1m32. 466s.
Morbidelli was unhappy that the riders were used as track cleaners, while applauding the Ducati riders for leading the effort.
Asked by Autosport if the drivers needed more unity on these sorts of issues, Morbidelli – who was 12th fastest on Friday – said: “The fact is the driver is not supposed to do this job, they don’t aren’t supposed to clean this track.
“It’s dangerous to ride on gravel with a MotoGP bike. It’s fucking dangerous, it’s dangerous.
“Nobody wants to go out on the track.
“The Ducati is a bike that has a lot of grip, today too I think we saw once again – if you try to read what happened today – we saw the difference between the motorcycles.
“We have seen many Ducati riders riding when there was dirt on the track.
“They decided it was safe enough to go out there and clean the track, whereas for some other drivers it wasn’t.
Franco Morbidelli, Yamaha Factory Racing
Photo by: Gold and Goose/ Motorsport footage
“They waited a bit longer, but luckily some Ducati riders, some KTM riders came out on the track, which – in my opinion – are the bikes with the most mechanical grip.
“They were able to do this duty, get this duty that was not theirs, but they did it anyway.
“So it was good for them and step by step everyone lined up.
“But deciding together ‘hey guys, let’s hit the track together’ some of them are going to be scared because their package isn’t as catchy as other guys.”
RNF Racing Yamaha’s Andrea Dovizioso says the conditions encountered on Friday “were not acceptable”, but admits it was “the right decision” to send riders to clear the circuit.
“The situation was certainly not ideal, it was too dusty,” said the Italian.
“The conditions were not acceptable, we couldn’t drive.
“We had to ride because fortunately it was the right decision to do so, because at the end we created a very narrow line.
“But in that line you can push, you can understand the line of the track because you have the right speed in the middle of the corner.
“So overall it was good to make that decision.
“Before the meeting, nobody wanted to drive because it was really impracticable.
“But in the end it was the right decision. The problem was that the asphalt was losing stones, so when you’re behind a runner everywhere you got hit by stones. It’s not the best.