Australian GP has become too dangerous: Rossi
MotoGP star Valentino Rossi says the Australian Grand Prix has become too dangerous to be run in October and must be moved.
Rossi echoed the views of leading riders in the paddock after wild weather swept the track on Friday – but the main issue is the cold temperatures.
Even without the rain, Rossi says the surface at this time of the year does not generate enough heat to allow the bike’s tyres to operate at optimum performance.
This means they cannot reach the heat they need to offer proper grip and become dangerously slippery, even without a wet surface.
High level talks in a bid to change the race date have already been held between MotoGP organiser Dorna, the Australian Grand Prix Corporation and track owner Linfox boss Andrew Fox.
Dorna and the riders want the race moved closer to the start of the season in March when weather is warmer and more reliable.
Practice for all classes was delayed for two hours on Friday as rain swamped the circuit and temperatures hovered around ten degrees celsius
Rossi made it clear that the issue had now reached a critical point and authorities needed to act to protect the safety of competitors.
It is very difficult because the conditions mean we are very close to the limit,” Rossi said.
“The rain is okay but the main problem is the temperature.
“If it is this temperature though, maybe it is better that we have rain because with dry tyres that we have, with ten degrees I don’t know how we can manage this.
“It will be very dangerous for the race.
“If it is dry we need a minimum of 16 or 18 degrees for the tyres. With ten in the dry, the rubber is so strong and I don’t know he will put temperature in the tyre.”
Rossi says riders have long pushed for an early season start for the Australian race but have been told it would be too close to the Formula One race in Melbourne in March.
“It is three or four years that we want Phillip Island at the beginning of the season,” he said.
“But they say the problem is Formula One. From our side we have pushed hard every year.
“But we need a very bad situation like today to maybe push even harder.”
The Yamaha rider raised the issue at the Safety Commission meeting in Phillip Island on Friday night.
Australia’s Casey Stoner is another who has battled with the conditions.
“We’ve all discussed that in the Safety Commission of putting this race earlier on in the season,” Stoner said.
“The weather’s normally pretty good when World Superbikes are here.
“It would be nice if we can put it in a time of year when we’d get some more consistent weather.”
New world champion Jorge Lorenzo is also in favour of a date change.
“Yes, without any doubt they need to look at this,” Lorenzo said.
“Nobody likes the cold, so please change the date of the race.
“It is much better to race here earlier in the year. Phillip Island is so beautiful to race in sunny conditions and we don’t want to be here when it is raining at this lovely track.”© AAP 2013
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