2018 British Grand Prix – Canceled
For the first time since the 1980 Austrian Grand Prix at Salzburgring, a GP motorcycle race was canceled due to rain.
The cancellation occurred Sunday at the UK’s Silverstone Circuit after a four-hour delay. The decision was made by IRTA, Dorna, MotoGP team and riders, who all decided the Silverstone track was unsafe due to standing water on some sections of the track, which recently had many resurfacing updates.
“It was obvious the track conditions weren’t safe. After a consultation with the riders we delayed the start to see if conditions would improve,” said Race Director Mike Webb.
“We have reached the point where even though the rain is getting less, the circuit is still not in a condition where we can safely run races. So, we’ve taken the very difficult and regrettable decision to cancel.”
The rain was off and on throughout Saturday, and the fourth free practice was red flagged after multiple crashes, including one that sent Reale Avinita Racing Ducati’s Tito Rabat to the hospital.
During the FP4 crash, Rabat slide out at turn seven due to “major aqualaning,” which is better known stateside as hydroplaning.
Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini’s Aleix Espargaro and Marc VDS Honda’s Franco Morbidelli would also crash at the same corner.
Unfortunately for Rabat, while walking through the gravel after his crash, Morbidelli’s bike hit Rabat, throwing the Spaniard to the ground.
Rabat was sent to the hospital via helicopter, and he was diagnosed with a broken femur, tibia and fibula. He underwent surgery at University Hospital Coventry, and was reportedly walking just 24 hours after his surgery.
Rins, Espargaro and Morbidelli were unharmed.
Round 12 of 2018 MotoGP continued Saturday at Silverstone, and Ducati Team’s Jorge Lorenzo claimed the pole position ahead of teammate Andrea Dovizioso, who topped Friday free practice, and Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Maverick Vinales.
The grid was set, but Sunday’s downpours prompted the decision to cancel the race.
Besides the 1980 Austrian Grand Prix cancellation due to the rain, the only other race in modern MotoGP to be canceled was the 2011 Malaysian Grand Prix, which was red flagged after Marco Simoncelli died following a crash with Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards.
The 2018 MotoGP series continues in two weeks at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli for the San Marino Grand Prix.
After 12 of 19 rounds, Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez leads the championship with 201 points, 59 ahead of Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Rossi.