FIM respond to rider criticism over track conditions in Argentina
Track conditions in Argentina for the penultimate round of the World Superbike Championship on the weekend saw Chaz Davies, Sandro Cortese, Marco Melandri, Leon Camier, Riucki Kiyonari and Eugene Laverty not take part in Saturday’s World Superbike race.
The track was dirty and dusty and riders complained of oil seeping up from the surface of the circuit as track temperatures nudged 50-degrees celsius.
After the problems that arose last year about 70% of the track had been resurfaced ahead of this event but it did not improve the grip due to the vast amount of sand on the tarmac.
Riders such as Eugene Laverty let fly at some of their fellow riders for not sticking together and forcing the race to be abandoned.
The remaining twelve riders who lined up on the grid rode the race regularly over a distance of 21 laps on a 49-degree track temperature.
Laverty and others, such as Marco Melandri, were also highly critical of the FIM which has seen the governing body release this statement overnight in their defence.
Following the decision of six riders not to participate in Race 1 at the Motul Argentinean Round of the FIM Superbike World Championship, in San Juan on Saturday October 12th, FIM wishes to provide some clarifications.
At the request of the FIM in 2018, the circuit of San Juan was resurfaced to host WorldSBK in 2019.
On Wednesday, October 9th during the inspection of the track, the FIM safety officer requested the circuit management to wash the track to remove the dust that had accumulated during the last days to ensure the safety conditions necessary for the smooth running of the Argentinean round.
After an intensive cleaning of the track, the homologation was issued on Thursday during a new inspection. This homologation procedure valid from Friday to Sunday is identical for each event of the championship and takes place on the Thursday preceding each race according to the FIM rules.
On Friday evening during the safety commission meeting, the rider representatives expressed concern over the scorching conditions and its possible effect on the newly laid asphalt. In agreement with all the stakeholders (Riders, representatives of FIM and Dorna), it was decided that a meeting would be held on Saturday at 12h00 after the Free Practice session 3 to make a new point on the situation. At this meeting all riders were happy with the improvement of the track conditions and it was unanimously decided to go ahead with the Qualifying Sessions and race. Nevertheless, after Qualifying Sessions six WorldSBK riders decided not to take part in the race two hours later.
The FIM wishes to remind that the safety of all riders is its priority and wish to emphasize that neither the scorching conditions nor the condition of the track surface at that precise moment justified the cancellation of the race.
In addition and to provide a high level of marshalling, the FIM also provided a seminar for the 150 track marshals on Thursday at the San Juan circuit with the support of the national federation CAMOD.