One year after several MotoGP riders threatened to boycott the race should it rain on Sunday, a thorough clean-up job seemed to have solved the problems that made the Red Bull Ring so horribly treacherous in the wet.
In 2017 when rain struck in the second Moto2 free practice, it triggered carnage. Eleven riders managed a total of 14 crashes, mostly in the heavy braking zones for Turns 1 and 3. The blame went to rubber laid down by F1 cars, which brake later than the bikes; with the crashes coming as bikes ran from their own braking zone into the car zone.
For this year, the track was sandblasted in these areas … and the proof of the pudding came in the eating. When heavy rain hit MotoGP’s FP2 in the afternoon, there was not a single fall.
By Michael Scott