If you organise a GP on a wet, tropical island where statistically it rains at least every other day, then surely you can’t be taken by surprise when the event turns into a rain-lashed mudbath.
The Indonesian MXGP was a brand new track at Pangkal Pinang, which has been lashed by rain from a tropical storm all week. But it is the rainy season, and it seems the preparation for this largely not-unexpected weather has left a lot to be desired.
The logistics for all involved – teams, riders, organisers, media and more – is always a nightmare for the fly-away GPs and takes months of preparation. The bikes have been crated up just after Hawkstone and sent to the Qatar GP opener – which was a success despite tiny crowds. And the weather and track was good so, the bikes didn’t get too to much wear and tear.
So it was a relatively simple job to crate them up and fly them to Indonesia for round two. And this is where the issue lies as the track clearly wasn’t ready for such an event. Photos from teams arriving early at the track showed it was far from being ready despite the event being just a few days away.
As the track was built on old woodland, it’s going to be very soft so moving dirt to build jumps days before the world-class event isn’t ideal – especially when it’s rain season. The track should have been built and left to settle.
It wasn’t, and you could tell that the track wasn’t ready as the majority of photos and news coming from the event in the run-up to today’s washout was riders posing with planes and enthusiastic locals, plus the impressive pit area and het wash facilities.
Let’s hope the race runs tomorrow for the sake of all the teams and everybody’s hard work and especially the fans and riders. Even if it does run, the bikes will be hammered. And with the next round in Argentina in two weeks followed by Mexicao a week later, there’s not a lot of time to rebuild ruined machines.
Steve Dixon, boss of Tommy Searle’s Kawasaki team and organisers of the British GP, took to social media to say: “I know people knock the world championships for visiting these type of countries like Indonesia, but the enthusiasm of everyone supporting the event and all the locals is unreal, they are so happy to receive us in their country and with all the rain we have had it would be difficult for any track to run so let’s hope it’s a good one for everyone.
“This is my fourth GP here in Indonesia and the last was 1997. At least they have machinery now for the track.”