As MotoGP heads to the iconic French track, the worry of bad weather is beginning to loom which could spark fireworks.
As we know, rain in MotoGP is a massive leveller for the field, often seeing surprise results such as Pol Espargaro’s podium at Valencia 2018.
This has every chance of making the MotoGP weekend more than a little chaotic, throwing everything which the riders have known all season up into the air. So far, most teams and riders will have their setups dialled in, therefore rain will punch a big red ‘reset’ button across the field, with riders having to go out and find new data in wet scenarios and for the rookies, this will mean learning how to ride in the wet.
In 2019 we did not see a single wet race, therefore title contenders Joan Mir and Fabio Quartararo will also be in for a surprise when they have to learn their MotoGP bikes in the wet also. In Misano, we saw some wet sessions, but the races were dry, whereas racing in the wet could cause chaos as we have previously seen in wet MotoGP races and also at the World SBK Magny Cours race weekend were we saw many riders crash out.
The positive is that the wet could be really good for Aprilia, the wet tends to level the playing field with all riders riding much slower than normal, giving chances to riders who want to take a risk or two to get a better result than normal, therefore Aleix Espargaro will be out for some blood if we have a wet race.
During a wet race, we also have another curveball, pit stops, riders are free to go into the pits and change motorcycles if the conditions were to change such as from wet to dry or vice versa. This could mean everything for riders playing the tactical game, as we saw in Sachsenring 2016 when Marc Marquez played a blinder and switched to slick tyres on a still fairly wet track, changing at the perfect time as the track started to dry, Marquez was able to capitalise on this, lapping 3 seconds faster than everyone else and winning the race.
Anyone can win a wet race, yes, even you Tito Rabat, we believe in you. Currently, the Le Mans weekend is forecasted rain so we are in for a bundle of fun!
Featured image – Ducati Corse