Argentinian Grand Prix poleman Jack Miller says the poor condition of Austin’s Circuit of the Americas caused a broken windscreen in practice for this weekend’s MotoGP event.
Miller said the amount of dust and rocks on the track was “worse than Qatar” after residue from diamond-grinding work, to reduce the severity of the track’s bumps, left the surface in a poor state.
Valentino Rossi referred to the situation as “like being at the ranch – a lot of white dust, you don’t see nothing in front, very strange!”
Miller said: “I don’t wanna be negative but it’s definitely worse than it was last year. The track I thought was fine last year, but this year she’s turned into a bit of a motocross track, especially with the rooster [tails of dust] down the back straight.
“We’ve broken a windscreen already with the rocks and the dust, I’m gonna put some drops in my eye now because I hate dust! And it’s so bad down that back straight, it’s ridiculous.
“Honestly, I couldn’t believe it. I was in the Clinica [Mobile] when Moto3 was on, and everyone was like ‘did you see the dust on the back straight?’ and I thought ‘how bad can it be? It can’t be worse than Qatar.’
“But I came out of there on the first lap behind Dovi and I actually buttoned off [the throttle] because it was getting roosted, and it was like big old rocks hitting me at 300km/h… They felt like bullets. I wasn’t too keen on that.
“It’s a real shame, because I really enjoy this track, but to get a rhythm today was really hard.”
Miller said he would raise the issue at Friday’s Safety Commission meeting.
“I’m keen to get to the Safety Commission and see what they have to say about it, because it doesn’t look good on the TV,” he added.
“[At] Qatar we run a different type of air filter for the bike, you’re gonna need that here because the dust is worse than Qatar, by far. It’s just that shitty concrete dust.”
Potential for rain on Saturday
A rain-bearing weather front is scheduled to cross the area on Saturday morning, with the potential for thunderstorms around the time of the third free practice session.
“I’m actually wondering how it’s gonna be to ride on that shit, because I swear to God, you have no idea how bad it is, how dusty it is,” Miller added.
“It’ll be almost like riding on mud when it mixes with water. It might be better when it dries, but if we’ve gotta go out there and ride [in the wet] I’ll be interested to see how the grip is.
“From my past experience, and my theory, dirt and water on top of a normal track normally don’t combine too well.”