MotoGP riders have cast doubt over whether next year’s proposed Mexico race will take place, as concerns over the safety of the track mount.
It emerged in Brno last weekend that the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez is a serious contender to join the 2019 calendar, and could be handed an April slot to make it back-to-back with the Americas Grand Prix in Austin.
However, Valentino Rossi described the parkland venue, which hosts Formula 1 but features many walls in close proximity to the track, as being too “dangerous” for MotoGP.
Other riders were quizzed on the subject ahead of this weekend’s Austria race, with Marc Marquez saying riders were promised in the latest Safety Commission meeting that there will be changes made to run-off areas before any race took place in Mexico.
But Andrea Dovizioso said he doubts that the necessary improvements could be made in time.
“We spoke about in the last safety commission, we will speak again during this weekend,” said Dovizioso. “But I don't think everything is fixed, I don't think so.
“We say our opinion, but like Marc said, we can't really see on the paper. So if that has to happen, we have to make a test and have to understand better the situation.
“I don't know the details, but I don't think at the moment we are going to Mexico.”
Aleix Espargaro concurred with Dovizioso’s opinion that a test would be required at the Mexican track to assess safety, but doubts there is enough time for this to happen before a 2019 race.
“The right way to do things is as we did in Thailand: we go there, we test, we see everything, we do a Safety Commission [meeting], we approve [it] and we go,” he said.
“I don’t want to speak bad about the track or about the decision they made, because I’ve never been there, I’ve never seen anything.
“They say we race on tracks that are a lot [more] dangerous. Motegi, for example. And if we agree to go to Motegi, they say it’s safer to go there.
“What I don’t like is to go somewhere without trying. For me, before we go there [to race] we have to go there and test. But there is no time because the race will be in six months.”
LCR Honda's Cal Crutchlow was more enthusiastic about a possible Mexico visit, but admitted he is also unsure if the race will go ahead.
“There was a discussion to go there, I’m happy to go,” he said. "If they make the changes they say they’re gonna make, why not?
“It’s another place that we will be able to perform, I think we’ll have a fantastic crowd. If the track is safe enough I think you’ll see a great race again.
“I honestly don’t know if we’re going or not. It got proposed to us, we all sat down as riders and discussed it. We have to leave it with them and see what the decision is.”
Additional reporting by David Gruz
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