Several MotoGP riders were critical over the series’ decision to not stop Silverstone’s sodden qualifying session on Saturday early, with multiple suggesting it should have been red flagged.  

The track became heavily saturated across Saturday morning due to consistent rain pounding the circuit, with many riders suffering crashes during the preceding Moto3, Moto2 and MotoGP FP2 tests that were contested shortly prior to qualifying.

A total of six riders either suffered crashes or had huge moments while trying to navigate the standing water dotted around the British venue during MotoGP’s qualifying test, with Ducati riders Marco Bezzecchi and Francesco Bagnaia – two of the riders to suffer falls – arguing in the post sprint-race press conference that the session was “dangerous” and “already in FP2 should have been red flagged” respectively.

Aprilia duo Maverick Vinales and Aleix Espargaro were also stern in their views that the session should have been stopped when it became clear there was a significant standing water down several of Silverstone’s high-speed straights, the latter declaring he was “very angry” with race control and went to speak to them shortly after the session concluded.

I was very angry (that qualifying went ahead) I don’t understand today what race control did at all,” explained Espargaro after the sprint race later in the afternoon.

“I talked with them after qualifying and they said to me 100% if these conditions were in the race they wouldn’t start it, so I said ‘why did the qualifying start?’

“It was impossible on the straight and we were aquaplaning everywhere, there were a lot of crashes, but the show must go on.

“They said that because of the job they did with the (track sweeper), which was actually good, but because it was still raining after five minutes it was the same again.

“As soon as we had the aquaplaning I was moving my hand, Pecco (Bagnaia) was moving his hand and then more crashes then you should put out the fucking red flag.”

KTM’s Brad Binder was also unhappy the session wasn’t prematurely ended due to debris being peppered around the circuit towards the end of Q2, the South African explaining he almost high-sided due to the amount of dirt left on the circuit towards the end of the lap due to prior offs.

Honestly I was surprised they let it carry on the last two laps purely because there was half a fairing in Turn 1, and what seemed like half the gravel going into the final chicane,” added Binder.

It was yellow flagged so of course with that you have to brake more and the lap is gone, but you can’t see there is mud on track so I nearly high-sided and went straight.

“So it was a situation of ‘why haven’t they called it’, this track seems to hold a lot of water and we’re lucky it didn’t pour down before the race because visibility would have been a big issue.”

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