Pon few grands prix have been affected by rain this season, and many still have bad memories of the race in Indonesia, which was altered by bad weather last March. No one will have forgotten the shaman who had to cast spells!
However, the Japanese Grand Prix, which takes place this week, could once again bring the weather to the fore. In recent days, a typhoon hit the Japanese country, causing injuries, property damage and power cuts, and even threatened the queen category flights.
The championship was already racing against the clock to get from MotorLand to Motegi in a few days, to the point that the Japanese test had to modify its schedules to allow the paddock not to suffer delays due to the logistical complications of such a tight schedule. Finally everyone arrived on time and, in turn, the typhoon moved away.
Although the worst is over, the forecasts are still very dark for the weekend, especially for the first two days, which are expected to be rainy. For example, showers are expected for the first and only day of practice on Friday. Going from two to one session, MotoGP decided to extend it to 1 hour and 15 minutes, instead of the usual 45 minutes.
The risk of rain will increase during the course of the day on Friday and also on Saturday. Storms are expected and rain seems to be almost assured according to forecasts. Strong gusts of wind could also affect the circuit during the second day of action, dedicated to the final free practice sessions and qualifying.
When the situation can get complicated for the drivers is on Sunday, since the rain is expected to disappear, which would mean that the race would be held in the dry, after not having driven a single lap with the track in dry conditions.
“Normally everyone prays for sunshine and good weather, both for the fans and the riders, but the weather forecast seems quite unstable,” said Takaaki Nakagami, one of three Japanese riders in the premier class of motorcycling.
“There was already a big typhoon a few days ago and the weekend is looking very bad. If I only talk about my physical condition, it is true that the rain could help me because it means that I will not have to brake so hard and that would be positive,” he admitted. Nakagami, who underwent surgery on Monday for a tendon injury in his right hand, “but I feel sorry for the fans.”
Among the drivers, there are also doubts about the impact this weather could have on the fight for such a tight championship. This is the case of Pecco Bagnaia who, although he has dominated in recent weeks, has a very bad memory of the rain in Mandalika: “I’m not the fastest in the wet, it always costs me, and in Indonesia I finished 15th. So if the race is going to be in the rain, it would be very important to do as many sessions in the wet as possible to understand the conditions”.
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