Former BT Sport MotoGP commentator Julian Ryder has slammed the proposal of the Mexican Motorcycle Grand Prix in 2019, citing that the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez Circuit is not safe enough in the form that it is currently in.
The circuit underwent a huge upgrade to host the F1 championship but safety needs for MotoGP are somewhat different to the F1 cars. However, Ryder was positive about the fact there could be a Mexican Grand Prix, making perfect logistical sense at the start of the year.
“There is no way that the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez Circuit is safe enough in any way, shape or form for bikes – as we know it. When you see the onboard footage from the car racing you think, ‘not a hope in hell’ [would you have motorcycles there], but that is down to the circuit to sort out and the bottom line is that it isn’t a Dorna issue. I don’t see how the race can run if there isn’t safety improvements.
“Formula 1 in Mexico has great history and tradition, none more so than the Rodriguez brothers who the circuit is named after. The idea of back-to-backing the MotoGP race with Texas is important – it makes logistical sense. It is so important to keep a race in America and if we can do that by adding Mexico in, then it makes so much sense.
“The reason that Mexico is worth looking at is because it has a fully functioning international circuit, so we are starting from a good place. When you are starting with a sheet of paper with a drawing on it, then it is never so comfortable.
“When F1 went to those sorts of numbers, there were worries then, too. Worries about staff and team personnel and how they would balance the travel with family life. There is a certain number of races that are considered “plenty” – Valentino Rossi always said 18, personally I’ve always said 16. Once you get away from the teams and their problems and the riders, then even then, you are asking quite a lot of people,” said Julian, whose full interview will be published during the live stream of the Superbike Show.
With the Mexican GP rising as a controversial candidate, it seems that MotoGP may be heading into the ‘Americas’ market, with Brazil coming in soon, too.
This will be the first Mexican GP ever for Motorcycle racing, whilst the Brazilian round has been missing since 2004 when it was held at Jacarepagua.
The Argentine round made a much welcome return in 2014, whilst it was only in 2005 when the USA returned.
Other countries in South America have also hosted GPs, such as Venuzuela in 1979, whilst Chile was proposed for 2016.
You can listen and watch the full interview with Julian on The Superbike Show on Thursday evening, August 9th here.