No F1 Wanted Said Rossi and Lorenzo

MotoGP champions Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo hope efforts to bring Formula 1 to Assen do not succeed due to the potential impact on the track surface and layout.

The circuit, which hosts one of MotoGP’s marquee races in the Dutch TT, has been pushing to host an F1 grand prix from 2020 onwards.

FIA race director Charlie Whiting visited the track in January, and said only small changes were needed to make Assen eligible to host the Dutch GP, while in March the circuit appointed a race promoter to negotiate a deal with F1 owner Liberty Media.

But Lorenzo and Rossi did not welcome the prospect of an F1 race at the track, which hosts MotoGP this weekend.

“I hope they don’t come because F1 have a lot of tracks that they use just for the cars, like Le Castellet last week, and here Assen is just for motorcycle in the history,” said seven-time premier-class champion Rossi.

“First of all, it will be a particular track for the Formula 1 – but better not to have Formula 1 for us because you have less bumps, and I think for the historic side it’s better that just MotoGP races here.”

Assen also holds lower-level car events, and was a Champ Car venue in 2007.

The MotoGP calendar currently shares four circuits with F1, and all of them have faced criticism from riders over the ripples in the asphalt – with the downforce generated by F1 cars widely seen as a culprit.

Two of those tracks – Barcelona and Silverstone – were recently resurfaced, but this is not a permanent solution, with LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow stating last year that tracks MotoGP shares with F1 became bumpy “within a year” of being resurfaced.

Three-time champion Lorenzo shared Rossi’s concern over F1-induced bumps affecting Assen, but also said he had some concern over potential layout changes.

“I hope [F1] doesn’t come here, firstly because the bumps, and second probably because they will have to modify the track so much, because it will be very strange to see the Formula 1 cars riding in a track that is completely green outside the racetrack – but everything is possible,” he said.

“I don’t know the modifications they should do in that case, but obviously for the bumps will be better if Formula 1 doesn’t come here.”

His Ducati team-mate Andrea Dovizioso cast doubt over the viability of an F1 race at Assen, but was not opposed to it.

“Here? Impossible,” he said. “Because it is too tight. Too small, too tight. If they will make some changes… but I don’t think so.”

Reigning champion Marc Marquez adopted a similar viewpoint.

“Formula 1 would be very, very fast because [there’s] many fast corners and maybe the laptime would be one minute, I don’t know, because they are so fast,” he said.

“But always it’s good when Formula 1 is interested about some circuit like Assen.

“This for the bike means that we’ll have some bumps, but it’s not a big problem.”

Pictures: Michelin