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Bumps still an issue at COTA as MotoGP weekend approaches

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Austin: Riders doubtful of COTA bump fix


Double title runner-up Andrea Dovizioso is among those that are sceptical of how much can be achieved without a full resurfacing.

"I'm worried it's not possible to really fix the problem that exists with the track. And that is very bad because I think it's one of the most beautiful tracks in our championship," said the Ducati rider.

"The problem is there are bumps everywhere and with the bike it’s very difficult to ride. Not just to be fast. Looks like the asphalt or the dirt under the asphalt moves almost everywhere. So it's difficult to fix if you don’t make a completely new preparation, I think."
As Dovi suggested, while F1 cars are typically blamed for excessive bumps on MotoGP circuits, many feel the geology of the area is the main factor.

"It's a great shame because the track is fantastic and also quite new, but suffers a lot about a bumps problem," said Yamaha's Valentino Rossi. "Maybe something happens from below [the surface].

"In three or four parts they are very big. In the last years they've tried to do something about the bumps but unfortunately they don’t improve. We have to check tomorrow and we hope that it's better."
"The track itself is not that old, as Vale says," Pramac's Jack Miller added. "We go to many tracks on the calendar that have a lot more years on them and are not that bumpy.

"I think it's definitely got to be to do with the ground around here. It looks like a lot of clay and if I remember correctly directly after the first year we were here they had a lot of rain, which could cause it to move.

"But the track was bumpy, especially the back straight, and then last year they ground it down and the bumps actually became bigger and longer. So I'm interested to see if the work for this year is an improvement or if it's just trying to patch another job and not that great."



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After COTA repairs, MotoGP riders hope 'Horsepower Rodeo' is less bumpy

The article incorrectly states that "The section including Turns 9, 10 and 11 was fully repaved". In fact, the repave did not include Turns 9 or 11. Only Turn 10 was repaved.

As for the Statesman labeling as 'theories' the comments that the bumps might be caused by the soil conditions, that's a fact, not a theory. It's not the weather or F1 cars as COTA continues to suggest LOL.

“It’s really bumpy and sends you in many directions, kind of like a rodeo,” said Marc Márquez, explaining the rustic helmet design he’s rocking this week for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas.

Though the Spaniard has ridden the bumpy Circuit of the Americas track to six straight victories in Austin, even the “King of COTA” had some stern words during the pre-race press conference Thursday when riders were asked about efforts to improve the problems.


“I checked a little bit, and I know that they did a few modifications,” Márquez said. “They didn’t fix what we asked from the safety commission. In the first practice we will see what is going on with the track.

“Of course, this track is quite bumpy. One of the most difficult tracks in this aspect of the calendar. Sometimes it’s disappointing because it’s one of the best layouts. We hope that they did a great job, but tomorrow we will see.”

In 2017 multiple riders, including Rossi, used the comparison of a motocross track. As for why the bumps exist and why they’re so hard to get rid of, opinions vary. Some point to the presence of F1 and the high downforce cars from that series inflict on the surface. But COTA is far from the only track to host both.

The most popular theory is the one that Australian rider Jack Miller of Pramac Racing floated Thursday.

“I think it’s got to be something to do with the ground around here,” he said. “It looks like it’s a lot of clay, and if I remember correctly, directly after the first year we were here they had a lot of rain, which could cause it to move.

“I’m interested to see the work that they’ve done this year if it’s an improvement or it’s just trying to patch another job and it’s not that great.”

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