The Silverstone circuit is to be resurfaced in June, ahead of the British F1 Grand Prix, and to be ready for the 2019 British round of MotoGP at the circuit in August.
The resurfacing was a condition for the Northamptonshire circuit to be able to host MotoGP. After last year’s debacle, when the race had to be canceled because the track was not clearing water fast enough to be able to race safely, the FIM suspended Silverstone’s license to host international motorcycle racing events.
To avoid a repeat of that debacle, Silverstone brought in Jarno Zafelli, owner of Studio Dromo, an engineering company with expertise in track design, while Tarmac Ltd – the business founded by the inventor of the sticky black road surface – will be responsible for laying the new surface.
Zafelli acts as an advisor to Dorna on track safety, design, and surfacing, and has been a key figure in overseeing the process.
Special equipment has been flown in from Japan, according to Mat Oxley over on Motor Sport Magazine. The profile of the circuit is being modified to improve drainage, and the asphalt will be a fraction more open to help disperse the water.
Silverstone’s willingness to switch partners for the resurfacing is a sign of just how strongly the circuit is committed to MotoGP.
The contract for MotoGP has now also been extended, with Silverstone set to host MotoGP through 2021. Unconfirmed rumors suggest an even longer extension is in the works, with Silverstone aiming for a five-year extension.
Though the new contract has been signed, this is not the end of the existing dispute between Silverstone and Aggregate Industries, who were responsible for the resurfacing last year.
Though both parties are close to a preliminary agreement, there is still some wrangling between the parties and their insurance companies over how to distribute the costs of the canceled event.