Friday Practice Scrapped In Argentina As Freight Delays Disrupt Schedule

A broken down cargo freighter has thrown the schedule for the Argentina Grand Prix at Termas de Rio Hondo into chaos. One of the aircraft carrying some of the freight from Indonesia to Argentina suffered problems, causing the freight to get stuck in Mombasa, Kenya, and delaying its arrival at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit. With bikes from a number of teams missing - including the Gresini Ducati of MotoGP championship leader Enea Bastianini - it was decided to cancel practice for all three classes on Friday, and to begin the weekend on Saturday instead.

The problems are twofold. On the one hand, the bikes of several teams - including the Gresini and VR46 MotoGP squads, and the Marc VDS team in Moto2 - will only be delivered to the paddock very late on Thursday evening. The bikes were not cleaned after the race in Indonesia, and the MotoGP bikes, who rode in the rain, are in need of a very thorough clean. Mechanics from one team took 3 hours just to clean the bikes which had arrived from Mandalika.

The other issue is that it is not just bikes which are missing. Crates belonging to equipment suppliers have also been affected, meaning that spare helmets, gloves, leathers, boots etc are also missing. Typically, at least one set of leathers will travel with race bikes, but the spares are needed in case of the inevitable crashes. Missing bikes and spare equipment has made it impossible to get everything ready for Friday morning, without creating unsafe working conditions for paddock staff. Mechanics having to work on just a few hours sleep is a risk for everyone involved.

With Friday canceled, a new schedule has been drawn up for Saturday. It is a very hectic day of action, with two practice sessions for each class on Saturday morning/early afternoon. Moto3 and Moto2 get two 40-minute sessions, and MotoGP gets two 45-minute sessions. Qualifying then happens as usual on Saturday afternoon, the only difference being that FP4 for MotoGP is now FP3. Warm up has also been extended for all three classes, Moto2 and Moto3 getting 20 minutes, MotoGP half an hour.

The new schedule appears below, with the press release from Dorna with more details below that.

Time Class Session
Saturday    
08:45-09:25 Moto3 FP1
09:40-10:20 Moto2 FP1
10:35-11:20 MotoGP FP1
     
11:35-12:15 Moto3 FP2
12:30-13:10 Moto2 FP2
13:25-14:10 MotoGP FP2
     
14:35-14:50 Moto3 Q1
15:00-15:15 Moto3 Q2
15:30-15:45 Moto2 Q1
15:55-16:10 Moto2 Q2
     
16:25-16:55 MotoGP FP3
17:05-17:20 MotoGP Q1
17:30-17:45 MotoGP Q2
     
Sunday    
09:30-09:50 Moto3 WUP
10:00-10:20 Moto2 WUP
10:30-11:00 MotoGP WUP
     
12:00 Moto3 Race (21 laps)
13:20 Moto2 Race (23 laps)
15:00 MotoGP Race (25 laps)

Logistical issues oblige Argentina GP time schedule change
Thursday, 31 March 2022

Logistical issues affecting freight for the FIM MotoGP™ World Championship have obliged a schedule change for the upcoming Gran Prix of Argentina. Five cargo flights were scheduled to ship paddock material from Lombok, Indonesia, to Tucuman, close to Termas de Rio Hondo in Argentina, in the week following the Indonesian GP.

Due to two separate issues affecting two different flights, the final freight for the Argentina GP will now arrive in the country on Friday. The flight contains freight for all classes of the FIM MotoGP™ World Championship, with changes to the time schedule therefore obliged for all classes.

Free Practice sessions will now begin and take place for all classes on Saturday morning. Of the sessions that normally take place on Friday, only one has been cancelled, with the other moved to Saturday. Qualifying will take place on Saturday afternoon, with a slightly later start time.

Warm Up sessions on Sunday morning have been extended, with each race set to begin at the same start time as originally scheduled.

The trip from Lombok to Termas consisted of five flights. Three of the planned cargo routes took freight from Lombok to Tucuman via technical stops in Mombasa, Lagos and Brazil. The two other routes saw freight planned to travel from Lombok to Doha, Doha to Accra in Ghana and then on to Tucuman.

The chain of events started last Wednesday when one of the five airplanes suffered a problem during a technical stop in Mombasa, Kenya. The first plane which had already arrived in Tucuman was then returned to Lombok to collect more freight, and unfortunately has also suffered a technical problem during a layover this past Wednesday night.

As of Thursday morning local time in Argentina, one cargo load remains grounded in Mombasa, Kenya. The plane is awaiting a part in order to return to the air, with two parts – one dispatched from Europe and another back up part, dispatched from the Middle East – already en route.

The plane is expected to take off this evening and will follow the route from Mombasa via Lagos and Brazil, arriving in Tucuman on Friday.

Dorna and IRTA would like to thank the teams and paddock personnel for their effort and understanding, as well as the promoter of the Grand Prix of Argentina for their invaluable support and assistance.

We also would like to thank fans for their patience, both those in Argentina and those watching around the world, and we look forward to enjoying some fantastic track action and racing on Saturday and Sunday.

Please find attached the new time schedule for the Gran Premio Michelin® de la Republica Argentina.

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Comments

More lack of setup time. Teams might be getting used to it, but the team with the most stable bike (Yamaha), might benefit. Of course one bike will be in the goldilocks zone with the tires and tarmac. No telling who will win that lottery. 

Will rise to the top. I am interested in seeing the typical freight arrangement for motoGP. With a 2-week layover vs a 1-week I wonder how much time is built in for such delays. Just-in-time systems across the globe are failing and being reworked, I wonder if motoGP has already made changes to their logistics.

I wonder how explosive Pol will be at the situation....

It will be because honda are the best at doing their homework and it doesn't work for them it will be the organizers fault for hiring 4 year old planes 😏

I think Dorna need to find a new Freight Forwarder, a 2 week Aircraft Tech delay is shocking, ok if they needed to change an Engine in Mombasa and they are based in the US for example that would be a logistical nightmare and may be possible, but 2 weeks. It can't have taken the other three Freighters 2 weeks to get from Indonesia to Argentina, they could easily have picked that cargo up, were they pushing the Aircraft??? . Dorna could also have chartered another Aircraft, just does not make any sense to me.

I mean no disrespect to any African country, but having worked on a construction site in Africa for three years, a two week delay to fix an airplane sounds like they expedited the fix... 

I wonder if we can expect more mistakes in quali with such a long day. Seven hours between the start of FP1 and Q2, everyone in the teams will be feeling the effects. I know we're talking about world class athletes but still.

Monkey wrench after monkey wrench thrown at the boys the past couple seasons. I admire everyone's ability to adapt, innovate and overcome so much. This freight problem is exacerbated by no longer using Russian supplied planes. Carmelo said that was 20% of their fleet. They have contingency plans but everything being as it is in the world we are most likely to all experience some inconvenience for the foreseeable future. Stiff upper lip and all that, eh what?

Logistics, it's all good when people get their stuff. Often a thankless task. I'm sorry Ms Padovani, we misplace a lot of freight everyday, what makes your consignment so important anyway?

Weather is predicted to be fine on the TWO days of the race meeting.

Didn't Dorna talk about shortening each Gran prix to two days only recently?

This was April fool's day last year IIRC

In fairness Dirt, that doesn't surprise me either, as I've worked in the area too in the past, and doing exactly that, trying to fix an Aircraft, my fix was a big fat envelope full of dirty paper, which worked, but my point about the delay is surely they (Dorna) have a contract with the aircraft operator that any delays are severely punished, they certainly should have, this is big business, a world championship, but maybe it's a fact that the cargo was held "hostage" which has happened to me in the past too, hence the envelope, so who knows, Dorna will certainly not tell us, but my original point about going Tech and not being able to move the cargo by other means still certainly stands, unless the local tax (hostage) situation happened of course, which we'll never know. Dorna do not want to advertise they pay ransoms after all.

Maybe the planes should have headed east from Indo instead of west! Pretty much the same distance.

As others have mentioned, two weeks to get the cargo to the next race, and this? Only one week to get to TX, hope they fly north.

No, it's actually a lot faster to go West because the Earth turns to the East, which means that it spins underneath the airplane which makes the journey far shorter. Even though the distance on land is about the same, due to this earth spin factor the journey is a lot slower if you travel the same direction as you are trying to catch up with your destination. 

 

This only works on the first day of the fourth month of the year however. 

Hi St. Stephen, unfortunately that's probably out of Dorna's control as the operators will use the cheapest but not always the quickest method to get the cargo there, hence the fuel stop in Mombasa instead of somewhere else, all that matters to the operator is the cheapest overflight costs along with fuel prices when they stop (not necessarily the most direct route), they could easily have stopped elsewhere, that was their choice, not Dorna's, in fairness to them (Dorna) they are not an aircraft operations department. My point is if they had headed east instead of west the very same thing could have happened depending on where they chose to land, 99.9% of the time it's never an issue, but this seems to be the .1% playing out.

Hey, these valves - were they from Yamaha a handful of yrs ago? I always wondered what that subcontractor was up to. 

^ This recent era's whackadoo bingo card is filling up - if Yamaha re signs Vinales or Gibernau comes out of retirement I win a free front ride height device souvenir! I want my bed to tip when the morning alarm goes off, so fingers crossed.

I have worked in the air cargo business for the past 22 years, even have been involved in moving the MotoGP equipment around the world more than once, but all I can say in regards to an airplane being stuck in a Africa of all places is that you get what you pay for, that’s basically what every needs to know….