The weather took a turn for the worse over the race meeting at the Termas de Rio Hondo; thunderstorms took place overnight at the circuit the night before the race. Although the storms held off for the race and the track was able to dry out to declare it a ‘dry race’, they continued afterwards which resulted in flights to and from the local Tucuman Airport were cancelled.
The next meeting at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin is due to take place this weekend just one week later however riders and teams found themselves stranded, turning to Twitter to document the antics that followed.
Over two hundred people stranded
Five chartered buses had been hired to take over two hundred members of the remaining teams which included that of Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Yakhnich Ducati), Cal Crutchlow (LCR Honda), Tito Rabat and Jack Miller (Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS), Sam Lowes and Enea Bastianini (Federal Oil Gresini Racing), Alex Rins (Paginas Amarillas HP 40) and Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Ajo).
Ian Wheeler, the Marketing and Communications Manager for the Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Team has documented the majority of the ‘ordeal’ over the last few days nicknamed ‘Mission To Austin’ by the OCTO Pramac Yakhnich Ducati Team account on Twitter. Spirits seemed to have remained high as Redding referred to the delays as ‘team building’.
Some flights left some airports however not everyone’s luggage went with them. Initially Wheeler and his team’s plane never arrived and so they waited in the airport for the possibility of travelling the next day.
Half the #MotoGP paddock going nowhere due to the absence of anything resembling an aircraft at Tucuman!— Ian Wheeler (@ianwheeler)
They found themselves ‘fighting’ over the ‘best bit of the airport floor to sleep on’, the amount of beer they seemed to have must have helped the comfort factor amongst the luggage.
Then those stranded had to try and find a taxi to a hotel as there was “A rumour we won’t fly until Wednesday”, said Wheeler, “But we’re ignoring it!”
Instead of flying the next day the team took to bus to venture to Buenos Aires 1200km away from their current location, despite the traffic. Wheeler described the experience of sitting next to Tito Rabat on the journey as, “Communicating under fire was easier than communicating sat on a bus next to Tiro Rabat after he’s emptied the coffee machine!” The rest on the floor of the airport must have done the Spaniard good.