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Mixed opinions as MotoGP tries Catalunya’s F1 corner

16 June 2014

Marc Marquez and Valentino Rossi seem to agree on most things when it comes to MotoGP racing, but changing to the slower F1 corner (pictured) at the end of the Catalunya back straight is not one of them.

MotoGP currently continues past the sharp F1 turn to a long, flowing left-hander.

However with several riders reaching the tyre wall at the end of the straight after problems under braking, the first 30-minutes of Monday's post-race test saw riders try the alternative first-gear car corner.

“Turn nine is quite dangerous because you arrive very, very fast and the problem is that if you go wide you cannot brake [before the wall]. This weekend we saw riders arrive in the wall - Iannone, Dani [Pedrosa] nearly, Espargaro,” said world champion Marquez, winner of Sunday's race.

“It is impossible to move the wall because there is another corner behind and the other [F1] corner for me was really nice. It was a hard braking point. A good corner for the last laps! Maybe on the TV the other one is a little bit nicer because it is bigger but I think this one is safer.

“With the corner now if you go wide alone it is not a problem. But if you touch some riders and you release the brake it will be dangerous because you will arrive in the wall quite hard.

“We spoke in the Safety Commission and the Circuit de Catalunya proposed to Dorna and MotoGP to try that corner and I think if we want to change turn nine, we need to use the car track [rather than tighten the current corner].

“I only did five laps but I enjoyed it. In this circuit all the corners are very long and you always use a lot of banking and that corner is completely different. It is another kind of corner and personally I like it. I think in the next safety commission we will talk about that and see the opinion of the other riders. But we must think about the safety and for the safety the tight one is better. For the show we don't know.”

Rossi wasn't one of those that tried the corner this morning, having already experienced it on four-wheels.

“I don't try this morning because I don't like it. I tried it with the car, Formula One also, and it is shit!” said the seven time MotoGP champion, who finished runner-up on Sunday. “It is a corner that for MotoGP, for me, is very bad. Also I like turn nine now. The problem is not enough run off area. My idea is to continue with the normal track but I don't know about the other riders. We will speak in the Safety Commission.”

Of the other riders polled, Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith agreed with Rossi, Smith calling the F1 corner “pretty naff” and feeling it could actually be more dangerous in terms of first lap incidents.

However Cal Crutchlow, Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo agreed with Marquez that it would be a best to change for safety reasons.

As well as the back straight, F1 also uses a slower section of corners at the end of the lap.

Entry to the F1 corner at the end of Catalunya's back straight
Exit of the F1 corner at the end of Catalunya's back straight
The present MotoGP corner at the end of Catalunya's back straight


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