The Circuit of Barcelona will be resurfaced before the MotoGP series returns to Catalunya in 2017, and after the Safety Commission met at Assen on Friday evening, it appears the F1 layout – with some modifications – will be used in the future.
Having come in for some criticism for not attending the Safety Commission in the wake of Luis Salom's untimely death on the Friday at Barcelona, Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo opted to join the majority of the MotoGP riders as a higher attendance participated in a varied discussion.
Safety at Assen, the new Red Bull Ring in Austria and Barcelona were all points of interest. Speaking at the post-qualifying press conference, Valentino Rossi explained that the circuit outside Montmeló will be resurfaced, and modified to bring the Formula 1 layout up to MotoGP-spec.
“We speak about Assen,” said Rossi. “We have two or three points like the braking for the last chicane or the exit from the last chicane where we ask for some room, more space. It's not easy but I think they can do something.
“In general Assen is quite safe, even though it's fast. We also speak about Austria because someone tried it and said it maybe had two or three points that need more space.
“But especially we talk about Barcelona. We don't decide nothing yet because we make some requests. For me it will be very difficult to come back to use the normal MotoGP layout.
“I think in the end we will use the F1 layout with some modifications. We can have the answer in the next month. Also, they will resurface Montmeló in the next months. This is very good so we can also do some modifications.”
Another rider present, Pol Espargaro described the meeting as “beautiful”, as several of the more experienced riders attended and voiced their opinion.
“We have taken a lot of decisions. The first step is the Safety Commission. The second step is the Safety Commission talks to the Circuit of Catalunya. The third step is the Circuit of Catalunya accepts these or says it is too much. In the end almost all of the riders of the grid met and it was so beautiful.
“It was a pleasure to hear what Valentino was able to say, or what Jorge [Lorenzo], Dani [Pedrosa] or Marc [Marquez]… There was a lot of experience together. Thanks to them we spoke about some good ways to improve not just Montmeló, also this track.
“We take as a balance last year's circuit and this year's track. For sure the Luis Salom corner [turn twelve], we will not race any more on that layout with these conditions. We know that we have to make some solutions and putting gravel there is not the only one. To use the F1 track we have to make some changes because it is an F1 track, not a MotoGP one. It's not the best one for us. It was the safest but not the best.
“It's still dangerous in some parts, as we saw in the race with [Andrea] Iannone and Jorge. We have to improve the whole package and the opinions we had in the Commission were really, really good to know the situation.
“You know, what we spoke about, maybe we agreed or disagreed but all the riders had the opportunity to say. We had a lot of opinions and we arrived at one agreement which I think was the correct one. Now it's time for the Safety Commission to work and I'm sure it's going to do a good job.
“The Formula 1 track is not bad but it is not made for us. They are more tight than MotoGP track, that is smooth. You can't make this tight style of corners.”
Cal Crutchlow was in attendance. Speaking at his media debrief on Saturday he reiterated his call for riders from the smaller classes to attend in the future.
“We all put our opinion there. We'll, except the typical ones that never come. And even this week, some guys that never come – but like I said the other day, that safety commission is open to Moto2 and Moto3.
“They never come. We never see one of them there. It's something that they should be coming to because it benefits them to come as well and it benefits us. They are the future of MotoGP and they are allowed to have as much say as Valentino Rossi. I think, sure, experience of the safety commission.
“We're always going to, not overrule them, but give our input a little bit more. Because of experience. But they never turn up. There are certain MotoGP riders that never turn up. They are normally the ones cruising around at the back and the thickest…”