The new final sector at the Circuit of Catalunya has received negative feedback from members of the MotoGP grid, after a private test on Tuesday allowed them to sample the new, slower layout.

Names from the factory, Aspar and Avintia Ducati teams joined the Aprilia duo of Aleix Espargaro and Sam Lowes, and Cal Crutchlow and Tito Rabat from the LCR and Marc VDS Honda squads on track to find a suitable set-up for the tightened turn ten and revised final chicane.

And the early evaluation of the final chicane was not positive. Where once there were two fast, downhill rights that riders attacked with increasing speed, now lies a slow speed right-left-right chicane, a set of bends completely at odds with what went before.

Aleix Espargaro put it best, saying, "Where the back straight is, the track finishes. We do stupid corners with completely stupid angles. It's not fun and it was one of the most fun tracks in the world."

Avintia Ducati's Loris Baz was more blunt: "It [the new chicane] is just f**king s**t. I understand it's better like this [for safety] than it was before but, yeah, the layout is s**t."

In the wake of Luis Salom's tragic incident last year at the old turn twelve, MotoGP switched to the F1 layout which means a modified turn ten (at the end of the back straight), with a 90-degree left in place of the previous flowing curve, plus a chicane instead of the fast penultimate corner.

However a new chicane has now been created especially for MotoGP, slightly further from the final corner, as a wall on the inside of the track was deemed too close to the action using the F1 version. The change means a slow right, left, right sequence.

Sam Lowes believes the changes made the circuit went overboard with the changes, and feels the layout could be problematic on the first lap of Moto2 and Moto3 races. "It's not a MotoGP chicane," he said.

"I don't want to talk bad. It's a touchy subject given the reasoning behind it. For me it's not the way. MotoGP probably OK. Moto2 and Moto3 I promise you, and I don't want to say it, but the first laps there people are going to be crashing - a lot.

"Before you could run through the right turn into the left-right [chicane]. Now you go into the right and it's not good. The track's a little slower than before. In the end they've gone overboard. If you had put some airfencing in there - you're not going that fast there. They didn't need to do it."

Riders had discussed the changes to the circuit in various Safety Commission meetings after last year's Grand Prix of Barcelona. Thus, Crutchlow believes, they shouldn't complain as they voted for the chicane to be changed from last year's design.

"You have to understand that we chose that," he said. "We can't choose it and then start complaining. The guys on the MotoGP grid that is. If guys on the Moto2 and Moto3 grid complain about it maybe we understand. But the MotoGP guys can't complain about it.

"We chose to make it this way a little bit because of the speed and the wall on the right hand side. In the end it's the way it is and we have to deal with it. It's not great. But what can we do now, unless we go back to the other one. We'll see."

Riders quotes on the chicane are found below.

Sam Lowes:
"It's not a MotoGP chicane. I don't want to talk bad. It's a touchy subject given the reasoning behind it. For me it's not the way. MotoGP probably OK. Moto2 and Moto3 I promise you, and I don't want to say it, but the first laps there people are going to be crashing - a lot. Before you could run through the [first] right into the left right. Now you go into the right and it's not good. The track's a little slower than before. In the end they've gone overboard. If you had put some airfencing in there - you're not going that fast there. They didn't need to do it. I didn't like how it was before. It's worse now. It's hard to get a rhythm through it. You can risk a lot and take the curbs. Some people were today but I don't think they'll allow that on the race weekend. I think it'll be a lap deleted."

Aleix Espargaro:
"It's not fun to ride. Really, that's not the most important thing because safety is the first thing. OK, we ride because it's safer. It's one of the best circuits in the world and it's become a really normal or s**t track. It's really bumpy and in the middle of the track, where the back straight is, the track finishes. We do stupid corners with completely stupid angles. It's not fun and it was one of the most fun tracks in the world. We will get used to the new chicane. It's not my style of corner. I really prefer the fast corners but we will get used to it. If they make a faster one the wall's too close. For me they did a good job. Actually, the tarmac is good, good grip. The surface is fantastic. You can use a little bit the curb. With the space that they had they did the maximum. But it's a really ugly zone."

Loris Baz:
"It [the new chicane] is just f**king s**t. Even T10. That was the only part I was enjoying on this track before. I understand safety must come first. I'm the first one to say that every time. I don't really get it for turn ten, even if it [the wall] was close. But I think the walls are closer on some tracks more than it was there. maybe there was something else to do. I understand it's better like this [for safety] than it was before but yeah, the layout is s**t. Honestly, these two corners [the final two rights] were the only ones I was enjoying here. The stadium section is three corners, and even turn three. But now the last section is one of the slowest we get all season. It's a shame but it's like this."

Cal Crutchlow:
"Yeah but you have to understand that we chose that. We can't choose it and then start complaining. The guys on the MotoGP grid that is. If guys on the Moto2 and Moto3 grid complain about it maybe we understand. But the MotoGP guys can't complain about it. We chose to make it this way a little bit because of the speed and the wall on the right hand side. In the end it's the way it is and we have to deal with it. It's not great. But what can we do now, unless we go back to the other one. We'll see."

By Neil Morrison

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