Valentino Rossi says riders are likely to raise the subject of the controversial Turn 2-3 layout at the Red Bull Ring ahead of the Styrian MotoGP following last weekend’s dramatic incident involving himself, Franco Morbidelli, Johann Zarco and Maverick Vinales.

Prompted by Zarco and Morbidelli clashing behind them, sending their wayward bikes up the road and into the path of both Rossi and Vinales, mercifully neither were struck but it has raised concern with regards to this layout ahead of another race to be held at the Austrian venue this week.

In response to the crash, organisers have extended and reshaped the barrier on the inside of Turn 3, which should stop a bike from hitting it and taking off across the bend further up the road as Zarco’s did. However, as Rossi points out, it would not have made a difference to what occurred with Morbidelli’s Yamaha.

 

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Even so, while Rossi says the layout at this point could have ‘dangerous’ consequences – as with other hairpin layouts at other circuits – he suggests he would welcome a layout change for 2021, but admits he isn’t sure how it could happen.

“This track is a bit dangerous especially because you have three or four straights where you do 300km/h so the average speed is always very high. The worst point is Turn 2 and 3, which is a shame because it is a great point, I like it a lot and it is technical braking from one side to the other, but can be very dangerous.

“Under one point of view they extend the protection at the top, this is good for the safety and better, because for example the bike of Zarco this protection is very important but for the bike of Morbidelli no, because it was on the asphalt.

“Maybe we need to modify the layout but it is always difficult. Sincerely, I don’t know which way we can improve. We will speak in the Safety Commission and we will see.”

Last Sunday’s accident has drawn parallels with an accident during the 2002 F1 Austrian Grand Prix in which a sliding car struck a rival side on when out of control, something Rossi says he has always been aware of.

“I saw the F1 crash before our incident and it’s the same. When you have a small hairpin then you exit the opposite way and you arrive very fast, so this is very dangerous. The problem is modifying the track is never easy, you need to make a big job to modify Turn 2 and 3 in another way. It’s not impossible but we need to push a lot because it’d cost a lot of money for the organiser.”

Reflecting on the crash itself, Rossi reveals he didn’t even register Morbidelli’s bike going past because of the speed it was going and the distraction of seeing Zarco’s Ducati crossing over Vinales ahead.

“It was a very difficult moment [to go back on track] because it was very scary. Fortunately, I just saw the bike of Zarco flying over Maverick, but sincerely I didn’t see the bike of Franco because it was too close and too fast.

“We were very lucky because both bikes didn’t take and it was a difficult situation and a difficult restart. At the end, you don’ have a lot of chances so we restarted the bike and it wasn’t too bad. But it was a difficult moment.”