This weekend’s Catalan Grand Prix will revert to the 2016 layout instead of the new chicane installed for 2017, after an embarrassing u-turn for the race organisers following the first day of action at the track yesterday.
The changed configuration was introduced on Saturday last year following the tragic death of Luis Salom at the final corner, using the layout used by Formula One to turn the fast right-hander into a chicane and drastically reduce speed.
It was then replaced for this year with a new chicane closer to the previous turn for this year – but with a series of crashes yesterday throwing bikes into the path of other riders exiting the machine, the decision was made by the riders’ safety commission and race control to revert to the 2016 layout
Dorna race control representative Loris Capirossi explained the changes after last night’s meeting.
“In the Safety Commission the riders complained a little about the new layout, they said the work wasn’t done in the right way and there were a lot of bumps – that’s why the riders decided to go back to the layout from last year. That’s why we’re here, to make sure the track used tomorrow is the safest we can.
“We saw during practice today a lot of crashes too where the bike remained on the track and at the exit of the corner, and that’s very dangerous. We have experience from last year of the old chicane and we didn’t have any crashes like we did today, that’s why the riders requested it. In terms of crashes, the old one is better.”