The MotoGP test in Austria brought to light several safety issues with the Red Bull Ring. At least one of those issues is to be addressed before the start of the Austrian round of MotoGP. After consultation with several members of the Safety Commission, the FIM Safety Officer Franco Uncini has ordered the final corner, Turn 10, to be modified.
The changes are similar to those made in the F1 chicane at Barcelona, after the death of Luis Salom forced a switch to the F1 layout. The track is to be made narrower through the corner - the width reduced from 13 meters to 10 meters - to slow entry into the corner, and slow the riders on exit.
The change was necessary because of a lack of run off at the final corner. With limited room in the case of a crash, it was felt necessary to slow the speed at which riders may crash.
The track still has a number of tricky spots. Run off is limited at Turns 1 and 3, and a concrete wall on the inside of Turn 4 could also be a potential issue. Whether those concerns will be addressed remains to be seen.
The official press release announcing the changes appears below:
Red Bull Ring Turn 10 changed due to safety concerns
As MotoGP™ racing returns to Austria for the first time since 1997, further adjustments have been made to the Red Bull Ring layout following a private test held earlier this summer.
FIM Safety Officer Franco Uncini discussed the layout with some riders of the Safety Commission in order to hear their thoughts on the track, and it was agreed to reduce the width of Turn 10 of the circuit from 13 to 10 metres - to lower the speed when exiting the corner and improve the safety of the turn.
Due to this change, and as riders and teams will be gaining experience and refining their bike set-up over the course of the event, lap times recorded during the previous private test won't be deemed relevant.