The Safety Commission, the body in which riders, Dorna, and the FIM meet to discuss issues of safety, have decided to revert to the track layout used during qualifying and the race in 2016. After numerous complaints from riders after practice on Friday, the new layout, which featured a much shorter chicane cutting across a different type of asphalt, has judged not to be suitable for use. The riders complained that the switch across different types of asphalt made the new chicane a worse choice than the 2016 track layout.
The 2016 track layout will be used from FP3 on Saturday for all three Grand Prix classes. The press release announcing the change appears below:
Catalan GP: Layout to revert to chicane used in 2016
Decision taken to race on the layout used last season
Following FP1 and FP2 at the Gran Premi Monster Energy de Catalunya, the decision has been taken to revert the track layout to the old chicane – the one used for Saturday and Sunday in 2016 – from FP3 onwards in 2017.
The decision is based on feedback from riders following Day 1 of track action, and was taken by the Safety Commission on Friday evening.
The changes made to the layout ahead of the 2017 event were deemed insufficient due to the change in the asphalt of the chicane, which was the cause for concern for the majority of the riders.
The race weekend will therefore continue on Saturday using the layout raced in 2016.
Loris Capirossi: “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.”