2016 Barcelona Saturday Round Up: Dealing with Danger, Data-Driven Design, and the Right to Complain

What does the MotoGP paddock do the day after a rider dies? Carry on as normal. Or nearly normal: bikes circulate, riders compete, but conversations are more hushed, the mood muted. The whole paddock is a quieter place, bar the bellowing of racing four stroke engines.

Heartless? That is putting it a little strongly. It is in part a coping mechanism, immersing yourself in your work to avoid dwelling on tragedy, and thinking too much about danger. But it is also a response to the request of Luis Salom's family and team. When Dorna boss Carmelo Ezpeleta asked them what they wanted to do, they said they wanted the race to go ahead.

Their wishes would be respected, but it was not the first choice of everyone in the paddock. Danilo Petrucci told the Italian press he would have preferred to have packed up and gone home, and he was not alone. "Yesterday I was crying together with my brother because [Luis Salom] was really young," Aleix Espargaro told us. "This is a disaster. With Pol we were thinking that the best thing was to not race because actually now I feel empty inside." We all felt empty inside, and still do.

2016 Barcelona MotoGP FP4 Result: Marquez Fastest as Lorenzo Struggles

Marc Marquez once again took advantage of the new layout at Barcelona to set down an imposing pace in FP4. The Repsol Honda man finished four tenths clear of the second place rider, Cal Crutchlow on the LCR Honda. Andrea Iannone was the first Ducati, setting the third fastest time, while Maverick Viñales continued his strong run of form, taking fourth, ahead of Scott Redding in fifth. 

2016 Barcelona MotoGP FP3 Result: Viñales Fastest, But New Layout Helps Honda

The revised layout for the Barcelona circuit has had a big impact on the relative strengths of the various bikes, taking away the fast flowing turns from Yamaha and handing tight hard-braking sections which favor the Honda. But it was the Suzuki if Maverick Viñales which profited most, Viñales topping the timesheets for much of the session, then going on to set the fastest time at the end.


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