FIA and FIM agree to Barcelona circuit layout changes
The FIA, the FIM and the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya have agreed to modify the layout of the Montmelo-based track, Motorsport.com has learned.
The safety of the venue was called into question following the accident that resulted in the death of Luis Salom during Friday practice for MotoGP's Catalan Grand Prix earlier this year.
That led to the majority of the riders calling for changes to the final sector - especially the area around Turn 12, where the Spaniard lost his life.
There have been several months of talks between Charlie Whiting (FIA), Franco Uncini (FIM) and the circuit itself. A day after the season finished in Valencia, Uncini travelled to Montmelo, and he did so again last week to inform the organisers about the direction things will be going in.
Finally, the plan approved is based on two changes, which will have no effect on the layout used for the Formula 1 races.
From now on, the bikes will run on a very similar layout to the one used by F1, although the chicane ahead of the final corner will be moved forward slightly.
This way, the run-off to Turn 12 is increased, at the same time allowing riders to access the pitlane without having to chop across the width of the track in a dangerous way.
At the same time, the MotoGP riders will use the shorter version of Turn 10 (La Caixa), as the F1 cars have been done since 2004.
This new layout makes the track's length shorter by 75 metres for MotoGP, dropping from 4727m to 4652m for next year's race, scheduled for June 11.
The works will be carried out next month, when there is no on-track activity planned, and are scheduled to be completed by the final weekend of January.
Lorenzo: Winglets would have been banned right away if unsafe
Top Stories of 2016, #18: MotoGP produces nine different winners