MotoGP riders test the revamped Catalunya track on production bikes

Several MotoGP riders were busy testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya yesterday and had the chance to ride through the redesigned turn 10.

The corner has been modified following safety concerns raised in recent years, with riders concerned about the sharp, dangerous braking point. In the 2019 race Jorge Lorenzo missed his braking point and took Valentino Rossi, Maverick Viñales and Andrea Dovizioso out of the race. There was simply nowhere to go for all of the riders.

The design used since 2016 was the corner first introduced by Formula One in 2004. However, the new modified design is similar to that of the original corner, used up until 2016, albeit slightly tighter.

Riders involved in yesterday’s test, all on road bikes, included world champion Joan Mir, new Repsol Honda recruit Pol Espargaro, new factory Yamaha rider Fabio Quartararo and new factory Ducati rider Jack Miller. Alex Rins, Aleix Espargaro, Johann Zarco and LCR Honda duo Taka Nakagami and Alex Marquez were also present.

Speaking about the updated corner, Aleix Espargaro said: “Seriously, I have to congratulate the circuit because it’s a much better corner. The old one was horrible and super tight. This new one reminds me more of the old corner but with a better run-off area. They’ve done a great job.”

Zarco added: “Personally I prefer this new layout because it has better corner speed, and I can enjoy it much more than before.” Meanwhile, Nakagami added: The new turn 10 was really good. I think they did a really great job and I enjoy it a lot. The new surface has really good grip and the shape of the new turn 10 is really really nice.”

Alongside the premier class riders some Moto2 and Moto3 names were also in attendance, including Remy Gardner and Red Bull KTM Ajo teammate Raul Fernandez. Reigning Moto3 champion Albert Arenas (Aspar Team Moto2) and Marcos Ramirez (Tennor American Racing) were also getting some laps in.

Representing the WorldSBK paddock was Tito Rabat, Dominique Aegerter and Ana Carrasco.

The official testing in Qatar gets underway on March 5 with the Shakedown day – rookies and test riders only. That’s followed by two days of action on March 6-7 and then on March 10-12.

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