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Barcelona MotoGP reinstating fast penultimate turn for 2018

Marc Marquez MotoGP 2016

MotoGP riders have given a positive response to Barcelona's plan to reinstate the corner where Luis Salom was killed on the circuit layout for 2018 and beyond.

Moto2 rider Salom's death in a practice crash during the 2016 Catalan Grand Prix weekend resulted in MotoGP switching to the Formula 1 layout for that year's race, featuring a chicane that bypasses the fast, downhill Turn 12 right-hander and a shortened Turn 10 hairpin.

A new chicane was built for this year's Barcelona race specifically for MotoGP, but this was not popular among riders and the F1 layout was reinstated mid-weekend.

Plans were announced earlier this year for Turn 12 to be restored, albeit with a larger gravel run-off area, as part of wider resurfacing plans to safeguard the track's place on the MotoGP calendar for 2018.

This required the grandstand occupying the space outside Turn 12 to be moved further down the track towards the final corner.

There are currently no plans to restore the original Turn 10 layout, with riders set to continue using the shortened version in 2018.

FIM safety officer Franco Uncini shared details of the Barcelona track's plans with MotoGP riders during last Friday's safety commission meeting at Aragon, and these were met with a positive reception.

"The response was very positive and the work done is excellent," Yamaha rider Maverick Vinales told Autosport. "Montmelo [Barcelona] has reacted very well."

Ducati's Jorge Lorenzo added: "The riders' response was very good, especially regarding the penultimate corner. We all wanted to keep the original layout and increase the run-off area, and so will it be.

"Personally, I don't like the solution for Turn 10 because if we make any mistake, we can crash with another rider, like what happened to me and [Andrea] Iannone [in 2016]."

The works at Barcelona are scheduled to begin shortly after Christmas and will be completed by the start of February, in time for F1 testing at the Spanish track on February 26.

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