MotoGP will find a new chicane at the Red Bull Ring for the Austrian GP 2022. The modification of the track has been completed to avoid further crashes such as the terrifying one of 2020 between Zarco and Morbidelli. The new chicane will replace the previous turn 2.
In November last year, the Spielberg circuit began work to add a new chicane developed together with FIM, Dorna and FIA; the construction works were completed a few days ago. Hermann Tilke, the famous circuit designer, has planned the introduction of a chicane in the north-western part of the track.
In 2020 the Austrian Red Bull Ring track had been the scene of a terrible incident between Johann Zarco and Franco Morbidelli, whose flying bikes at very high speed passed very close to Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales. After that incident, it seemed essential to rethink the layout of the track in that section, between Turn 2 and Turn 3, to improve the safety of the riders.
The new chicane for the MotoGP 2022 at the Red Bull Ring is made up of two fast 90-degree curves that represent a new challenge for the skills of the riders of all classes of the World Championship. The change mainly applies to motorcycle racing, while Formula 1 will continue to use the previous layout.
The purpose of the new chicane will be double. The first objective will be to reduce the speed with which the bikes arrive at the braking point of turn 3. Furthermore, the new chicane will change the line approaching turn 3, avoiding the possibility of repeating accidents such as the one triggered by Zarco in the 2020.
A security matter
The change to the track rises from a safety matter mainly with the MotoGP bikes but the other classes of the World Championship will also benefit from it, in particular the MotoE class.
The MotoGP electric class riders rode the old Turn 2 at around 234 km/h before braking for Turn 3 at nearly 240 km/h. Although these speeds are lower than those of MotoGP at the same points, the weight of the MotoE (247 kg for the 2022 version) made that part of the circuit extremely dangerous for them too.
“Speed reduction was necessary in MotoGP in this section of the track. This was achieved through a right-left variant that has no impact on the rest of the track. The design was a real challenge, mainly due to the topography of the terrain”, Tilke says. Through in-depth examinations, 15 drafts were made before the final layout was defined with the chicane as the ideal solution. The track planning is based on specific speed calculations, in which the dimensions of the run-off zones and the other safety facilities were accounted for.
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The words of the riders
"It's a major change after the 2020 crash," Matteo Ferrari, rider of the Gresini team in MotoE, explained to Epaddock. “I am pleased with the changes they are making to increase safety on that part of the track. It will not be a change that will modify the character of the circuit, judging by the images it will be a fast and very fun chicane. I am happy that continuous progress is being made on safety".
Also Dominique Aegerter thinks the right choice has been made: "The one between Turn 1 and Turn 3 is a very dangerous sector of track as we saw in the MotoGP crash in 2020. I always liked this part a lot because you go downhill and then uphill always at full throttle and braking at turn 3 had to be extremely precise. I think the new chicane will take some of the top speed off before braking on Turn 3 so there will be a little less fun, but safety is more important”.
Here is the timelapse of the works to make the new chicane for the MotoGP 2022 at the Red Bull Ring
Photo: Red Bull Ring
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