A select group of MotoGP riders will take part in a test the day before offical practice at the German Grand Prix at Sachsenring. The reason for the test is to assess whether turn 11 at the circuit requires modifying.
The blind corner is taken at full speed which is around 130mph and was the scene of a number of crashes in the past, notably in 2013 when a number of riders crashed at the corner. The number of accidents drew criticism from some riders, notably Valentino Rossi who openly questioned the safety of the bend.
The track was visited by the safety officers of MotoGP and FIM Loris Capirossi and Franco Uncini in March this year to assess the turn and to test if any modifications could be made. After a day’s experimentation they came across the idea of changing the racing line with temporary curbs which would require riders to slow down more before entering the bend which would hopefully reduce the risk of accidents.
The changes were due to be made in time for this year’s race weekend of the 11th – 13th July but this has been ruled out due to time constraints. However, a rider will be selected from each manufacturer to take to the circuit on Thursday 12th July to assess the layout changes and to gain feedback from riders on MotoGP bikes.
The results of the test will determine whether the proposed changes are successful and if so they will be implemented for next year’s race, with this year’s race maintaining the current layout.
MotoGP Race Director Mike Webb said:
A selected rider from each manufacturer will go and do some laps and evaluate it on a proper MotoGP bike to come up with an opinion from the current riders rather than from Race Direction. As they will only ride it on Thursday there is no way that can be changed for Friday, so it will be for the following year. But we want to be sure if we change it that it will be right.
The German Grand Prix is the 9th round of the season and takes place 11th – 13th July.