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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Portimao observe undergoes key security adjustments forward of MotoGP spherical

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Over the previous few years, riders have been calling for the gravel traps on the circuit close to Portimao to be altered attributable to what they felt was a harmful dimension of stone getting used.

This difficulty first got here into the highlight on the 2022 Portuguese GP when Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia suffered a crash throughout Friday observe and subsequently scooped up a handful of stones from the gravel to take again to his storage.

The gravel lure difficulty was mentioned within the security fee that 12 months, however in 2023 Gresini’s Fabio Di Giannantonio was pressured to overlook the ultimate day of pre-season testing in Portugal after he crashed into the gravel.

The Italian suffered a concussion after his crash helmet was shattered by the blow of the stones, which led him on the time to say: “If we have now to race like this, we must always go to Monaco the place it is extra present and the chance can be the identical.”

After this incident, the riders continued to place strain on the championship to get the circuit to make the adjustments to the gravel they’d lengthy requested.

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As MotoGP returns to Portugal this weekend for the second spherical of the 2024 season, many of the gravel within the run-off areas across the Algarve observe has been changed.

A doc detailing the upgrades to the circuit reads: “A lot of the gravel areas have a brand new sort of stone, some asphalt run-offs have been diminished to extend the gravel areas, and air fence modules have been added.”

Gravel, observe, circuit

Photograph by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Whereas not explicitly acknowledged the place precisely the brand new air fencing has been positioned, an space of focus shall be at Flip 10 the place Pol Espargaro suffered his severe accident final 12 months in observe.

The previous Tech3 GasGas rider was flicked from his KTM within the latter levels of second observe as he pushed on an out-lap to heat his tyres for a time assault.

Espargaro suffered quite a few fractures to his again and jaw and was pressured to overlook half of the 2023 season, having hit an unprotected tyre barrier within the incident. An air fence was positioned at that nook following the incident final 12 months.

Different adjustments to the circuit embody the set up of latest kerbs at Turns 4, 8, 14 and 15 to assist riders keep away from observe limits infringements.

In addition to adjustments to the observe, MotoGP can also be imposing a brand new sustainability measure within the paddock in Portugal that can imply all scooters used for getting round by personnel have to be electrical.

This may apply in any respect European rounds in 2024 and comes as MotoGP switched to sustainable gas of 40% non-fossil origin for this 12 months, forward of a shift to 100% in 2027.

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