MotoGP Riders Call for Changes to Red Bull Ring After This Weekend’s Back-to-Back Crashes

Several top motorcycle racers have called for safety modifications to the Red Bull Ring after massive crashes during the Moto2 and MotoGP races at this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix. Some believe that the walls are too close and that certain corners are simply too dangerous for motorcycles in their current format.


In the Moto2 race, Hafizh Syahrin was thrown into the air after hitting Enea Bastianini’s downed motorcycle in the middle of the track, causing him to suffer a pelvic contusion. Bastianini lost control over a crest outside Turn 1 that even the announcers on the race itself called out as a dangerous spot where it’s hard for riders to see what’s ahead.


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The following MotoGP race was red-flagged after Johann Zarco and Franco Morbidelli had a collision at nearly 200 mph heading into Turn 3. Their bikes were thrown across the track at the corner, almost hitting Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi.


Rossi didn’t mince words when he discussed Turn 3 after the crash.


“I think that the Red Bull Ring is dangerous in some places, especially where you have hard braking from 300 kph to 50 kph,” Rossi told The Race. “In the hairpin, you have to come in completely the opposite direction, and it is potentially a very dangerous place.”
MotoGP riders have been unhappy with the safety of the Red Bull Ring for a while, as some voiced their concerns before the race even began. The Red Bull Ring sits in an alpine valley where thunderstorms are common. During media sessions prior to the race, Crutchlow also called out the track’s tendency to accumulate puddles in dangerous places.


“I was here on Tuesday afternoon and it rained for a couple of hours, and the water on the track was just ankle deep,” Crutchlow told The Race last Thursday. “There’s a lot of undulations and the water sits in them, like the kink between Turn 1 and Turn 3 right where we start to get on the throttle.”
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After the race, Crutchlow once again called for changes to the layout of Turn 3, telling The Race:


Imagine that happened in the rain. I don’t like the safety of this place. They run a good grand prix, but I don’t like it here. I don’t know what they can do about it, but there’ll be a lot of unhappy riders this afternoon.
But what can they do unless they completely change that part of the circuit? Of course, like I said the other day it’s not like they’re struggling to do that – they could if they wanted to, but I don’t think it will…