In the 2020 MotoGP Austrian Grand Prix, a horrible crash occurred between Johann Zarco and Franco Morbidelli. The pair collided with each other at over 300km/h through the Turn 2 kink. As their motorcycles twisted and flipped, they almost hit riders Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales at Turn 3. The crash sparked a discussion about whether the Spielberg Turn 2 should remain unaltered. Because of this, Johann received a pitlane start, and MotoGP organised the installation of a barrier at the top of the hill to ensure no risk at Turn 3 if an incident like this were to occur again.
After the event, there were discussions on how to alter Red Bull Ring’s Turn 2 so riders are forced to reduce their speed once they reach the turn. However, following an interview with Spielberg’s race director, Andy Meklau, it has been confirmed that Turn 2 will remain unaltered. He has also noted that the Turn 3 wall will stay, although the circuit will extend the gravel trap on the Turn 2 exit since Morbidelli’s bike didn’t slow down enough after the crash.
Statements from Andy Meklau
In an interview, Andy Meklau discussed plans for the track in 2021.
“This is how it is homologated for 2021 and this is how we will contest the grand prix weekend”, Meklau said.
“Everything was implemented according to the FIM requirements.”
Meklau reassures that the races will be safe to participate in and observe. He states that if the motorcycles get faster, they should bring this up again.
“The Red Bull Ring and Projekt Spielberg are doing everything to ensure that the races are safe.
“As the person responsible, I can only say that a race has to go safely for everyone involved. Including the sport’s attendant.
“Safety is the top priority. If the motorcycles get even faster, you can discuss a chicane again.
“You will see. That is up to the FIM. They are responsible for ensuring that the route is safe and that it is approved.
“The race tracks adapt over the years. A race track continues to develop.
“Over the past ten years I have followed what we have implemented structurally with regard to safety.
“That is exemplary. The Red Bull Ring is a showcase course.”
The 2021 Austrian Grand Prix is taking place on the weekend of 15th August. It will be the first race after the Summer break.
Related links (Spielberg Turn 2):