Get a first glimpse at the MotoGP-enforced Red Bull Ring track changes

Images show Red Bull Ring changes between T1 and T2 are well underway, two years after the huge MotoGP collision between Johann Zarco and Franco Morbidelli

Franco Morbidelli, Valentino Rossi

The tweaks being made to the layout of the Red Bull Ring, host of the Austrian MotoGP, are well underway according to these up to date ‘Secret Squirrel’ satellite images.

Last year, Dorna and the FIM made an agreement with Red Bull to initiate changes to the Styrian venue between Turns 1 and 2 as a direct consequence of the huge accident between Johann Zarco and Franco Morbidelli in 2020.

The incident was triggered by Zarco clipping the rear of Morbidelli’s Yamaha as they rounded the kink that leads into the hard-braking uphill right-hand hairpin at Turn 2, sending both riders down.

However, Zarco’s Ducati and Morbidelli’s Yamaha proceeded to cartwheel across the gravel trap, coming back across the circuit at the exit of Turn 2, threading at ferocious speed between the factory Yamaha M1s of Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales, missing them by a matter of inches.

Bearing some relation to an accident in F1 back in 2002 when Nick Heidfeld lost control of his Sauber and smashed into the side of Takuma Sato’s Jordan, the incident prompted a discussion over whether it was too dangerous to have riders leaning at high-speed as they came into a heavy braking zone.

As a result, a new chicane is being installed to interrupt the drag uphill from Turn 1 to Turn 2 with these ‘reconnaissance’ images - first premiered by The Race - showing that while it will slow the bikes down, it will remain a fairly open and quick right-left shimmy so as to encourage drive to overtake at what will now be Turn 3.

While all manufacturers have welcomed the safety alterations, the move will affect Ducati with a bike that proved particularly effective with its ability to drag uphill.