MotoGP: Would Misano be better the other way around? | MotoGP
Amid the safety changes made to Misano for its return to the MotoGP World Championship calendar in 2007, there was the unusual movement of changing the track direction from counterclockwise to clockwise.
The original steering was used by the Grand Prix from 1982 to 1993, when Wayne Rainey suffered career-ending injuries after falling into a gravel pit dug in deep ruts, to stop cars rather than bikes.
While the change in direction of the track allowed for more runoff, it meant that previous acceleration zones had become braking zones and vice versa.
The biggest difference was on the back straight, where what had been a series of ever faster left-handers leading up to the straight turned into a succession of tight right-turns, starting with the dreaded Curvone, at the end of the straight line.
One runner who, unsurprisingly, would prefer an anti-clockwise direction is eight-time world champion Marc Marquez, who has a breathtaking record at âleftâ venues, underscored by the Sachsenring’s victory this year and a another victory challenge in Aragon last Sunday.
âAlthough Misano is one of the oldest tracks on the current MotoGP calendar, it has been completely improved and this makes it a modern track,â said Marquez, who has won six wins at Misano in all categories.
âIn Assen, for example, you can see how old he is when you look at the pits and some details of the track, but in Misano it’s not like that.
“For me, the old direction of Misano would have been better because it would be a left-hand circuit and I’m still better in this area,” confirmed the Repsol Honda rider.
âYou can see that at some corners where you see the line would be more fun in the other direction, as a lot of them seem to be designed to go backwards.
“But it’s still an entertaining circuit and its current clockwise direction makes it safer and offers better areas of runoff.”
Reigning world champion Joan Mir has agreed that the facility facelift means Misano is not showing its age.
âAlthough Misano is an old circuit, the paddock and the track have been kept updated so you don’t see anything different, but of course you can still feel the unique atmosphere of Misano,â said the driver. Suzuki.
âEveryone who works there is completely involved, there are always a lot of fans and there is also a track layout that I really like.
“It would be fun [to ride in the original direction], but now everything is set in the opposite direction, although the quick right turn 11 is to the left and you also have strong acceleration coming out of the left turns. “
His teammate Alex Rins believes he would still prefer the current clockwise direction.
“I think with the changes already made it would be impossible today to ride in the opposite direction for safety reasons. Leaving that question aside, I think I would still prefer the current direction of the race,” said he declared.
Misano is one of the circuits chosen to help flesh out the MotoGP calendar with two rounds per season, this year and the last, due to the Covid pandemic.
Perhaps with that in mind, Alex Marquez suggested that it would be “fun” if a future circuit was designed to meet MotoGP’s safety requirements for two-way racing.
“You see that some corners [at Misano] appear to be designed to go backwards, but doing it in the original direction would require major changes, âsaid the LCR Honda rider.
“In any case, it wouldn’t be bad if in the future there was a circuit prepared to run in both directions, it would surely be fun.”
Meanwhile, the events of Misano 2021 will mark the farewell of local legend Valentino Rossi, who is retiring at the end of this season.
âValentino’s farewell will make Misano an extraordinary event. We’re going to see yellow in all the stands, âsaid Rins.
Although last year’s two rounds of Misano went back to back, this year’s events are divided by a trip to COTA.