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Onboard lap of the Catalunya circuit

Onboard lap of the Catalunya circuit

Onboard lap of the Catalunya circuit

With an average lap speed of almost 160kmph, Catalunya is one of the fastest tracks on the MotoGP calendar, with a 1.047km long main straight and a fulsome 4.727km overall length.

The fast exit onto the straight leads to some blisteringly fast top speeds being recorded, Loris Capirossi reaching 347km/h in the official tests in March. With a fast right hand corner immediately after the main straight, the advantage gained by a high speed run down Catalunya's flying kilometre can be negated by a committed rider on a sweet handling package through the next section.

A proliferation of high and medium speed corners are integral to the Catalunya layout, counter pointed by two slow left hand hairpins, whilst changes in camber as the track weaves its way between the spectators' vantage points on the hillsides further complicate the chassis set-up equations.

With so many long corners Catalunya places great importance on side grip from the tyres with particular emphasis on the feel and feedback available to the rider on the entry of turns.

With plenty of similarities to Mugello, less radical set-up changes should be required in the crucial early sessions. The basic balance of the machine should be maintained on the settings from Mugello with suspension adjustment, rather than major alterations, expected to be the order of the day.

MotoGP, 2004

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