Salom talks through the final corners of the season05/11/2013
Red Bull KTM Ajo rider and Moto3 title contender analyses the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia, turn-by-turn.
The 2013 Moto3 World Championship concludes this Sunday at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit, and Luis Salom has the chance to clinch his first ever Grand Prix title in the race. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider likes the track and is keen to feel the support of the fans sure to pack the grandstands at the event.
The 4km circuit features 14 corners, divided into 9 left handers and 5 right handers. The race will take place over 24 laps.
Turns 1, 2 and 3
“The first corner up –’Jorge Martinez Aspar’–, is a left hander. It’s not the fastest on the circuit, but you have to slow down a little and skip two gears to get out of it as quickly as possible and set yourself up for the next corner. The ‘Mick Doohan’ corner is also a left, and is slower than the previous turn. It’s not difficult to navigate and it links up with a third left in a row. Turn 3 is very quick and with a Moto3 we open the throttle fully.”
Turns 4 and 5
“After three lefts, we come to the first right hander. It is precisely for this reason that we must be very careful, because the tyre is usually cold on this side when you approach the turn and it’s easy to lose the front grip. Turn 5 does not feature heavy braking, it is simply a matter of letting the bike run on to get lined up for the next corner.”
Turns 6, 7 and 8
“Turn 6, the ‘Angel Nieto’ corner, is a very important left hander, because it makes way for the back straight. If you come out of it fast, then you can gain a lot of time. What’s more, you can get a higher speed into the next corner, which is slow. Though the line on the straight is slightly curved –Turn 7– the next time on the brakes is heavy. It is important to stop the bike well -–just enough to open the throttle again as soon as possible and power out well. If you let the bike run on too much at Turn 8, then you can’t get on the gas and you run very wide.”
Turns 9 and 10
“Right after is a chicane which is taken with the throttle fully open, on both the left and the right corners. On the latter it is important to brake carefully, because you have the bike leaning over ahead of the next right hander.”
Turns 11 and 12
“As on the first right of the track, it is crucial to be careful, because the right side of the tyre is cold and it is easy to lose the front if you brake too hard. On the exit there is a small straight, going uphill, which takes you onto the final section of the track –starting with a right hander.”
Turns 13 and 14
“Then comes the penultimate corner –’Champi Herreros’– which is taken at full gas. It’s long, features a rise and then a drop, and the key is to get tucked in on the bike and lean it over. Next up is the final corner –’Adrian Campos’– on the way to the straight. It’s a descending corner and rather peculiar. It’s an easy place to overtake, because there are several possible lines to use. We have seen many passes made there in recent years. However, if you shut the door and use precision, then it makes it a lot harder to pass you. This final part of the track is my favourite.”
Entry to the start/finish straight
“We have to study the distance to the finish line because, as we saw with Stoner and Spies in the 2011 MotoGP race, slipstreaming is important. In Moto3 we shall see what it is like from Friday onwards. It is important to study each part of the track. On every sector you can make a difference, and there is no part more important than any other. Grip at Valencia is also very good, because the track was resurfaced last year. We are riding at home and the grandstands are close to the track, so I hope to enjoy myself and feel the support of the Spanish fans.”