MotoGP 21: Catalan Grand Prix setup guide – Circuit de Catalunya guide, brakes & more
Barcelona’s purprose-built circuit has been a regular in the calendar for 25 years. Here are the settings you need!
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Whether you go with “full or official calendar”, the Catalan Grand Prix will be the seventh race you compete in during your first season. Spain are MotoGP mad, so much so, that this is the second of four Motorcycle Grands Prix on the calendar.
The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has hosted this round of the MotoGP championship since its inaugural race back in 1996. Here’s the setup guide you need to succeed in Catalunya!
The Circuit de Catalunya’s smooth surface does help your tyres last longer, but its long corners do the opposite. We think that a medium tyre on the front and a hard on the rear axle is the best to get to the end of the race.
Barcelona’s elevation changes and low-speed direction changes mean that you need to have a more stable bike to be quick. The suspension values you opt for are therefore on the low side, but not too low, as you do need the bike to be responsive in corners like Turn 8.
Conversely, the rear pre-load value has to be all the way at the top to have as much turn-in on the rear to prevent understeer. However, the rest of the rear suspension is best at the default value for a good compromise.
Steering head inclination and the trail need to be as low as possible to help the bike’s turn-in. The steering plate position and rear swingarm length also need to be low, at 3 and 4, respectively.
Because of the Circuit de Catalunya’s long start/finish straight, you need high gears. The last thing you want is to rev out top gear when you’re defending your position or attempting an overtake. This includes the final ratio as well, which needs to up at 6.
The slipper clutch is best at 4 to strike an optimum balance between turn-in and stability.
Turns 1 and 10 require powerful brakes to round well. There are also a lot of smaller braking zones in the middle and final sectors too, so overheating of the anchors is a real possibility. 340mm high mass on the front and the 220mm brakes on the rear are best to avoid any problems.
There aren’t many big traction zones in Barcelona, so TC can be set to 3. 4 engine braking helps you lose speed around the long Turn 4 and the final corners when you need to. 4 Anti-wheelie assist is best to avoid pulling wheelies and stoppies on the uphill and downhill braking zones.
Power mapping is best at 3 for a flying lap, but you’ll need to turn this around during some points in the race.
All of these can be adjusted out on track using the HUD in the bottom-right of the screen.