Discovering the latest MotoGP circuits
On 13 November the 2016 MotoGP World Championship ends with some expectations met and some surprises. Rich in special effects, it has been exciting for the most part of this year. Before the end, there are another three important dates on the calendar:
- 23 October 2016: Australian GP on the Phillip Island Circuit
- 30 October 2016: Malaysian GP in Sepang
- 13 November 2016: Valencia GP at Ricardo Tormo in Valencia
To be prepared for the most anticipated rides in the competition let’s take a look at the structure of the circuits which will host the final rounds of the 2016 MotoGP World Championship.
PHILLIP ISLAND, 23 OCTOBER
Phillip Island is perhaps the most spectacular circuit in the entire Championship: a track of 4448 meters, built on uneven ground on the side of a cliff and rich in fast, broad curves. Two hairpins break the flow, giving the riders a breathtaking experience. The only straight road is quite short and is located right near the pit lane, downhill.
VICTORIES – Until 2015 Honda had enjoyed a major number of victories: 10. Followed by Yamaha (5 victories) and Honda (4). Valentino Rossi is the most succesful rider, winning 6 medals, both with Honda and Yamaha.
HISTORY – The Phillip Island circuit was built in 1956 and is located on the eponymous island that lies in Bass strait, not far west from the Phillip Bay bridge, from which you can see the city of Melbourne
Since 1989 Phillip Island has hosted the MotoGP World Championship, except for the period between 1990 and 1996, during which the Australian World Championship took place on the Eastern Creek circuit.
- Nicky Heiden has held the record of 1:30:059 on the race track since 1998. Since then no other rider has managed to reduce this time.
- The Phillip Island circuit is also home to the Superbike World Championship and other Australian motor races like V8 Supercars and Formula 3 Championships, Formula Holden and Formula Ford.
SEPANG, 30 OCTOBER
From Australia to Malaysia for the competition on the Sepang circuit, known for the tragic and fatal accident of Marco Simoncelli in 2011. This track is 50 km away from the capital Kuala Lumpur and is the widest in the entire MotoGP world championship, measuring 25 meters, in respect to the average of 15 meters. The circuit boasts a total of 12 curves, 4 of which are very slow. The others however are very fast. The two straight roads (each of them are about 900 m) allow high-speed overtaking. High temperatures and high humidity are the main obstacles that the riders must face in this country.
VICTORIES – Honda has confirmed its place with 6 victories which have made it number one. Followed by Yamaha (with 5 victories), Ducati (3) and Suzuki (2). With Pedrosa’s victory last year Honda placed first for the fourth consecutive time.
HISTORY – Built with modern technology in 1999 this track has been considered over the years a model for newer circuits thanks to its large and confortable stands and first-class service areas (pits and press area).
- The circuit was designed by the German Hermann Tilke, who also desgined other sports circuits in Shanghai, Bahrain, Turkey, Valencia, Singapore, Korea and India;
- The circuit can host an audience of up to 130 000 spectators and boasts 18 air-conditioned suites.
VALENCIA, 13 NOVEMBER
Traditionally, the season closes with the Grand Final in Valencia.
The Valencia circuit is 4005 meters long, the main road is 876 meters long, has 14 curves, 9 of which go towards the left and 5 towards the right. It can hold 120 000 spectators with 65 000 seated places. The circuit is named for the Valencian champion motorcyclist Ricardo Tormo.
VICTORIES – Honda also holds pole position on this track, enjoying 9 victories since 2002. They are followed by Yamaha with four significant triumphs. Among the riders still competing, the two spaniards Pedrosa and Lorenzo are the most successful: with 3 wins each. Rossi, who last year made history by starting last and finishing fourth, has achieved only 2 wins, and Marquez only one.
HISTORY – The Ricardo Tormo circuit is one of the newest Spanish motor circuits. Located in Cheste, 20 kilometers from Valencia, the track is considered one of the best ever created from the point of view of construction. It is modern and functional and in terms of structural design and adherence to regulation the track is truly world class.
- A large number of national, regional and friendly competitions are held on the circuit. Among these were “Madonna” in 2008 and “Heroes del Silencio” in 2007.