As part of our new 12 Days of Quintmas tradition, we give you 9 of the greatest MotoGP tracks around the world! Read on to learn more about the features that make each circuit special.
Circuit of The Americas™
How can this track not rank among everyone’s favorites? COTA is a purpose-built track that includes all the twists and turns that MotoGP fans adore. Located in Austin, Texas, Circuit of The Americas is state-of-the-art, featuring the most insane twists and turns that the designers could muster. The 20-turn counterclockwise circuit was designed with inspiration from the best tracks around the world and takes advantage of the site's natural topography to include dramatic elevation changes of up to 133 feet. Circuit of The Americas + MotoGP bikes = the thrill of a lifetime.
Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
Catalunya (also known as Catalonia) is one of the most beautiful and historic areas in all of Spain, complete with both gorgeous beaches and the soaring Pyranees mountains. The Circuit de Catalunya is conveniently located in Barcelona, arguably Spain’s liveliest town, giving visitors the opportunity to explore one of Europe’s most exciting cities. This track provides for extremely close racing with a number of quick corners and was the recipient of the coveted IRTA “Best Grand Prix” trophy in 1992, 2001, and 2006.
TT Circuit Assen
Known as “The Cathedral” of motorcycle racing, this is by far the most historic track on the calendar. Races were originally held on public roads in the 1920s, and after a number of revisions, TT Circuit Assen eventually became the awe-inspiring racetrack that exists today. It’s the only circuit that has hosted the Motorcycle World Championship each year since the series was created in 1949. Though the majority of the track has been altered and/or rebuilt at various points over the years, the finish line hasn’t moved an inch since its inception.
Termas de Río Hondo
This track was completely overhauled in 2012 and was rebuilt with two things in mind: speed and safety. Circuit designer Jarno Zaffelli said, “It contains all kind of corners, a long straight, several overtaking points and everything is extremely visible, because the grandstands’ layout is mainly outside.” If you’re curious about what riding this track is like on a MotoGP bike, check out the video below!
Similar to the Austrian track above, the first races held here also took place in the 1920s when racing fever was rampant. Unlike TT Circuit Assen, Phillip Island isn’t known so much for its history as its surroundings: it boasts the ocean as its backdrop, with steep cliffs that flank the track itself and drop off to open water. This circuit has it all, but don’t forget to keep your eyes on the racing action and not on the breathtaking scenery that surrounds it!
Autodromo del Mugello
Though there will be two MotoGP races held in Italy in 2016, this is the venue that is considered to be Valentino Rossi’s “home track.” None of his fans care that much whether or not he ends up on the podium – they’ll still be chanting his name regardless! This circuit is located in the historic Italian region of Tuscany, a popular tourist destination renowned for its rich heritage, beautiful landscapes, and numerous wineries. The track itself features a myriad of high-speed, off-camber corners that pose a unique challenge to every rider that sets upon the Autodromo del Mugello!
Red Bull Ring – Spielberg
August 2016 will see an exciting and to some, a familiar addition to the MotoGP calendar – the Austrian Grand Prix! The race will be held at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, set amidst the picturesque mountains of Styria. The original track, the Österreichring, was built in 1969 and saw its fair share of MotoGP races over a number of years. This will be the first time in nearly two decades that MotoGP racing will occur here. The most recent reconstruction of the track began in 2008 and Formula 1™ made its return in June 2014. We can’t wait to see what awaits MotoGP riders at this legendary locale in 2016!
Losail International Circuit
Typically the first race on the MotoGP calendar, the Grand Prix of Qatar takes place in a venue that may seem like a mirage as you first come upon it. The Losail track is situated in the middle of the desert outside the capital of Qatar and is actually surrounded by turf to prevent sand from blowing over. Due to the scorching daytime temperatures, holding a race during the day is not only stifling to riders and spectators, but also extremely tough on tires. With the completion of some serious outdoor lighting in 2008, this became the site of the first-ever night race in MotoGP history. Seeing this circuit lit up after sunset is nothing short of spectacular!
It’s not the fastest track on the calendar, but it’s certainly one of the most challenging for riders. The turns are fast and can be extremely difficult for inexperienced (or overly ambitious) riders. A new section of the track was added in 2001 that contained “The Waterfall,” a feature that combines a steep drop with a sharp turn. As the technology that powers MotoGP bikes continues to improve and offers riders more power, riders have struggled with how to compensate in this turn and navigate it successfully. Where’s the fun in an easy track, though?
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