An agreement has been made that means the MotoGP will continue to race at Phillip Island for the forseeable future of the sport, as they announced a contract that will see the circuit in Victoria included in the MotoGP calendar until 2026.
The meeting at Phillip Island usually comes near the end of the season and MotoGP fans tend to flock from all over the world to share in the Australian experience.
MotoGP statistics at the circuit in Victoria
The 2.76 mile (4,448 metres) circuit is made up of five right handed corners and seven left handed corners and the longest straight is 900m (0.559 miles). It was constructed in 1956 and modified in 1988. The circuit lap record is officially held by Marc Marquez from 2013 with a time of 1:28.208 around the 2.76 mile circuit; however the best lap time here was set by Jorge Lorenzo which is 1:27.899.
Alex De Angelis currently holds the Moto2 circuit lap record from 2013 with a time of 1:32.814; the best lap was set in 2014 by Tito Rabat with a time of 1:32.470. Australian Jack Miller holds the circuit lap record in the Moto3 class which is 1:36.302 however the best ever lap was completed by Alex Marquez the same year with a time of 1:36.050.
Ezpeleta says MotoGP is part of Island's 'fabric'
DORNA Chief Executive Carmelo Ezpeleta confirmed the agreement saying, “I am delighted the Victorian Government has decided to continue this long-standing mutually beneficial relationship.”
He spoke about the fact that MotoGP, and the FIM World Superbike World Championship (which will now run here until 2027) have a ‘strong history’ at the Phillip Island, and said that the events have ‘become part of the Island’s fabric”.
Benefits to the Island
The Minister for Tourism and Major Events, John Efren described the events at Phillip Island as “flagship dates on our calendar” and claimed that they “are going nowhere”.
He was happy to announce “Phillip Island will remain at the centre of world motorsport for many years to come.” Efren described the events saying they, “create a unique buzz around Phillip Island, attract visitors from all over the globe, and show the world we have the best of everything.”
Harrlet Shing, Member for Easter Victoria, described Phillip Island as a “great track” where “competition is fierce”. As every year she said, “Thousands of motorsports fans from around the world flock to Phillip Island every year and for good reason.”
When speaking about the tourism benefits of the Island event she said, “It’s fantastic that the excitement and adrenalin of these major events will be on show with Gippsland’s beauty front and centre – inspiring many people to travel here and see the Island for themselves.”
Announcement follows doubts about Circuit of Wales
This news comes not long after the announcement that there are new doubts about the existence of the Circuit of Wales, with concerns surrounding the funding of the project by the Welsh Government.
They are unsure as to whether the deal made will breach European Union rules concerning state aid; £17 million was pledged to be paid by the Welsh Government which would have been tax payer’s money. Aviva the insurance company were willing to fund the £350 million needed to build the track following the agreement with the Government.
The MotoGP were already meant to have visited by here by now, but with work having not even been started on the new circuit near Cardiff in South Wales, Silverstone had to host the British event instead; and BT Sport’s contract with Dorna means that there must be a British GP on the calendar.
The circuit was meant to be a solution to a place in need of an economic boost; however the event would be coming out of England where many tracks are already built and could probably do with modifying.
Hopefully if the plans do go ahead to build the Circuit of Wales, the decision will not follow to surround it with housing estates with residents who then decide to complain about the noise, rather than embrace the economic boost it brings to the area.