23 April 2019 10:46
MotoGP returns to the Phillip Island Circuit from 25-27th October 2019. Motorsport Live looks into what makes this such an exciting and popular race for spectators who attend from all corners of the world.
Tickets for one of MotoGP's best-loved events are now on sale. We take a look at what makes the Phillip Island Grand Prix in Australia so special and why you have got to take a closer look.
If you ask any motorcycle rider for their favourite circuits then Phillip Island will surely feature on their list. It is a fast and flowing circuit that allows for spellbinding racing at a crucial time of the year in the championship battle, its unpredictable weather can shake-up proceedings, while its staggering backdrop provides an almost unreal vista to top-level two-wheeled racing.
Since MotoGP returned to Phillip Island in 1997 it has played host to some utterly spectacular racing and been the home at which legends thrive. Valentino Rossi was the man to beat in the early 2000s but he was deposed by home hero Casey Stoner, who made the venue his own. Stoner won six straight races at Phillip Island in his seven-year MotoGP career and bowed out after his electric 2012 triumph, with his aggressive riding style resulting in organisers naming Turn 3 in his honour.
Since then no-one has got a stranglehold on the event but the racing has been fast and frantic. In 2015 an astonishing race-long four-bike battle for victory was settled at the death by Marc Marquez in an event widely regarded as one of the most exciting in the history of the championship. Last year Maverick Vinales edged out his rivals to end his lengthy victory drought - can he do it again in 2019 or will another name be etched onto the famous trophy?
A ticket to MotoGP doesn't just buy you one race - it nets you three! MotoGP's junior categories Moto2 and Moto3 may not be as fast, but they're equally frantic. The 2018 Moto3 race was one of the best in the history of the tertiary category as half of the grid battled for victory throughout, with the top 14 riders separated by less than a second as they hurtled across the finish line - including the top five split by less than one tenth! They are the up-and-comers, but the premier class features all of the big names.
Marc Marquez is gunning for his sixth title in seven years but he faces stiff competition from the golden generation of MotoGP riders. If he looks across the garage he'll see three-time World Champion Jorge Lorenzo, the Spaniard now donning the colours of Repsol Honda after a mixed spell with Ducati. Andrea Dovizioso is determined to go one better after finishing runner-up to Marquez for the last two years while the wily old fox Valentino Rossi is still searching for world title number 10 - and remains firmly in the mix.
There is strength in depth: Suzuki is back in the game courtesy of Alex Rins, Vinales will be out to exorcise the demons of 2018 while Britain's Cal Crutchlow claimed Australian honours in 2016 and has often been a thorn in the side of the manufacturer teams. Could Jack Miller, back on the podium already in 2019, advance for Australia and deliver a home win for the legion of loyal supporters?
The racing is one element - the location another. Phillip Island is situated adjacent to the sea, with some of the most dramatic coastlines anywhere in the world, while a couple of hours drive away is the vibrant city of Melbourne, home to the Yarra River, acres of beautiful parkland and dozens of outstanding restaurants.
For an unforgettable MotoGP experience you won't want to miss out on the Australian Grand Prix. Click here to check out all our available ticket options. We hope to see you there!