The fast-flowing nature of this 2.764 mile (4.448km) circuit, whose history dates back to the 1950s, is the reason that has made Phillip Island one of the favourite MotoGP tracks among riders for the last 17 years. The one big drawback can be the weather on this outpost of Victorian coastline. Heavy rain and winds can cause chaos at this time of the year to the island, which is linked by a bridge to the mainland, some 63 miles (101km) south of Melbourne.
There are five right- and seven left-hand corners and an 820-yard (750 metre) start and finish straight which leads into the very quick Doohan right hand bend. Valentino Rossi and local champion Casey Stoner have won five races each at this track. The circuit has a Visitors’ Centre, which includes information displays on the history of motor sport on Phillip Island, a circuit viewing area, a café, water gardens and wildlife enclosures.
In 2013, Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) led the race from pole position to chequered flag. The race results were somewhat hampered by Marc Marquez (Honda) being disqualified for not pitting in time – mid-race, riders had to change bikes because of tyre safety concerns. Second place went to Dani Pedrosa (Honda) and third place to Valentino Rossi (Yamaha).
Melbourne International Airport is 94 miles (151km) from the circuit on Phillip Island. Take the Tullamarine Freeway from the airport, connecting to the ‘City Link’ (an electronically monitored toll road – purchase a pass at the airport or from the car hirer) then drive through Melbourne city, onto the Monash Freeway, through Cranbourne and onto the Bass Highway to San Remo. Cross the bridge to Phillip Island, following the tourist signs onto Back Beach Road on which the circuit is located.
There are public transport options – bus from Melbourne to Cowes and then ferry, but this method is not recommended for those attending the racing at the track.