It’s the conjunction between bike and race track that creates those breathtaking motorcycle races which fans watch without blinking an eye. If you are a fan of motorcycle races, your knowledge will include not only talented racers and famous bikes, but also well-known circuits where some of the most memorable races have taken place.
Assen is a reference track for bikers, and its history begins in 1954 when a road course that ran through local villages was subjected to changes to become the host of the Dutch TT. Located in Assen, Netherlands, the road was nicknamed “The Cathedral” and can receive 100,000 spectators (60,000 seated).
Interesting fact: Assen was redesigned in 2006 and transformed into the A-Style Assen TT Circuit. However, the finish line remained on the same place.
Valentino Rossi and Alvaro Bautista
2. Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo
Located in Termas de Río Hondo, Argentina, this is a newer circuit, built in 2007 and redesigned in 2012. With a length of 4.805 km and 14 turns, the Argentinian track race made possible records such as the 1:43:961 with a Kalex bike during the 2014 Argentine motorcycle Grand Prix, at the Moto2 category.
Interesting fact: The 2012 rebuild process was based on the design of Italian circuit designer Jarno Zaffelli.
The Brbo race track is located in the Czech Republic, and is mostly famous due to what it has to offer to spectators. A staggering number of 250,000 of fans can watch motorcycle races taking place on this track; the circuit keeps them wired with its fast corners, while the surrounding forest makes the setting relaxing and attractive for nature lovers.
Interesting fact: Grand Prix competitions have been hosted by Brno since 1930, when participants used to race through nearby villages.
4. Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
The Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya was built in 1991 and hosted the Spanish Grand Prix in its inaugural year. A lot of testing is performed on this track, and Formula One mechanics and drivers are particularly familiar with it. At a length of 4.652 km, the best lap record here was 1:21:670, by Kimi Räikkönen for Ferrari in 2008. A famous motorcycle race that took place on the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit was the one at the 2009 motorcycle Grand Prix, were Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo fought for first place – Rossi managed to win with an overtake on the final corner.
Interesting fact: The race track was known only as the Circuit de Catalunya until 2013, when the name was changed to the current one after a sponsorship deal with the Barcelona City Council.
5. Losail International Circuit
The Lusail motor racing circuit is located outside the town of Lusail, in Doha, Qatar. It was built in less than a year and opened in 2004 to inaugurate the Marlboro Grand Prix of Qatar. A bit longer than the other tracks in this top (5.380 km), the Losail circuit has a main straight over 1 km long. In 2007 permanent outdoor lighting for night races was added. A drawback however would be the limited capacity of only 8000 spectators.
Interesting fact: The Losail race track is surrounded by artificial grass to prevent sand from reaching the track.
6. Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli
This circuit was previously called Misano World Circuit, and known as the Circuito Internazionale Santa Monica before 2006. Built between 1970 and 1972, the Misano race track is located in the Province of Rimini, in Italy, and is 4.2 km long with 16 turns. Extensive modification in 2006 included a change of the circuit direction to clockwise and a widening of the track width to 14 m. The Misano Circuit was the place where the careers of two racers ended: Wayne Rainey, and Shoya Tomizawa, who was killed in 2010 during the Moto2 event after losing control of his bike.
Interesting fact: The name of the circuit was changed in 2012 to commemorate a local motorcycle racer, Marco Simoncelli, who had died the year before in a race in Malaysia.
7. Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit
The Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit is located on Philip Island, Victoria, Australia. The track is 4.445 km long and has a total of 12 turns. The history of this circuit begins in 1951, when six local businessmen decided to build a new track close to the original Philip Island road circuit, in a plan to re-establish motor racing at Philip Island. Some famous motorcycle competitions that took place on this circuit were MotoGP, the 500cc Grand Prix in 1999, the 250cc Grand Prix in 2008, the Moto2 in 2013, and World Superbikes in 2013.
Interesting fact: The first corner is named after Australian Michael Doohan, who won the motorcycle Grand Prix in 1998.
Which of these circuits would you like to visit? Maybe you could add them to your tourist plans this summer – great motorcycle race tracks are found on almost any continent.