SportMotoGPThe Australian GP, open to resurfacing Phillip Island and...

The Australian GP, open to resurfacing Phillip Island and controlling wildlife

Melbourne.- The Australian Grand Prix Corporation ( AGPC ) will assess whether the Phillip Island circuit needs resurfacing, based on feedback from MotoGP riders.

The track surface was brought up during the Friday Grand Prix safety committee meeting, with several drivers expressing concern about the current state of the Australian track.

That was despite the lap record pace seen throughout the weekend, including in the premier class, where Jorge Martín broke the pole record that had been held by Jorge Lorenzo since 2013, when the tire supplier was still Bridgestone.

According to Ducati’s Jack Miller, the problem with the current surface is bumps off the race line.

“As for the surface, the asphalt has been on it for about 10 years and it’s starting to loosen up quite a bit,” Miller said. 

“Just bumps. Not so much on the race line, but as soon as you go off the line, if you see someone go wide at Turn 1 or Turn 8, they go down,” he added.

“It is at this moment when it is necessary to refresh it”, he valued.

Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaró said the current surface adds an unnecessary element of danger to what is already a high-speed, high-risk track.

“We have to resurface,” he said. “All the pilots love this track, we love this setting. It is very adrenaline to race here,” he said. “But it is, without a doubt, the most dangerous circuit on the calendar, for many reasons.” 

“We need a new tarmac. It’s very bumpy, the grip is very low. The bikes are super fast, super good, much better than 10 years ago. And we just dropped a tenth off the 2013 lap record. I think it’s a good example”.

AGPC CEO Andrew Westacott has already taken note of the comments, and is open to discussing the resurfacing with circuit owner Linfox.

“I haven’t spoken to the circuit owners yet, but I heard the comments that came out of the safety commission on Friday night,” Westacott told . 

“It hasn’t been raced here for three years. I think the last time it was resurfaced was in 2012 and the normal life of a circuit is between ten and twelve years.”

“If the guys say it’s bumpy off the racing line, you have to believe the best drivers in the world.”

“So we will work and see what it means in terms of homologation improvements. We don’t get that formal information immediately, but we will get it and review it, and there will be a prioritization process for a number of things.”

“What we might have to look at is if there are smaller things that have a bigger impact on security. But everything ends up in a list and then everything is worked on, directly with Dorna,” explained the promoter, completely receptive and open to improvements. .

control over animals

Fauna was another hot topic at the safety commission meeting last Friday, after Espargaró’s near-miss with a wallaby (a kangaroo species) in free practice 1. 

How to better protect riders from animals is another matter Westacott is keen to investigate before MotoGP returns next year.

“There can be animals anywhere, but the safety of the pilots is paramount,” he said.

“You can take all the steps of homologation [of the circuit], but when there is then the possibility of colliding with fauna at high speed, you have to take it very seriously. Therefore, that is a revision that must take place.”

“I don’t know what the solution is, but it’s certainly very, very important. Because whether it’s two-wheel or four-wheel motorsport, you can’t have wildlife jumping around the track. be approached and treated sensibly by circuit owners.


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