PHILLIP ISLAND, AUSTRALIA
Phillip Island Motor Sports
Back Beach Road
RMB 500 GP
Phillip Island 3922
Ticket sales: contact circuit
Local tourist info: 0061-3-595-67447
Some 75-miles south east of Melbourne on speed-camera infested roads, the drive to Phillip Island is best taken after consulting a local on the best way to get there – and at legal speeds. From the airport, traverse the city heading towards the South East Arterial, turning off at Cranbourne and joining the South Gippsland Highway. Phillip Island is signed from here, with small signs on the island itself marking the route to the track.
500 GP: Kenny Roberts, USA (Suzuki RGV) 1:32.74 – 107.28mph (1999)
250 GP: Valentino Rossi, Italy (Aprilia RSV) 1:33.55 – 106.35mph (1999)
125 GP: Marco Melandri, Italy (Honda RS) 1:38.11 – 101.40 (1999)
SBK: Troy Corser, Australia (Ducati 996) 1:33.01 – 106.83mph (1999)
Without question, Phillip Island is one of the best race tracks in the world. Spectacular scenery, a huge passion for racing, and the intrinsic laid back feeling of watching any kind of sport in Oz makes it a real highlight to the season calendar. The grippy track is as stunning to ride as it is to view, and with one of the fastest average lap speeds it’s a track for the brave to excel. Superfast corners sort the men from the boys but despite that it’s not a speed track – it’s a skill track. The fast right first turn is a real test of bravery, and is easily viewed. The taxing Luckey Heights section, where riders crest a blind left to confront a near dead-stop right-hander at the base of a steep drop, is a stunning place to view – you are guaranteed to see action on the way into, in the middle, or on the exit of the turn. It’s position on the southern tip of Australia – next stop is the Tasman Sea – means the weather is not as predictable as it could be, but if you go as a tourist there’s lots to see, including the famed local penguins. Be warned, however, hotel accommodation on the island is scarce. As part of a longer holiday, races at Phillip Island rank at the top of any bike fan’s ‘must do’ list.