Linfox Property Group, the company behind the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, released a announcement today, confirming that the Australian track would be repaved in time for the 2013 motorcycle season. Virtually the only thing riders talked about during Friday’s debriefings, the surface conditions at Phillip Island for the Australian GP have been incredibly bumpy. Affected the most on the exit of Turn 12 and entry into Turn 1, riders have also complained about bumpy patches going into the two hairpins at Turn 4 and Turn 10.
Most critical of the Australian track was local Casey Stoner, who true to form didn’t mince words about the conditions. “This year the track is terrible, to be honest,” said Stoner bluntly. “It’s always been a little bit bumpy going into Turn 1, and maybe one or two other small bumps. But this year, they are a lot more aggressive than in the past, and I’m not too happy with the condition of the track. I don’t know what they’ve been racing around here, but it’s made the track a lot worse.”
If those sentiments sound familiar, Stoner was also one of the more vocal voices heard during the Indianapolis GP, where the newly repaved surface at Indy failed to impress MotoGP riders, much to the ire of the local media. Seemingly seeing the similarities in the situation, Linfox and Dorna were quick to address the pavement conditions publicly, and specify when and how the issue would be remedied. “Linfox is committed to a continuing program of investment and upgrades to maintain Phillip Island,” the company said in a press release.
“This upgrade has been in the planning process for six months, and is part of the a program to ensure Phillip Island is rated as a premier world championship circuit, both for racing and safety,” said Linfox Managing Director Andrew Fox. “Apart from our own plans we will assess the latest paving technology that was recently used to upgrade the Mugello circuit, which hosts the Italian Motorcycle Grand Prix. I’m confident that the outcome will be the smoothest and fastest race track on the MotoGP calendar.”
Asked for his two cents on the track’s condition, Hayden echoed other riders assessment that the damage came from car races on the Island. “I don’t want to be that guy, but motorcycles don’t really cause bumps,” laughed Nicky Hayden. “We don’t have a lot of downforce. We’re not that heavy. It was those car guys for sure.” Hayden’s assessment of the track’s current state seems to confirm Linfox’s timeline, with Phillip Island likely needing new pavement not for the 2012 season, but for 2013. “It’s pretty close to needing some pavement,” said Hayden. “It’s not that bad. It’s not coming a part anywhere. It’s not like ‘oh, that needs a patch or something.’ But it’s pretty bumpy out there.”
Linfox expects to repave Phillip Island in December 2012/January 2013, in time for both MotoGP and World Superbike racing.
Source: Linfox Property Group; Photo: Rizla Suzuki