Program feature: Fantasy Island

The Magic of Phillip Island

This article is taken from the Michelin® Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix 2018 Official Program. Get yours for $10 at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit.

Nowhere else on Earth matches Phillip Island’s breathtaking combination of stunning natural scenery and scintillating motorcycle racing. And when race day comes around, there’s nowhere on Earth we’d rather be than watching MotoGP™ riders battling here for ultimate glory!

The 30th Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix promises to be the best yet. With defending champion Marc Marquez in top form, the evergreen Italian wunderkind Valentino Rossi as hungry as ever, and the relentless Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo finally taming that troublesome Ducati, the 2018 event is primed to go off with a bigger bang than the New Years’ Eve fireworks display!

Throw in the hallowed 4.45km stretch of tarmac known as the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit and the mix becomes truly explosive, because there's something very special in the tarmac here at Phillip Island. Something potent and primal about these 12 sublime corners and the searing straights that connect them that always delivers exhilarating racing.

Australians always do well here. Perhaps it’s our drive to succeed, perhaps it’s our lack of fear… Almost half of the 22 premier-class races held at Phillip Island have been won by Australians.

Wayne Gardner won twice here back in 1989 and 1990 aboard a Rothmans Honda. Mick Doohan won in 1998 with a Repsol Honda, and should have won in 1997 if he hadn’t crashed out. Mighty Mick was leading the field by a dozen seconds after a dozen laps, and going faster every lap, when the unthinkable happened: He lost the front-end in Turn One. The video footage of Mighty Mick pushing his knee into the tarmac to force the front-end to grip again at close to 200km/h speaks to his incredible determination and refusal to admit defeat that powered him to five consecutive World Championships.

More recently, Casey Stoner made Phillip Island his own with six stirring wins on the trot from 2007-2012. There were few finer sights in the MotoGP™ world than Stoner powersliding the supposedly untameable Ducati through Turn Three on his way to another chequered flag. It’s fitting that Turn Three was renamed Stoner Corner, because no other rider showed the same mastery of machine and racetrack that he did at that corner. Not even Rossi who, like Stoner, has collected six victories at the Island, including five in a row between 2001-2005. 

"Phillip Island: there’s nowhere on Earth quite like it."

Whichever incredibly talented rider wins at Phillip Island this year, you can be sure of one thing: They will have earned it, because it takes much more than luck to win here. It takes skill, talent, bravery, determination, and a dash of insanity – especially when you’re flying down Gardner Straight at more than 340km/h with nothing before you but the welcoming watery embrace of Bass Strait. 

Phillip Island: there’s nowhere on Earth quite like it.

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