Skip to content

Ed’s desk – Phillip Island Circuit | Columns | Gassit Garage

“As we flew into Doha, the MotoGP population were bumping out, so there was still plenty of fake grass and colour about, but it's not a visually appealing place”

I think some Aussies don’t realise how good we have it Down Under. I’m not talking about living conditions, natural beauty or even weather, which are all top shelf; I’m talking about racing circuits. And in Australia, none are better than the Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit. I’d go as far as to say it’s one of the top five most gorgeous and exciting circuits in the world – but it sometimes takes a trip overseas to remind me of this.

I was recently offered the opportunity the travel to the Losail circuit in Qatar, not to watch the MotoGP, but to ride on the track. The first thing that struck me following our one-hour bus ride from the centre of the futuristic-looking Doha city was how much of a fantastic job the television magicians do to make the circuit look glamourous. It’s not that the place isn’t well looked after. Everywhere you go in Doha the facilities are spotless, and the service provided by the massive working population employed by the Qataris is excellent – always tip handsomely. But we need to call a spade a spade, and despite being an excellent track to ride on, it’s built in a dead-flat area resembling a moonscape. As we flew into Doha, the MotoGP population were bumping out, so there was still plenty of fake grass and colour about, but it’s not a visually appealing place.

Rossi, Qatar MotoGP 2017

Phillip Island, on the other hand, is as gorgeous in real life as it appears on television, possibly more so. If you have never visited the famous Victorian circuit it should be on your Must Do list. There’s only one thing better than attending the WSBK or MotoGP at the Island, and that’s doing some laps at race pace, which you can do at one of the many trackdays. So next time you think an international circuit looks fantastic on television, remember that those unlucky enough not to live in Australia are probably thinking the same when they watch the racing from Oz. I believe we got the better part of the deal.

It’s great to be home.

By Chris Dobie

Photos Russell Colvin