While we’re all there for the main event there’s so much more to do in and around the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit
2022 Australian MotoGP Schedule
Walk on the wild side
If you’ve never done it before you should treat yourself to a self-guided tour around the perimeter of the circuit. We suggest you do this on the first day you arrive, it’s longer than you think. It’s got to be well over 5km and should never be attempted in hangover mode unless you have an appropriate receptacle with you.
This stroll of champions will give you the opportunity to check out new vantage points, see some of the interesting off-circuit activities that happen and take in the surreal view of approximately 200 hundred merchandise stands all selling the same Jack Miller T-shirts, keenly priced Suzuki merchandise and Chris Vermeulen bucket hats. There’s also a wide variety of food stands and alcohol venders along the way to sustain you on your trip.
Da planes, da planes!
Who doesn’t like a good aerial display. Well, in previous years when the RAAF would crack out the FA-18s, small children, unsuspecting drunks and blokes trying to aim straight didn’t.
This year the Roulettes will be taking to the sky in a quieter but no less exciting display – ok maybe a little less exciting. Anyway, the Roulettes will be performing death-defying (hopefully) manoeuvres over the circuit at …. On race day. They maybe quieter but that just means they can sneak up on you, sold hold your children close and your beer even closer.
While you’re down visiting the GP Expo make sure to loiter around the Gardner Village for a while. There’s plenty to keep you entertained, from the Addikted to Ink tattoo parlour that will be available to cater to all your tough-sticker needs, a plethora of food and refreshment vendors and the Urban Garage show ’n’ shine competition. The Fan Forum Stage will host a raft of riders and big-wigs including Wayne Gardner and mechanical mastermind Jeremy Burgess who will be rocking up to talk about life in the MotoGP circus.
It’s 10 years since Aussie MotoGP legend Casey Stoner last raced at Phillip Island and to commemorate the occasion, a documentary featuring the two-times MotoGP world champion and fellow Aussie and MotoGP winner Chris Vermeulen has been made. The doco, called Return to the Island, will be screened at various times throughout the weekend on the GPTV big screen spread around the circuit. To further commemorate the anniversary of Stoner’s last race at the Island, the GP legend will take to the track at approximately 1.10pm on Sunday for a demonstration lap.
Whether you’re boiling hot, soaking wet, freezing cold or looking to test the efficacy of your Covid vaccines, the GP Expo is the place to head.
With new bikes, old bikes, merchandise, riding apparel, a huge range of accessories and thousands of sweaty fans all crammed under one tin roof it’s your opportunity to sit on, try on and buy the latest and greatness from a range of top brands. Our hot and sweaty tip? Carry a well-sauced Pluto Pup to avoid unwanted personal space infringements or head down there around opening or closing times to avoid the crowds. Located in Gardner Village alongside the main straight, the expo is open on Friday between 8am-5pm, Saturday 8.30am-5.30pm, and Sunday from 8am-2pm.
Here, sign this
Chasing an autograph or awkward selfie with your favourite rider? This year will see the introduction of a new exclusive infield experience. The new and so-called Island Walk allows you to meet and greet the riders from MotoGP and Moto2 as they arrive at the track each day and pester them for autographs, selfies, riding tips and marriage proposals. And as if that isn’t cool enough, there’ll be a host of musical acts performing in the Island Walk area while you wait for the gods of tarmac to arrive.
A single day Island Walk pass will set you back $30 and a three-day pass can be had for $75
Located behind the Lukey Heights grandstand, Lukey’s Lawn is the place to go between races when your friends’ conversation is sending you into a coma. You’ll find lawn games, displays, a bungee trampoline to stir up yesterday’s trackside hotdog, and all manner of activities for both young and old. There’s even an inflatable surf challenge and some live music to really drive home your hearing damage. But best of all is the antics of the freestyle BMXers who’ll pull off manoeuvres we tell ourselves we did when we were young but never did.
One of our favourite pastimes at the Island is hanging out in the carpark. Strange you may think, but rarely will you find such a large and varied collection of motorcycles in one place. It’s worth the admission fee just to check out the weird and wonderful rides on display.
Camping is a rite of passage for many GP fans and many a legend has been formed around the campfire at Phillip Island. Unfortunately, abundant rain has forced the closure of many of the campgrounds with the organisers unable to erect the food and plonk stalls, or portable showers and toilets due to the muddy conditions. Odd, because anyone that’s ever used the toilet facilities in the campground areas will be well used to walking around in ankle-deep brown stuff. If you’ve had your camping ticket refunded and you absolutely must camp, there are a number of holiday parks on and around the Island that offer powered and unpowered sites. For more information on where to camp on the Island head to basscoast.vic.gov.au
Here for support
Aside from the likes of Miller, Gardner and Kelso, there’ll be a bunch of Aussies going hammer and tong around the Island in search of glory and there really is nothing like the thought of performing in front of international talent scouts to really whip up the red mist. Some of the biggest names on the Aussie superbike grid will be out knocking ’bars, while those kids in Oceania Junior Cup will be doing their best to get noticed by the international teams. If you’re keen to get a look behind the scenes head over the Gardner Straight bridge and have a good poke around the support paddock.
The Visitor’s Centre is a real hidden gem and worth the walk to have a gaze and a feed. As well as a 750m-long go-kart track, there’s the largest slot car track in the country, racing simulators, fascinating information and displays about the circuit’s history and the History of Motorsport Museum, which houses an amazing collection of Aprilia and Cagiva race machinery including bikes ridden by legends of the sport such as Rossi, Biaggi, Lawson and Kocinski. While you’re there, if you’re after a feed that doesn’t come from the side of a caravan, then consider a meal at the fully-licensed Champions Café and take a load off.
If your ears are on the verge of bleeding from the noise of the GP bikes, consider slipping into Cowes to check out the activities which the Bass Coast Council bung on.
Gone are the days of fat skids and drunken debauchery in the main street, but activities are numerous and organised. Entertainment kicks off from Thursday night when the 120th screening of Wayne kicks off at 7pm and continues right through until Sunday night. For those that were too hungover or sunburnt to enjoy the race on Sunday, the full race will be screened from 7pm on Sunday on the big screen. Other fun activities in and around the Cowes precinct include checking out discounted GP merch in any of 100 stores selling the same thing, searching for a store that still has fold-up chairs or burying alcohol at the beach so you can retrieve it when you’ve been kicked out of the pub. If you’re lucky, you may see some of the riders who hit the restaurants around dinner time.
For more on what’s happening in Cowes, check out visitbasscoast.com.au
Can’t make it to the Island this year? Not to worry, grab your mates rustle up a dozen chairs and gather around the telly, smart device or wireless and you won’t miss a thing.
Foxtel has the exclusive rights to broadcast MotoGP in Australia and will have live coverage of all MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3 warm-up, qualifying and race sessions across the weekend. You can check out the coverage Foxtel or Foxtel Now or on Kayo Sports either on your TV, computer, tablet or phone.
It’s not cheap but if you are a stickler for the finest of detail from every round of the championship, then a subscription to the official online MotoGP coverage is king. If you’re not already a subscriber, you may just bag a bargain-price subscription so late in the season, or you can conveniently just pay by the month.
Even if you’re lined up for a spare Portaloo, seeking refreshments, searching for your lost children on Lukey’s Lawn or trying to sneak into one of the hospitality tents, there’s no need to miss a moment of the on-track action. Tune into the circuit’s GPTV audio feed on 87.6FM to ensure you never miss a thing.
- 8am Gates open
- 8.10am National Superbikes free practice (20mins)
- 9am Moto3 FP1 (40 mins)
- 9.55am MotoGP FP1 (45 mins)
- 10.55am Moto2 FP1 (45 mins)
- 11.45am Oceania Junior Cup (20 mins)
- 12.15pm National Superbikes qualifying (20 mins)
- 1.15pm Moto3 FP2 (40 mins)
- 2.10pm MotoGP FP2 (45 mins)
- 3.10pm Moto2 FP2 (40 mins)
- 4.05pm Junior Cup qualifying (20 mins)
- 4.40pm National Superbikes Race 1 (10 laps)
- 5.10pm Oceania Junior Cup Race 1 (7 laps)
- 6pm Gates close
- 8.30am Gates open
- 9am Moto3 FP3 (40 mins)
- 9.55am MotoGP FP3 (45 mins)
- 10.55am Moto2 FP3 (40 mins)
- 11.45am Oceania Junior Cup (7 laps)
- 12.35pm Moto3 Q1 (15 mins)
- 1.pm Moto3 Q2 (15 mins)
- 1.30pm MotoGP FP4 (30 mins)
- 2.10pm MotoGP Q1 (15 mins)
- 2.35pm MotoGP Q2 (15 mins)
- 3.10 Moto2 Q1 (15 mins)
- 3.35 Moto2 Q2 (15 mins)
- 4.05pm National Superbikes Race 2 (10 laps)
- 4.45pm Oceania Junior Cup Race 3 (7 laps)
- 5.45pm National Superbikes Race 3 (10 laps)
- 6.30pm Gates close
- 8.30am Gates open
- 9am Moto3 Warm-up (10 mins)
- 9.20 Moto2 Warm-up (10 mins)
- 9.40am MotoGP Warm-up (20 mins)
- 10.25am MotoGP Parade lap
- 11am Moto3 Grand Prix (23 laps)
- 12.20pm Moto2 Grand Prix (25 laps)
- 1.10pm Casey Stoner commemorative lap
- 2pm MotoGP Grand Prix (27 laps)
- 5pm Gates close