IF there is one thing motorcycle racing’s biggest names are in unison on, it is the quality of the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit.
Fast corners, uniqueness and the fact only the bravest riders succeed are just some of the reasons the iconic track is so highly thought of.
Seven-time premier-class world champion Valentino Rossi is glowing in his praise of the Victorian circuit, insisting it is like no other.
“I’m always very happy to come here [Australia],” Rossi said in 2018.
“I like the place and also the Phillip Island circuit – the Australian Grand Prix is a bit particular. The track is unlike any other circuit.”
So what is so unique?
Marc Marquez, aiming for his sixth MotoGP title in just seven years, loves the fact braveness is rewarded.
“Phillip Island is one of my favourite circuits, together with Aragon, but especially here,” he told BT Sport in 2018.
“The place is amazing. It’s a circuit that we enjoy it, a lot. It’s a circuit that you need two balls to be fast because you are riding very, very, very fast.
“The high speed is a lot. It’s narrow. It’s difficult. But you enjoy it.”
Australian rider Jack Miller is particularly fond of Turn 9 at Lukey Heights, describing it as “one of the nicest corners on the calendar”.
Miller also enjoys racing at the Victorian track for obvious reasons.
“It’s a track that really works well with my style and how I ride. It’s a place I love a lot and the fans are incredible,” he said.
Australian legend Wayne Gardner, who won the first two 500cc races at Phillip Island, says there are many reasons that make the circuit so popular with riders.
“They all love riding at Phillip Island. The reason for that is it’s extremely fast, it’s all well connected and it’s flowing, and it produces great racing,” he said.
“It’s a ballsy track, it fits our characters and it fits our country and all the Grand Prix riders love riding on it.
“The circuit is amazing – the first corner’s fast, the second corner’s fast, the third corner’s fast. You’ve got two slow corners at Honda Corner and over at Lukey Heights. It’s got everything in it.
“But the beauty about it is it’s got fast corners, where it’s ballsy stuff. And there’s no other track, I think, like this in the world that has this fast-flowing momentum.
“Yes, you’ve got a couple of slow corners, but that kind of brings all the pack back together.
“And then you go off again on these fast sections, where the bike’s sliding and you’re pushing the front and you’re on the limit of everything.
“Then you go up over the hill, over Lukey Heights, and the bike’s sliding from underneath you. You’re trying to get grip. Then you come to the bottom of Lukey, where you go down to a first gear corner.
“And then you’ve then got into the third gear, wide open, sliding off that and then, of course, the fourth gear corner, the last corners, sliding and wide open all the way around there until you reach 330 km/h there down the straight.
“There is no track in the world as good as Phillip Island.”