2012 Phillip Island MotoGP Post-Race Round Up: Of Champions, Home Crowds, And Past Glory

Two freshly anointed champions, three impressive winners, and a large crowd of ecstatic and yet wistful fans, come to say goodbye to a departing hero and hope to spot a new one arriving. Even the weather cooperated. That's how good the Australian Grand Prix was at Phillip Island this year. All three races were a lot less intense than the previous two weekends, but even that didn't matter, because of the manner in which the winners secured their victories, and because the Australian crowd had something to cheer about in all three categories.

It started in the Moto3 race, where Sandro Cortese rode one of his best races of the year, the title he clinched last weekend at Sepang clearly a weight off his mind, allowing the young German to ride freely. He had Miguel Oliveira to contend with for most of the race, but in the end, he would not be denied. The home crowd still had much to cheer about, as local boy Arthur Sissis, the 17-year-old former Red Bull Rookie, won an intense battle for third, putting an Australian on the podium for the first time on Sunday.

In Moto2, Pol Espargaro gave a display of dominance rarely seen in the intensively competitive class. It was hardly unexpected, Espargaro having stamped his authority on practice for the past two days, but the style in which the Spaniard won was very, very impressive. It took him a couple of laps to get past Marc Marquez and Takaaki Nakagami, but once he did, he put a second or more a lap on most of the field, before cruising home to a spectacular victory. Espargaro could do nothing to prevent Marquez becoming champion, concentrating solely on the task ahead, winning as many races as possible.

The home crowd had something to cheer for as well, Ant West riding an outstanding race to hold off a late charge from Marc Marquez to secure second place, making it two podiums in a row. West's podium at Sepang last weekend took the weight of the Australian veteran's shoulders and has given him the confidence boost he needed. The team have been making slow progress, West had said earlier this weekend, and Sepang was the reward from that hard work. Most of all, though, it had helped him find his belief in himself again; that alone is worth half a second or more a lap. At this level, motorcycle racing is 90% mental.

Marquez finished third, but still took the 2012 Moto2 title with honor. He may not have been able to win - no one had the measure of Espargaro at Phillip Island - but he gave an impressive account of himself and secured the championship with a podium. Marquez is a deserved winner of the championship, despite the criticism sometimes aimed at the young Spaniard. The onboard video of the first lap at Motegi shows one of the most compelling displays of courage, skill and racing sense of recent years, and justifies on its own his ascension to the premier class next season. There has been much made of Marquez' backing and support, and of the special treatment he has received. It is true that he has had solid sponsorship and always been in a strong team, but the reason why he has had the backing is because of his extraordinary talent, rather than the other way around. A MotoGP team manager who was at the test where Marquez took his first laps on a Moto2 machine was in awe: "He is a very special talent." Winning the title on what is a very ordinary chassis - the massive success of the Kalex bikes compared to the mediocre results of the other Suters - speaks volumes about the ability of Marquez, and the Spaniard will be very fast from the very first MotoGP race at Qatar. HRC boss Shuhei Nakamoto has already said that he expects Marquez to be on the podium at that race; it would not surprise me in the slightest.

The main course, however, was the demonstration to be given by Casey Stoner in the MotoGP class. Stoner had almost humiliated the rest of the field during practice, consistently half a second or more quicker than anyone else, the gap often closer to a second. At a track where the lap is usually 90 seconds, that is a massive advantage.

Unusually, the weight of expectations got to Stoner a little, the Australian knowing that he could not afford to make a mistake if he was to win. Beating the rest would not present a problem; ensuring he did not fall off in the process required intense concentration, as would become all too apparent later on. It meant that Stoner entered Doohan Corner in 3rd, with Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa ahead of him. Lorenzo knew he had to finish ahead of Pedrosa, and only had eyes for the Spanish Repsol Honda man. But Lorenzo's lead lasted just a few corners, Pedrosa getting past him at the Honda hairpin, and then Stoner blasting past along the front straight. Having Stoner between him and Pedrosa would have made Lorenzo's life much more complicated at Valencia, but it was not to be. Pedrosa would fall at Honda corner on the second lap, crashing out of contention and out of the championship. It was his first error of the season, and a very costly one.

Pedrosa had no regrets afterwards, however. He had one option, and that was to stay ahead of Lorenzo, and if possible win the race. Staying ahead of Lorenzo meant taking risks, and Pedrosa paid the price for those risks. He had to keep pushing, Pedrosa said afterwards, because the window of opportunity was getting smaller at every race. He was sad for his team, his friends, his family, rather than disappointed. But he was also proud of what he had achieved this season, in what is clearly his best every year in MotoGP. "I'm very proud of my performance," Pedrosa said afterwards.

Casey Stoner had had a front-row seat for Pedrosa's fall, and described to MotoGP.com what he saw had happened. "Basically, about 2 meters out from the inside kerb, there's a lot of rough surface where the tarmac is not in good condition, it is very old and very used. If you put any pressure on the front tire there, then more or less you're going to crash. He went in there a little bit deep, he ran just a little bit wide, and this was just too much to turn on this tarmac, and unfortunately he lost it. It's so easy to happen, you have a very small patch of tarmac that is good, and the rest is very bad. I understood immediately what had happened to Dani and I felt very sorry for him, because I did this last year in practice, and also this year in practice I had a small closing there, so it's a very difficult point."

With Pedrosa out of the way, Stoner's triumphant parade could begin. Still, though, he would not push to the limit, actually finishing with the win more important that pushing to get everything out of the race. That meant that Nicky Hayden's lap record from 2008 did not fall, surprisingly, as had been widely expected. Stoner did not want to take those risks, preferring instead to build the gap, then manage it at home. The crowd loved it, giving him a standing ovation on the final laps as he seared around the circuit which will now forever bear his name in the third corner, a fast, furious corner requiring bravery and skill. "I'm not a very emotional person," Stoner said afterwards, "so I'm not really gonna talk about emotions and how it is, but I think it says enough, seeing the people out there on the pit straight, and the reception we got for winning this race, I have so much support over the years racing at home here, but this year was so much more than all the years previously, it was quite something to take in. I even took notice in the last few laps of all the people cheering me on, it was just amazing to see the people standing up in the grandstands and I think it was just a fantastic weekend."

It was not enough to change his mind about retiring, however. Asked in the press conference if the reception he had been given at Phillip Island gave him any regrets about his decision, Stoner was clear. "No. I'm very established about where I'm going, I'm not changing my mind every couple of minutes." The only way to tempt Casey Stoner back to MotoGP is a return to the fire-breathing two strokes.

Pedrosa's crash meant that Lorenzo only had to cruise home to collect his second world championship. That is not really Lorenzo's style, however. The Spaniard has one speed, a relentless, punishing, crescendo of speed, getting faster and faster until the flag falls. He pushed at first to stay with Stoner, but after nearly losing the front trying to match the Australian's speed, decided that winning the title was more important than crashing out trying to win the race. Lorenzo clinched his second MotoGP championship with his tenth second place finish of the year, in addition to the six wins. Except for the race at Assen, where he was taken out by Alvaro Bautista, Lorenzo has finished either first or second in every single race this year.

Jorge Lorenzo has been like the Terminator this year, the unstoppable robot that just keeps on coming, no matter what you do to try to stop it in its tracks. Lorenzo's method is simply building a metronome-like pace, clocking lap after lap at a scorching pace, each one a fraction faster than the previous one, turning the screw tighter and tighter until the opposition cracks. Lorenzo has been relentless in 2012, winning when he can, taking second when he can't, always a threat. This has been one the hardest fought and most impressive championships in recent memory.

It was very emotional to win at Phillip Island, Lorenzo said, one year on from the big crash which had cost him a fingertip in 2011. "Last year was one of worst moments in my career. For sure a scary one," Lorenzo told a special press conference. "Then one year later I could celebrate my second world title in MotoGP. So yes, a big emotion, because this year has been even tougher than the first try to win the world title in 2010. Because I knew the competitors were stronger and more constant this year, so I had to be stronger and more constant than them. It was not easy, because I had to be very strong, very fast, and take a lot of risks but I didn't make a mistake. Also, Yamaha offered me a much better bike than last year. For this reason we are the best in 2012."

He had learned from his mistakes, learned to find where the limit was and ride at it, not go over it. He was much less consistent when he was younger, Lorenzo explained. "I didn't know where was my limit. I was fast, I was quick, but like this I couldn't become world champion, which was my goal for my career. So I needed to learn from the mistakes, to understand my limit where it was, and try not to go over the limit. For this reason I am very proud of my evolution." He also named his team as a a big part of the reason he had become champion this year, because they, like him, had been flawless. "[I am] also very grateful to my team," Lorenzo said. "Because they didn't make any mistake during the season, the bike never had any failure and was very competitive, so we are also world champion for this reason."

Where Honda and Yamaha had succeeded, Ducati had failed, with Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden crossing the line over thirty seconds back from the winner Stoner. While Valentino Rossi was almost stoic (see this story for his full thoughts on his time at Ducati), Nicky Hayden was very downbeat. "It's really hard, because normally I love it." Hayden said of the Phillip Island track. "I can remember battling with Valentino for the win here and being on the podium a lot, and today, having to race for 7th and 8th is really frustrating."

Part of Ducati's problems is the bumpiness of the track, something which the riders complained had become even worse than it was last year, when it had generated a spate of complaints. That problem is to be fixed for 2013, with Casey Stoner acting as an adviser to the resurfacing effort. When MotoGP returns here next year, the surface should be considerably better.

The Ducati needs a smooth track to be able to perform better, the chassis unable to cope with an uneven surface. The next race at Valencia should make things a little easier, as that track was resurfaced earlier in the year, and is now in much better condition. While that will make it easier for the Ducati men to find a set up, it will not work to their advantage exclusively. The Honda and Yamaha men will also be out for a result, and with the championship out of the way, everyone is free to race for glory, without trying to save engines, without just settling for points. There will be burnouts and wheelies, and desperate attacks, with no more engine allocations to think of. It should be fun.

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Another masterpiece, thank you. Cannot wait for Valencia race, Jorge Casey and Dani will definitely want to win the race. Go !

Nobody has anything to lose anymore. So I think Dani, Jorge and Casey will go.. all guns blazing in final race.


His superiority at Phillip Island was such that he didn't need to risk very much and still win by 7 seconds or something. Dani and Jorge are quite strong at Valencia and will be all guns blazing as you say.. having won in front of his home crowd I don't think Casey will take too many risks with the leg now at Valencia, he has nothing to prove and I'm sure would like to enter retirement with the full use of both legs.


On the other hand, Casey might have some Doohan attitude. If that is so... then he would not care about his ankle.

Shame there's no mention of the great fight for fourth between Bautista, Dovi and Bradl. Also compliments to the director of the cameras, we hardly had to miss any of it.

Battle for 4th was great, true.

Regarding Director of cameras, I wonder when MotoGp coverage will get Picture In Picture (PIP) technology. You could keep an eye on the leader, while flicking through the various scraps down the field. Or show replays of the starts (as they like to do) with the live action still playing away in the corner.

if you have a subscription, with the video feed you can scroll back the footage to the beginning of the moto3 coverage while watching a PIP view of what is going on live.

I still can't choose to turn the commentary completely off which would be a godsend sometimes. And I still cant choose to follow a particular rider via onboard cams.

I will say that the helicopter shots from PI are breathtaking. We could surely use a lot more of those shots at every track. The same old camera shots are getting boring. Lets get some suspended cameras via cable. And btw, 3d recording is not that hard and its marketing returns are astronomical. You know what saved Ice Hockey in the US? HD TV. Why? So people could actually see the puck. Technology and marketing are what makes a sport successful. Adapt and flourish. Remain stagnant and collapse.

While I'm on this rant. Can someone please suggest to someone important that motoGP riders should be given team radio's. Does anyone even realize what kind of marketing aspect that brings to the sport? Pitboards are cool, but conversations means drama. Drama means $.

Team radios in MotoGP I don't think will work. They're essentially sprint races, and therefore much much shorter than F1. Also, it seems to me the team in F1 has a lot more say over what the driver does (ie: It's more about the car) than what the rider does (It's more about the man).

I also don't think a rider wants to cart a radio around with him, it would have to be integrated to the suit somehow....

I don't know what to say about the race really..... But the thing I'll remember most about this round are the grid girls..... they were amazing! Dovi's umbrella girl = WOW!

Does anyone know how they select the grid girls? Are they local girls? If so, Australia is truly blessed!

He knows he's riding at a risk already, and he is looking to the future. On a doco. last night here in Aus,. it was revealed that in his V8 Supercar test day he actually lapped faster than the car's regular driver, who had won a major race in it two weeks earlier - but was not satisfied that he'd done well enough because he was on fresh tyres whereas the regular driver had been on worn tyres. The regular driver is one of the most accomplished V8 drivers in the country, so that indicates that Stoner can't be half bad - on his first outing... so he has a sporting future to consider.

P.I. was his 'thank you' to his Aus. fans, and he wasn't going to short-change them. At Valencia he'll be riding mainly for himself. He's wrapped up 3rd in the WC, he might just be happy to let Pedrosa and Lorenzo go play amongst themselves.

but given his recent interest in Go-carts, association with Redbull, and friendship with Mark Webber, dont be surprised if he tests for the Redbull F1 team by the end of 2013.

I find it so frustrating, the track is brilliant (resurfacing aside) however the circuit PA, the goat track walk in the mud to get to to your stand, the amazingly poor facilities and the appalling traffic regarding exit have made this my last visit. I've been going to PI for over 20 years and it NEVER gets fixed. Sepang looked brilliant, next year a few mates and I will be going to Sepang not the Island, as the owner of the circuit obviously cares about the spectators. (Anyway enough of the gripe).

The race of the day was clearly Moto2, Pol was brilliant and Ant's race for second had everyone cheering. Great stuff! I've always believed that any good wet weather rider would ride fast in the dry (with the right bike) but I've never been sure about the opposite. Ant once again proved this belief to be correct.

Freddie Spencer will now live in my memory as the second fastest rider I've ever seen. Casey is fast, so fast, it leaves me dissappointed he will not race bikes anymore, and very sad for the sport. In a year or two we could've have had the current 3 aliens, plus Marquez and Esparago all competing, so sad!

Looks like I'll have to wait another decade or so for another Gardner, Doohan or Stoner to come through, I was so hoping to watch Casey for at least another 5-8 years. I think the generalised negative and hurtful attitude toward him during his lactose intolerance period was the beginning of the end, he wanted to ride in childhood hero's team (repsol - doohan), once he'd completed that, he's left the environment he feels is hateful toward him.

Surely he can see now that we love watching him ride a bike - its sublime, please don't do this (but its too late)!

There is a major event maybe 3-4 times a year there, and to have better traffic accomodation is not realistic when you consider that the rest of the island is as much a holiday destination for the fact that it doesn't have a lot of development. They'd also have to rebuild the bridge.
I understand, I was in the field in my car until about 8PM. But I also like the Island for what it is outside of the major events. The solution is to bike it, and I would love to, but given that I live several thousand kilometers away in the tropics, that is not really a solution for me!

Ant was fantastic wasn't he? I have been cheering for Westy for a bloody long time, and it's good to see him happy in a team.

What's to stop a simple bus lane to take public transport to Cowes, Saint Remo and Melbourne, they wouldn't use anymore land from the farmers, as the existing verges are so wide, all they need is couple $100 thousand for clearing and spray tar, and while the tar machines are there, they could do the pathway around the track as well. I noticed Ted Baileau (sp?) came by Helicopter, if they sold his Helicopter and used the cash for the road, he could've driven there. The buses wait in the traffic to both leave and return to the circuit gate itself (they have a dedicated bus road but it takes the buses 20 minutes to negotiate the 100 metres to/from it - they are supposed to arrive/leave every 15 minutes), its just madness.

There are only about 2 weeks a year that the circuit is not in use, its one of the busiest around, most tracks only have couple of signature events a year, I think the owner a Mr Lindsay Fox?? (billionaire - dont know if I have the correct greedy Aus billionaire but I think I do) could spend just a little cash by fixing the toilets and PA (the absolute basics)... Drives me NUTS!

I agree about the circuit facilities - they're....inadequate, really. I hope that whatever small steps that can be taken to improve things are taken. Hidden Valley definitely has better superscreen coverage when ASBK runs there, for example. I don't want to see Sepang style developments there. It would kill the charm of the place, ruin it as a good spectator circuit and turn it into a...colder Sepang.

But for roads, I don't think that it makes sense to do so for the other 355 days of the year when a major event isn't on, and that might be a sticking point with the locals as well. Widening the roads wouldn't be enough, and doing it only on the Island itself wouldn't be enough. Every time there is an intersection you have a bottleneck. The roads would need to be properly re-designed to handle that much traffic, and that would take millions, not a few hundred grand. Personally, I think that the transport problems are the price to pay for having the world's best motorcycle circuit, and one of the best spectator circuits around.

Hmmm, know what htfu means ? Cause I think you need to.

Like you, I have have been many times to the island. My round trip bike journey is almost 3000k, and I love every minute of it. I love getting in and out easily, while laughing inwardly at the cagers stuck in queues a mile long, while I lane split or using the verges like the thousands of other bikers. I could not think of going to PI in a car, so much of the special sauce would be missed.

I agree the toilets are rubbish. But it is quite dissapointing to read that kind of attitude, that you would go to sepang overPI. Its precisely that lack of support for australians in australia that keeps our local comps in the poorhouse, both in terms of $ and competition. In fact, if drawn on the subject, because of 1. The moaning 2. The mention of freddie spencer 3. The preference for sepang next year, I would say that you are a naturalised citizen, originally from England. Am I right ? Lol.....

I will continue to go to PI and watch a weekend of mind blowingly talented racers,cause that is why I go. Nothing gets in the way of my enjoyment of that. Htfu.

What he said, except I'd go one further and suggest cars, buses etc go via Cowes as they previously did at the end of the day. Or cars be banned on raceday ;)

But if you think its going to impress International teams and major business to sponsor Aussie talent by confronting them with smelly toilets, impossible parking, and mud then you're completely mistaken. Its shameful. Have you ever thought about why local riders ALWAYS need international sponsors? Local business sees no benefit is sponsoring the riders, and how can you blame, when a corporate day at the track ends up like this...

My wife also comes with me, and due to a back problem, we can't ride our bikes that distance, we choose to use the responsible method of getting to the track, being the shuttle service (which would stop you all from parking on top of the wild life and creating yet more mud paddocks), its supposed to run every 15 minutes, but spends most of its time stuck in traffic trying to negotiate some 100 or so metres, and you dont want it fixed because you like to stare others being caged, with some sort perverse superior grin I bet. High time you thought about public transport, Australia's international reputation and common sense solutions to a tedious problem. Is the back of your neck burnt?

Its not my attitude which is incorrect, and the only 'special sauce' I can see flows straight from the port-a-loo blocks into the 'muck 3 pump trucks'.

Natural environment would benefit from better facilities with less litter, pollution, people and vehicles crushing it.

So yes, I will go to Sepang and yes I will spend my money there, unlike the preceding 23 years, and I wont feel bad about it one little bit. Patroitism is no excuse for poor service or substandard performance of any kind.

congrats to #99 from a diehard fan. totally deserved it.. has all the qualities of a truly invincible champion in abundance in himself. talent, precision, consistency, long-term-thinking/intelligence/knowing your limits, tough (toughest really) mentality and so on..95% of the motogp community wanted him to fail ever since dani came up strong in the second half of the season, many wished him a crash or a mechanical failure, such pathetic lowly people there are, or hoped he'd break under the pressure (they forgot this is jorge. toughest mentality i have ever seen. the giant rossi couldn't break him with his mind-games and antics over those 2 years and instead got pissed himself with the reverse psychology), so many criticised him a bit too unreasonably over the sepang issue coz they were just waiting for any excuse to slant him and so on, but he's finally got through it all...gets a bit childish with his celebrations sometimes but thats alright.

dani's crash made me feel sad for him coz that's not how anyone wanted it to end. but this crash was purely an essential part of the racing. he went in too fast too early, basically probably got broke under the pressure (which separates jorge the most from anyone else) as i think, from my comfortable chair, he could and should have waited for the right time (only lap 2 and tangled up with casey and jorge on a hairpin is usually not the kind of situation one should go for last moment aggression) to try to gap jorge (and possible casey) but he kinda bent under the pressure to gap them anyhow too early and made a severe mistake on that turn going in too fast. it was i think a move due to pressure and nervousness and lack of long-term thinking.. not a very good trait if one wants to beat the likes of jorge and casey and wants to be champion..nevertheless, dani in the second half of the season has been great and i am pretty sure he's going to be a serious title contender in 2013, perhaps the most certain one given how the 2013 rcv totally works in sync with dani.

casey of course had a perfect race as expected. will definitely miss his way of riding a motorcycle.

closest championship in years, and i didnt find it so boring. but i suppose 99 and 26 and even maybe 27 diehards didnt find several races any boring. i thoroughly enjoyed qatar, le mans, catalunya, silverstone, sachsenring, mugello, brno, sepang and phillip island.

oh also, totally loved the tyre burnout in parc ferme by lorenzo, a kickass way to celebrate any motorcycle racing victory.. and it was really very nice of him to come down from the podium stage to his team on the ground and jizz the champaigne up with them..very nice way to make them extra happy and show how much he cares for them. i smiled at that.

hoping for valencia to be killer since no one has anything to lose now but again it's a track more favorable to honda so let's see..

2013 come on.

In 2010, in the lead up to the MotoGP race day at Phillip Island, there had been a lot of rain so the land surrounding the circuit was saturated. A photographer I know got out of his car in the car parking paddock (a farmer's field) and stepped into mud that sucked his shoes off. He said: "they have been running this race for 21 years now and they still cannot be bothered to sort better car parking. I don't think they care. We put up with it the first few years because it was a new event, but that was 1989!" A journalist friend who has been to GPs all over Europe went to the 2010 Australian MotoGP and was absolutely appalled at the facilities. He could not believe the muddy parking paddocks with cars bogged in them, the walk-ways that spurted mud up your pants or the security staff who had been flown in from a foreign country (the old slave wage trick) and were difficult to communicate with. Then he found out the organisers were charging the press $90 for a weekend's internet connection so they could report on the race! Instead of doing what so many are doing here, he wrote to the Victorian State Government, which bank-rolls the event. The result is there is no longer a $90 charge for internet connection for the press, but there is precious little else that has changed. This year the organisers knew the crowd was going to be big because of pre-event ticket sales. But the traffic management plan was not updated to cope, and on Monday, some people took two hours to get off the Island, with the cops bent on catching speeders (fat chance in bumper-to-bumper traffic) rather than helping ease the traffic flow. Those same cops are very enthusiastic about carrying out the State Government's requirement for millions in speeding fees and hammer motorcyclists. My feeling is they will be lucky to have 10,000 at Phillip Island in 2013. This year it was those who wanted to see Casey strut his stuff at the Island one more time. He won't be back (on a bike) - and neither will they.

Perhaps a 'rating' of each track regarding how well it caters for the crowd.

1. Big screen availability
2. Track visibility from seating areas (so we're not behind poles, trees etc and can see a reasonable amount of track)
3. Toilet availability and cleanliness
4. Access to/from public transport
5. Parking accessibility and price
6. Quality and cost of food/drink
8. Grandstand seat comfort
9. Traffic disbursement

Rate them out of ten and give the paying public a way to voice their concerns - Love to see you do it Mr Emmett!

That's a really great idea. Something for me to do over the winter. Nice feedback loop for race organizers.

We're parking on a farmer's field. They don't own the land to develop it into proper parking whether they 'care' or not. PI is also significantly covered by a Nature Park classification, so it may be very difficult to develop on the Island.

UK's Donnington and PI seem to have so much in common........

MSVR, who own most of the UK's circuits (run/owned by ex racer Jonathan Palmer) and run BSB have made big steps to improve their circuits and the priority seemed to be to get them looking good and offer good facilities for fans and competitors. They also keep them in good condition on track days/events.

Most circuits would do well to look at what they do and copy it.

It's not perfect (I wish they had some garages/power poles at cadwell park!) but when you know someone is trying you can give them time.

Donnington has had a rough time over its F1 fiasco etc and they did invest some money years ago which was a big help but it suffers from many of PI's problems in car parks/camping and access/egress.

Rating circuits is a good idea I think. If it was done in a collaborative way and not just overt criticism it might actually help the owners do something to help their customers come back again.

There is a big competition between TV and live racing and once I'm there the atmosphere, noise etc (those MGP bikes are awesome)is unbeatable.

I'm not a huge fan of Silverstone as a spectator race-wise (it's great to ride on a 1000)as MGP bikes come past about one every 10 seconds once things settle down, but the facilities and access are excellent. Changing the access took government help but the circuit has also invested and in places you can see lots of track, a big screen, and have dry paths to plenty of decent loos and catering.

The last MGP I went to I didn't even have to find the time to watch the TV coverage, as I had seen it all on track or big screen and heard an excellent commentary. That's what I call service.

If only you could get in the pits........

Phillip Island is a unique place and setting for a racetrack.
Everyone who goes there knows the facilities are what they are.
The traffic situation is the same each year, there was no mud this year so that was a bonus. Go to Sepang instead of the island?
Wouldn't even consider it.

by hiding your head in the sand? PI is beautiful, and the track layout with it flowing curves is precious, but I do not understand why we Australians are patriotic to a fault? Even when something we do is clearly rubbish, we defend it! If you want the best in the world, then make it so, dont defend lazy poor management. Surely the total experience of being at the Island on a race weekend is whats important?

1. The farmers are probably paid for the use of their land for parking, why not a 100 year lease for a very narrow strip to allow for a decent bus lane? These situations can and are regularly negotiated, its how the world works.

2. The natural environment improves with better facilities management, keeps the place cleaner, rubbish, mud and other pollutants out of the waterways, the national parks would only encourage that process.

3. If you believe in a democratic and free Australia, then MAKE the authorities listen, for one weekend a year the world's motor sport elite are looking at us and we greet them a beautiful enjoyable (possibly the best) race track only for it to be surrounded by mud, poor parking and chaotic public transport. Ridiculous!

Go to Sepang instead of the Island? Yes and see how they do it, and maybe, just maybe, we can open our eyes and learn something.