The world flocks to Phillip Island
THE Italian, Valentino Rossi and Spaniard, Jorge Lorenzo fighting out for the title of Australian MotoGP champion for 2015 has created the usual high demand for tickets to this year’s event says the Australian Grand Prix Corporation CEO Andrew Westacott.
In the vicinity of 90,000 are expected at the track for the three day spectacular from October 16 – 18.
That is short of the 125,000 crowd which witnessed two-time MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner win his sixth Australian MotoGP.
Crowds of such magnitude usually depend on the presence in the event of an Australian of the status of the now retired Stoner.
The Australian MotoGP is the largest international sporting event in regional Australia.
It brings untold benefit to the local and broader Australian economy but puts tens of millions of dollars directly into the Bass Coast Shire.
The economic benefits are felt in cafes in towns enroute to Phillip Island like Mirboo North and Leongatha.
Surveying tourists on the streets of Leongatha as to their places of origin, one is likely to hear New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory or Queensland mentioned ahead of Victoria.
Panoramic vision of the event, the track, countryside and coastline is fed into 200 countries and territories around the world bringing exposure that is hard to quantify.
Mr Westacott, whose association with the event stretches back 10 years when he began as general manager of operations before taking over as CEO in August 2010, is passionate about the event and said, “I would encourage anyone who has never been to an Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix to come and experience it.
“It is a wonderfully friendly event.”
Anyone who stereotypes the culture of motorcyclists unfavourably should think again he said.
Mr Westacott said you are more likely to find anti-social behaviour at the tennis, cricket or soccer than at the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix.
To imagine any different is “just garbage,” he said.
Only an hour from the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, the Australian Grand Prix Corporation works with VicRoads and the police to ensure that travel is as safe and hospitable as possible.
The highway is now divided all of the way San Remo and this is the first time in the ten years that the AGPC CEO has been involved in the event that the journey has been free of roadworks.
To the motorcycling fraternity the track at Phillip Island is the home of motorcycling in the nation.
The event attracts three to four thousand campers to the track.
The Barry Sheen Tribute Ride (named after an Australian great of the motorcycle Grand Prix circuit) leaves Bairnsdale at 9.30am on Thursday, September 15 and culminates later in the day with up to 600 bikes doing a lap of the track, the bikes making an awesome sight as they take up the entire circuit.
Andrew’s passion for projecting Victoria professionally on the world stage has been crucial in ensuring that each Motor Cycle GP is better than the last, and that the local community is embraced in the lead up to and during the event.
One such example of this is the steadfast support of the You Are My Sunshine Foundation which has been appointed as official charity for the fourth consecutive year.
Another example will be the inaugural Troy Bayliss Invitational GP, a new and exciting off track experience.
Three-time World Superbike Champion, Troy Bayliss, is set to bring his own special brand of dirt track racing to a tailor-made flat track circuit.
This event is in the spirit of the annual ‘Superprestigio’ event that the 2014 world champion, Marc Marquez, hosts annually in Barcelona, and Troy Bayliss’ own classic event held in Tarree, NSW.
Dirt track racing has been a prominent breeding ground for Australia’s motorcycling elite with Casey Stoner, Mick Doohan and Wayne Gardner all plying their trade on the dirt in the early stages of their careers.
With a wonderful track program, live bands, interviews and autograph signing with riders, atmosphere plus and a huge GP Expo selling everything there is to sell connected with bikes, the Phillip Island Motorcycle Grand Prix circuit will feel like the centre of somewhere very big and somewhere important over that one weekend in October.
Short URL: /?p=16248