In MotoGP, where speed and glory go hand-in-hand the thrill of being at the tracks when records are set, and challenges accepted, turns racing into more than a sport, it becomes a lifestyle. The road is more than a racing ground; it is indeed an arena where guts and glory meet for a rendezvous. Each of these areas of glorious victory comes along with its moments of triumph and devastation, marking greatness.
Some highlights and low lights on the world’s most famous tracks: Nürburgring
It is 1976, and Giacomo Agostini is in the race set in Germany with his 500cc MV Agusta. The Nürburgring is notoriously challenging, but Agostini’s win was after some changes were made to the track which was nick-named by Jackie Stewart as “The Green Hell”. This win was Agostini’s 122nd Grand Prix win, and his record is still standing today. A memorable moment in a lifetime of contribution to his passion for speed. Agostini is also always the record holder for the highest number of fastest laps, a total of 117.
Autodromo del Mugello
Set in Tuscany, Italy and home to the 2018 Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley the adrenaline pumping event is much closer to recent history. Ducati has the eyes of the world’s MotoGP community set on them as Andrea Dovizioso becomes the fastest man in MotoGP history. Breaking the records for the fastest lap speed and setting the new world record at an all-time high of 356.4km/h. With ever-increasing records speeds, how long before this new record would be shattered?
Sepang International Circuit
It is at this Malaysian track that in the name of guts and glory, speed sent a bill in the form of a day of mourning. One of the unfortunate days in 2011 when the young Italian racer, Marco Simoncelli fell off his bike and slid on the track into the way of oncoming fellow racers Colin Edwards and Valentino Rossi. His death was imminent and a stark reminder to all present of the danger lurking in the shadows of adrenaline.
Isle of Man
Since 1907 this is one of the most dangerous racing tracks in the world. An entire arena of glory set in this island village. Enthusiast flock from all over the world to be part of this annual event and every time it is a memorable moment in MotoGP history. The death toll of riders on this track is a stark 258 up to 2018, but the price is also sometimes paid by spectators and bystanders with four deaths recently.
This sport is indeed more than a sport; it is a lifestyle choice, a way of being and declaring who you are. Tracks are more than stretched of the tarred road; it is arenas of human endurance and magnificence. It is within these highs and lows that the passion for speed of this sport is sometimes a double-edged sword, for there are a few that know that it is in the face of death that you genuinely become alive.