20 May 2005
Track-by-track with Biaggi, Hayden.
Fast circuits, slow circuits, technical corners, bumps, blind turns... the 2005 MotoGP World Championship has them all as the series visits no less than seventeen different circuits - on four different continents - during its biggest ever season.
Each and every circuit has its own unique features - and every rider has their own personal preferences, based on an almost limitless list of influences that include past performances, the track layout, the facilities, the asphalt quality, the fans, the local language and much more.
Here, Repsol Honda riders Nicky Hayden and Max Biaggi give their personal verdict on each and every circuit on the MotoGP calendar - the first four have already been but the others, from Mugello onwards, are still to come...
Max Biaggi: "The circuit of Jerez is always special, because of the fans and the atmosphere. It's filled with motorbike fans, and that passion is a big incentive for us riders. In addition, Spaniards and Italians have a very similar nature so Jerez makes me feel like at home.
"I like the layout; it isn't very fast, but it's fun. The asphalt has optimal grip giving you a lot of confidence, it invites you to take risks. The best are probably the two fast right-hand corners in front of the large grandstand, only a couple of metres before the angle to enter the main straight."
Nicky Hayden: "It's a circuit where it's difficult to find the limit, but on the other hand it's one of the best layouts, because it really puts the bike's behaviour and its set-up to the test. I like this circuit, but I haven't been able to get a good result there yet."
Max Biaggi: "Estoril has a very particular layout, because there are some fast spots combined with a very slow and technical chicane. My favourite part is the section with the last corner before the main straight. The bad side is that it's always windy and the track is covered with sand, but despite the complications, it's a very nice circuit."
Nicky Hayden: "It's a quite hard track. It's rather uneven and the layout is a bit different than the rest, with ups and downs and very closed corners. I crashed a couple of times there last year. It's not an easy circuit."
Max Biaggi: "It's a really beautiful, technical, and quite fast circuit. The facilities are impressive and the layout is really varied, because it combines some first gear corners with faster ones and two long straights where you can reach really high speed. All of this makes the set-up quite complicated; you have to find a compromise and that's not easy. It's been good to ride on a different track after such a long time riding on the same ones."
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