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Turkish delight?

Turkey is making the International headlines at the moment. Not just because of the first MotoGP event to be staged in the country on Sunday, but because of their proposed entry into the European Union.

Their entry into the world of International Motorsport has gone a lot smoother than their entry into the EU, with both Formula One and MotoGP making their debuts this year in a country with no great tradition in World Championship racing.

Turkey is fast becoming an international sporting venue with its very location a bridge between the European and Asian cultures. This year they have already staged the Champions League Football final in a new stadium on the outskirts of Istanbul.

In August they hosted the first ever Turkish Formula One Grand Prix (pictured) at the brand new Otodrom circuit which is situated on the Asian side of the Bosphorus, 60 kilometres south east of the centre of Istanbul.

They spent over 80 million euros to complete the facility just in time for the Formula One debut. The 5.378kms circuit was designed by Herman Tilke who has been responsible for the design of the new circuits of Sepang in Malaysia and Shanghai in China.

The first thing to strike you watching the Formula One race on the television was just how undulating the circuit was, making a welcome change from some of the flat featureless circuits that are in vogue at the moment.

The track runs in anti-clockwise direction and features six rights and seven left turns. As always it's nice and wide and should provide plenty of overtaking opportunities to excite the new fans of the sport.

Nobody has tested at the circuit so it really will be a trip into the unknown for the riders and engineers, while the two major MotoGP tyre manufacturers Michelin and Bridgestone may turn to their F1 colleagues for any tips.

Once again looking at television and the lay out of the circuit, the fast multi-apex left hander turn 11, would seem to be the place top watch while the very sharp turn one at the end of the start and finish straight could certainly cause some fun and games.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Atmospheric Istanbul
The impressive facilites at the new Istanbul Park circuit stand over an equally impressive circuit
Kimi Raikkonen passes through the middle of Fernando Alonso and Giancarlo Fisichella
Sofuoglu and Turkish football T-shirt, Moto2, Catalunya MotoGP 2011
Vermeulen, Jacque, Pedrosa, first lap crash, Turkish MotoGP Race 2007
Edwards, Jacque, Vermeulen, Pedrosa, first lap crash, Turkish MotoGP Race 2007
Edwards, Vermeulen, Guintoli, first lap crash, Turkish MotoGP Race 2007
Vermeulen, Edwards after first lap crash, Turkish MotoGP Race 2007
Hopkins, Turkish MotoGP 2007
Hopkins, Turkish MotoGP 2007
Elias, Turkish MotoGP Race 2007
Edwards, Jacque, first lap crash, Turkish MotoGP Race 2007
Vermeulen, Edwards after first lap crash, Turkish MotoGP Race 2007
Coghlan, Turkish 125GP 2007
Kovacs, Turkish 125GP 2007
Kovacs, Turkish 125GP 2007
Smith, Turkish 125GP Race 2007
Olive, Turkish 125GP Race 2007

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