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FLASHBACK: Schwantz talks Austin

1993 500cc world champion Kevin Schwantz talks about the ideas and inspiration behind the design of the Austin circuit, which hosts its first MotoGP test this week.
Repsol Honda, LCR Honda and the Factory Yamaha team will start a private three-day MotoGP test at the new Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas on Tuesday.

The test will mark the first laps for full time MotoGP competitors - American CRT wild-cards having been the only previous grand prix bikes to test at the track.

COTA, which impressed on its F1 debut late last year, is to host its first MotoGP race from April 19-21, as round two of this year's world championship.

1993 500cc world champion Kevin Schwantz played a major role in the design of the circuit, which features numerous elevation changes, including a distinctive steep uphill rise to the first corner.

Other sections are similar to the Maggotts/Becketts curves at Silverstone, Stadium section at Hockenheim, Adelaide hairpin at Magny-Cours, plus the multi-apex Turn 8 at Istanbul Park.

Schwantz has since fallen out with the new circuit management over promotion rights for the MotoGP, but this is what he had to say about the ideas and inspiration behind the circuit design, when speaking to Crash.net about the project in early 2011.

During the interview, Schwantz also talked through a lap of the 20-turn track:

"The front straightaway is going to be fairly flat, but then going into the first turn there is almost 130 feet of elevation change. So it's a huge uphill.

"Then as you make the first turn you come back down that hill and start a sequence of corners where I think most of the separation will be made. That is from Turn 2 all the way to Turn 9. It includes a sequence of corners similar to Maggotts and Becketts [the fast S bends] at Silverstone.

"One section that I also really like is at the end of the back straightaway. It's a sequence of corners similar to the Stadium section at the old Hockenheim circuit. I always remember going into the Stadium there and no matter how focused you were, how hard you were racing and what those two-strokes sounded like - you could still hear the roar of the fans! So that section on our track should be really popular with the fans as well.

"Then after that, from Turn number 16 all the way around to Turn 18, are three consecutive right-hand turns that will have an exit speed of over 150mph on a bike. It's going to be really fast.

"So there's a bunch of really cool sections of racetrack out there, but I think Turns 2 to 9 are going to be the really challenging part."



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