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."

Nicky Hayden: "The circuit was one thing on the map, but once on the track it was rather different than expected. I like it in general terms, although it has some strange turns. What really surprised me is the surface; the layout is OK but I love the surface. The grip is fantastic and the feelings for the rider are smooth and effective. And the facilities! Impressive!"

Le Mans:

Max Biaggi: "Nice circuit. It's also nearby my home, because I live in Monte Carlo. I've always done good races in Le Mans and I've also won. It's slower than the rest of the tracks and it puts the technical skills of the riders to the test. The nicest riding part for me is the chicane after the pit straight, where you arrive at a crazy speed and it's really difficult to interpret."

Nicky Hayden: "It's a very hard track, probably one of the hardest of the championship. The tarmac surface is in bad condition, it's very slippery and it gets worse when it rains. The layout isn't bad, but the surface is probably the worst of the championship."


Max Biaggi: "This is one of my favourite circuits; it's also my home grand prix. The atmosphere in Mugello is magical, the crowd of fans transmits so much emotion, you can hear them from every spot on the track. Racing here is a unique experience and they have a top organisation. The layout is fantastic; I especially like the corners called "Arrabbiata 1" and "Arrabbiata 2". A circuit for tough riders."

Nicky Hayden: "It was a very difficult track for me to learn, but it's surely one of the most incredible circuits I've ever seen. It's built on an impressive site, on top of a hill, and it needs a very good set-up. I'm looking forward to racing in Mugello because I wasn't very good last year. This year I hope to get there and make up."


Max Biaggi: "This is also one of my favourite circuits. Now, with the new asphalt, it's even better; the bike slides like a snooker ball. It's technical and fast at the same time. The most fun part is corner number 3, long and fast, where the sliding of the rear tyre is really exciting. In addition, we're in Spain, where people are warm and nice, just as us Italians."

Nicky Hayden: "It's a track that combines many things. It has two clearly different sections: a first bumpy section, which finally has been repaved, and another section in the middle where riding is completely different. The set-up of the bike is very important; you need to find a compromise to make it work on both sections. Together with Mugello it's one of the circuits where you reach the highest top speed."


Max Biaggi: "The cathedral of motorcycling. The Dutch Grand Prix is a classical date where we find people who really enjoy the motorbike as an inseparable companion of their lives. It's a flat circuit, as the rest of Holland, and very long and fast. I like it because it's technical. I've won very nice races here, and moreover, we race the day before my birthday. Let's hope for good weather."

Nicky Hayden: "Probably my favourite circuit of the championship. It's very funny. It's completely different to any other circuit of the world on which I have raced. It has a very fast S-shaped section and it's one of the longest circuits of the championship. Given its special features, you need some time to adapt and make good use of it."

Laguna Seca:

Max Biaggi: "I love the USA and even more the idea of racing there. I've only raced there once and I must say that I enjoyed it a lot. I only hope the safety measures have improved, because there was really the need to do it. There is the mythical Corkscrew corner ending in a fast downward section. Riders have to be very brave on that spot."

Nicky Hayden: "My favourite grand prix, of course. It's obviously a circuit I love and it makes me remember Jerez. Since it's a very twisty circuit and with the heavy MotoGP bikes, it's a very demanding circuit. But it'll be fantastic for all, riders and spectators. It's not an specially fast track, but a technical one.

"There are a lot of second and third gear corners, and obviously the famous corkscrew corner... I'm ready for the challenge of fighting and defending the cause in front of my fans."

Donington Park:

Max Biaggi: "Donington has a peculiar atmosphere; you're almost riding in the middle of the forest. It isn't easy to race there because the asphalt is always damp and slippery. It's a rather slow and technical circuit. The most amusing section of this track is from corner 1 to corner 3, with a long and fast downhill section. And the start is fun as well, nice to see."

Nicky Hayden: "It's a very narrow circuit and it is very bumpy; it makes me remember the American tracks. It's a track where the riding technique is very important because it has some blind corners. You have to ride with confidence and push hard."


Max Biaggi: "Narrow and short circuit. And slow, you cannot get over 290 km/h. For the MotoGP bikes that have now more than 250hp, it's starting to become really small. But it's also very technical and therefore I like it. The layout is good and unique, so it's very complicated to overtake. It brings back good memories to me because I won there last year."

Nicky Hayden: "It's a left-hand track and with my dirt track experience riding on the left-hand side is quite easy. It's also a track with two different sections. It's very narrow at the beginning but then it becomes wider. Overtaking is quite difficult, especially at the beginning, therefore you need a good place on the grid and to make a good start to avoid staying behind."


Max Biaggi: "This is my favourite circuit from all. I like it because it's fast; I'm particularly fond of the four chicanes. The speed is really high there and you need a lot of decision to face the changes of direction. In addition it's a place that fits me; I've taken victory several times there and they have given my name to a bridge not far away from the circuit. I've won there with all the bikes I've raced with except for the current one."

Nicky Hayden: "One of the best circuits of the world. A quite wide track allowing very fluid riding, ideal for racing. Standing out is very important there because it's difficult to break away. It's an ideal place to make a good result and overtake, because there are several breaking points to do so."


Max Biaggi: "Racing in Malaysia is fantastic. Warm weather throughout the year, first class organisation and infrastructures, all grandstands covered, they are a wonderful work of modern architecture. The track is very fast and selective, both physically and technically. The spectators are fantastic as well, because they come from all over Asia. That's what I'd call a Continental Grand Prix."

Nicky Hayden: "I've made many laps on this circuit because we've spent several days testing here. It isn't an easy circuit because it's really long and wide. It was hard to get used to it at the beginning but, in general, I think that it's a good circuit because it has a bit of everything. Closed corners, fast sections... The grip is very important because the track temperature increases a lot in the afternoon."


Max Biaggi: "I like Japan and its atmosphere. Motegi is a friendly circuit. I won here several times and I have a great fan club there. So much that I always come one or two days earlier to spend some time with my fan friends. The asphalt of the track is great, very well taken care of. The section I like most are the fast corners before the finish, particularly the area under the bridge."

Nicky Hayden: "It has a lot of hard braking points and the surface is extraordinary. I like the tunnels and bridges of the circuit a lot, they make it more fun. The final section is good as well, there are a series of complicated slopes where you have to be ready to brake hard."


Max Biaggi: "This circuit doesn't excite me. It's in the middle of the desert and the feeling is quite cheerless. The heat is very strong and there's only sand around it, which gets on the track. However, the organisation has made a considerable effort. The surface is very variable and there's never enough rubber, because it isn't used on many occasions along the year. But there's always a positive side: you can do a lot of overtaking and the show is assured."

Nicky Hayden: "It's a very fun circuit, but the problem is that you cannot leave the racing line, because it's really slippery. We raced in Losail for the first time last year and we did some testing during the pre-season which the others didn't. The track condition is getting better and it offers more grip, and thanks to the pre-season tests we have now some more information which I hope will give us some advantage.

"The heat is also an important factor. You don't notice it that much on the track, but last year our feet were burnt because of the high temperatures of the clutch. Honda has already prepared solutions for this year's grand prix. Too bad there are not many spectators because the fans are always an additional incentive."

Phillip Island:

Max Biaggi: "Philip Island is a wonderful postcard; the sea in the back is spectacular. It's a very fast circuit, just the way I like it and the Asphalt is OK. I love the last corner and it's the point where you reach the finish at over 300km/h."

Nicky Hayden: "It's my favourite circuit. The atmosphere and the location of the circuit on top of a hill, surrounded by the ocean, are fantastic. Its main problems are the wind and the seagulls. Last year I ran into one of them and it's really dangerous."


Max Biaggi: "I have no idea of how it will be. I guess that, as with all new circuits, it will have fantastic facilities and a wide layout. Since they are going to have the Formula One race in summer, I'm sure that the track will be in good condition."

Nicky Hayden: "I don't know anything about it, in fact I haven't even seen a map of it, although I can imagine that it will be a wide and fast track. It will sure be a very interesting grand prix given the fact that it's a newly built and modern circuit which will host the Formula 1 Grand Prix before our race. I'll try to get some idea from watching the Formula 1 race."


Max Biaggi: "It's a very balanced track. I keep very good memories from the last race in 2004. It isn't easy to overtake and, from my point of view, it's one of the most technical layouts. The best spot for me is the first corner after the start straight. And, in addition, we finish the season as we started, in Spain, always a pleasure due to the atmosphere and the people."

Nicky Hayden: "I also like it a lot because somehow it makes me remember the American tracks, narrow and twisty. I think that it's one of those tracks that need a more aggressive riding style. I like the layout because it favours the show in several points, although overtaking is not easy."



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