All motorcyclists, whether you’re a MotoGP racer or Sunday Starbucks rider, have favorite corners of sections of road. For most of us, it’s that one off-ramp that you can take at full speed with your eyes closed or that section on your favorite road that is cambered just right. But what if you could combine your favorite corners from around the world into one track? That’s what Bradley Smith and his Monster Yamaha Tech3 team did, and it kicks ass.
People think a racetrack is a racetrack. Aren’t they all basically the same? Hairpins, chicanes, and long straights?
Those of you who have done a track day or two know that all tracks are different. Thunder Hill’s main track is considered a “slow track” (meaning it doesn’t have any big straights where you hit high top speeds), but is full of elevation changes and technically canted sections. Buttonwillow, on the other hand, is known for being mostly flat, having tank-slap-inducing bumpy sections, and for having a nice, long straight so you can brag to your friends about how fast you went.
I often think of MotoGP racers as robots, completely void of any thought that isn’t in the pursuit of winning races and that thoughts like having a favorite section would be far too trivial to waste precious seconds on. Turns out, they’re human too.
So Smith and his team have put together a list of Smith’s favorite corners and have strung them together to show you his ideal racetrack. The circuit goes a little something like this:
Turn 1 = Corner 1, Catalunya
Turn 2 = Corner 2, Catalunya
Turn 3 = ‘Lukey Heights’, corner 9, Phillip Island
Turn 4 = Corner 10, Phillip Island
Turn 5 = ‘La Chapelle’, corner 6, Le Mans
Turn 6 = Corner 6, Sachsenring
Turn 7 = ‘S’, corner 3, Suzuka
Turn 8 = ‘S’, corner 4, Suzuka
Turn 9 = ‘S’, corner 5, Suzuka
Turn 10 = ‘S’, corner 6, Suzuka
Turn 11 = Corner 16, COTA
Turn 12 = Corne 17, COTA
Turn 13 = Corner 18, COTA
Turn 14 = Corner 9, Termas de Rio Hondo
Turn 15 = Corner 12, Aragon
Turn 16 = ‘Corkscrew’, Laguna Seca
Turn 17 = ‘Stekkenwal’, corner 8, Assen
Turn 18 = ‘Arrabbiata 1’, corner 8, Mugello
Turn 19 = ‘Arrabbiata 2’, corner 9, Mugello
Looking at that section with the S turns from Suzuka, leading into the fast turns 16-18 from COTA (which were modeled after Turn 8 at Istanbul), with the Corkscrew three turns later lead me to believe that Smith is either a badass, a liar, or a superhero.
As People Magazine would say, racers are “Just Like The Rest Of Us!”
Think Smith missed anything? What is your favorite section of your favorite track?