Motorcycle racing has received a major boost at two Aussie tracks with a big cash injection into a second circuit at Bathurst and the reopening of Perth’s Barbagallo Raceway to motorbikes.
Bathurst Regional Council has received an extra $2.5 million in funding from the Federal Government for its proposed second circuit at Mount Panorama.
The Feds have now funded $12.5 million toward the $52 million FIM/FIA accredited “Velocity Park precinct” which would be suitable for MotoGP and World Superbike racing.
The 668-hectare Velocity Park to the east of Conrod Straight will have capacity for up to 50,000 spectators.
It will also feature accommodation and hospitality facilities.
Bikes raced at Bathurst from the 1940s to the 1980s, hosting several pre-world-title Australian GPs.
Forrest’s Elbow is named after motorcycle racer Jack Forrest who scraped his elbow away after laying down his bike on the corner.
Hell Corner is named after a tree stump at the apex where it was believed motorcyclists who misjudged the corner would die.
In the 1980s, the Easter Races were marred by riots until council imposed an alcohol ban.
Motorcycle racing at Bathurst finished in the late ’80s.
Since then, concrete safety barriers for car racing have made the existing circuit unsafe for motorcycle racing.
Motorcycle racing has returned to Perth with the Barbagallo track now re-licensed for competitive racing after significant safety upgrades.
The Wanneroo track last weekend hosted the first round of motorcycle racing for more than two years.
Motorcycle racing was suspended at the venue in November 2016 over safety concerns, after several fatal accidents and the publication of a safety audit which highlighted risks.
Since 2017, the WA Sporting Car Club, Motorcycling Australia and Motorcycling Western Australia have worked to formulate track realignment and resurfacing upgrades to improve track safety.