Circuit of the Americas MotoGP Pre-Race Fast Facts
There was once a time when MotoGP visited three separate tracks in the United States: Austin’s Circuit of the Americas (COTA), Indianapolis’s IMS, and Monterey’s Laguna Seca. That final year for the American triple was in 2013.
Indianapolis continued on the MotoGP schedule through 2015. Since, unfortunately, there’s been only one US round: the Grand Prix of the Americas at COTA. This track is well respected by the MotoGP grid, and fan participation has grown every year since the track joined the World Championship in 2013.
Ahead of this weekend’s Austin MotoGP, where Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez seeks to redeem his flawless record of wining every MotoGP held there from pole, here are some fast facts about the circuit courtesy of Repsol Honda and the Ducati Team.
For more on round three of 18, read our 2017 Austin MotoGP Preview: Can Marquez Go 5 For 5?
Circuit of the Americas MotoGP Fast Facts:
- The Circuit Of The Americas reflects the devotion of Americans to major sporting events; Details such as its capacity for 100,000 spectators, its impressive 85-foot level change on the home straight, and the longest straight in the World Championship at 1.2km.
- The elevation change at the circuit is 132 feet, with 85 of these feet changing at the end of the finish line in Turn 1, creating a hill with a gradient of 16.25%.
- In 2015, the MotoGP practice was stopped for 20 minutes because a dog ran onto the track.
- It is one of the five circuits that host both MotoGP and Formula1, along with Barcelona-Catalunya, Red Bull Ring, Silverstone and Sepang.
- The 252-foot high observation tower, with its 25 floors, is the highest in MotoGP. It was designed by an architects studio founded by the Catalan Juan Miró and the Puerto Rican Miguel Rivera. It features the only point from which you can see the entire circuit.
- 1,200 tons of structural steel were used for the main stand, which seats around 9,000 spectators.
- The cumulative economic impact of the circuit on the Austin metropolitan area is about $2.8 billion.
- 9,100 people work at COTA activities and events during the year.
- The COTA hosts MotoGP, Formula1, Lone Star Le Mans (endurance), events such as the July 4th picnic, and weekly concerts from the likes of Kings of Leon, Train, Muse, Green Day and Depeche Mode.
- Austin is the largest city in the United States without a team or franchise in any professional sports league, and even has one of the largest stadiums in the country: The University of Texas.
- Kevin Schwantz, 500cc World Champion in 1993, has been the ambassador of the circuit since 2014.
- Sandra Bullock, an Oscar winner, has a restaurant in Austin called the Bess Bistro.
- The Austin Capitol is 33,000m², and is the largest in the United States. It is also the sixth highest in the country, above the Washington Capitol.
- Austin has the largest urban bat colony in the United States.
- It has an average of 300 days of sunshine a year.
- The city receives around 19 million visitors a year.
- Last year, the Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso clocked the fastest speed of the race: 214.49 mph