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A look at the Istanbul circuit

A look at the Istanbul circuit

The Istanbul circuit is one of the few circuits that is negotiated in an anticlockwise direction.

Its layout makes the task of finding the right settings for the bike very complicated because there is a mix of very fast corners taken at full throttle and also some very slow corners. In addition, the constant changes in elevation make it even more difficult to find the correct suspension settings in the short space of time available in practice before the race.

The track starts with a short start/finish straight and the first corner is a relatively slow left-hander which should make for some spectacular braking at the end of the straight. There then follows an impressively long right-hand corner which will be one of the most important points on the track. This corner will affect the type of tyre used because the right side of the tyre must be made of a hard compound to withstand the excessive tyre wear caused by the rider accelerating from second to probably fourth gear through the corner with the bike leaning at an angle. Three corners follow in rapid succession, two of which are very slow and taken in first gear.

After that comes a downhill straight until the rider arrives at another very slow corner, taken in either first or second gear, which is also the point where the track starts to rise uphill. This will probably be a popular overtaking point. After this climb there are three left-hand corners, very similar to the three successive corners in Qatar which provided so much excitement three weeks ago. There then follows a downhill section which takes the rider up to another slow corner which, in turn, leads on to the first straight. This straight is followed by an impressive right hander which will condition the top speeds reached at this circuit. That speed will probably be in the region of 320 Km/h because, after this corner, taken in fourth or maybe fifth gear, there follows another 700 metres of straight to build up speed.

After reaching this top speed the rider must brake sharply to take a second-gear corner and then faces three successive corners with two changes of direction.

To sum up, the mechanics will have their work cut out in finding an ideal set-up for the bike, and also the right tyre compound at this circuit.

It could be that oversize brake discs are fitted not only because of the heat, but also due to the heavy braking points which stress the normal size discs.


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