|Suzuka Circuit (MotoGP Course)|
|Circuit Length||3.617 miles (5.821 km)|
|Appears in||Tourist Trophy|
|Fastest Lap (real)||2:07.110 (Kousuke Akiyoshi, FCC TSR Honda CBR1000RR, 2009)|
Suzuka Circuit is a real world circuit based in Ino, Suzuka City, Mie Prefecture, Japan and operated by Mobilityland Corporation, a subsidiary of Honda Motor Co, Ltd. It has a capacity of 155,000.
The major differences here compared to the race car course is the addition of a small chicane after the hairpin, about halfway through the 200R right-hander, and the last chicane in the Casio Triangle has been pushed forwards about 30m, and is tighter overall.
Designed as a Honda test track in 1962 by John Hugenholtz, Suzuka is one of only a few real-world circuits to have a figure 8 layout (Another example is the Top Gear Test Track). Obviously, due to the danger of an intersecting track, the track doesn't actually intersect with itself; instead, the back straight passes over the front section by means of an overpass.
The Suzuka Circuit is believed by many to be among the most challenging and dangerous circuits in the world, having claimed the lives of 18 drivers and 1 track offical in its 56 year history. Other drivers who have failed to finish Grand Prix at this circuit include Ayrton Senna (twice) and seven-time Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher (5 times).
The circuit currently hosts the Formula One's Japanese Grand Prix, FIM Endurance 'Suzuka 8 Hours', Super GT's '1000 km Suzuka', the World Touring Car Championships, Super Formula, MJF Superbike, D1 Grand Prix, and the Super Taikyu.
Very few major changes have been made to the circuit since its inception in 1962. The most significant of these took place in 1983 when a chicane was inserted in what is now the 'Casio Triangle' complex to reduce speeds. 2003 saw the iconic 130R corner redesigned following two major accidents, seperating it into a double-apex 85R-340R complex. The Suzuka Circuit underwent major renovations between 2007 and 2009, to improve its facilities and make it safer.
In Tourist TrophyEdit
The Suzuka track features in the following events:
Layout & SectorsEdit
The first corner, where you make your entry from the downhill home straight, is made difficult by the downhill inclination and braking, which lifts the load off of the rear tires. This makes the bike unstable in the turn. Use the orange wall, side roads and white lines indicating merging traffic to set your braking point, then brake in a straight line. For the driving line, consider the first and second corners to be a single corner, connecting both in a smooth line. For turn 2, make sure you hit the apex properly to raise your exit speed.
The S-bend at Suzuka, starting at turn 3, is a section that can have a major effect on lap times. To clear this efficiently, you need to coordinate steering and throttle operations well. It is important to rhythmically loosen the throttle as you turn the steering, and apply throttle as you straight the steering. At each corner, you want to set your apex at the far end of the turn, and make a smooth approach to the following corner.
Turn 6, the final right turn in the S, only has a shallow bank, and to the driver it looks as though it is banked the wrong way. Because of this this it is referred to as the Reverse Bank. In preparation for the Dunlop Corner which follows, keep a position along the inside kerbstones, being careful not to go too wide at the exit.
Dunlop Corner is located at a point on the track with the steepest upward climb, and is also a blind corner. This makes it very difficult to set a proper driving line. Turn in from the outside, and set your apex around the center of the inside kerbstones. Use the full width of the track, and make your exit towards the outside. Once you have made your exit, move to the left in preparation for Degner.
The cornering speed of the high speed turn 8 can be raised by driving to cut across the inside kerbstones. However, you do need to be careful. If you go too deep onto the outer kerbstones, on the outer side at the exit, it can disrupt your orientation at the next braking point. Also, turning in too early can run the risk of short-cutting the corner and incurring a time penalty. For the low speed turn follow along the inside kerbstones, and make full use of the wide kerbstones at the exit in order to raise your exit speed.9,
The 180-degree Hairpin Curve has a long flat out section following immediately after, so it is critical to raise your exit speed here. For the right hand 110R turn before the hairpin, take an out-in-out line in order to approach the Hairpin Curve from the outside. You will be braking as soon as you exit 110R. For the Hairpin Curve itself set your apex at the far end of the corner for a line that focuses on exit speed. Once you have adequately dropped your speed, face your car early towards the corner exit, and accelerate in a straight line. Be careful when you do this however, as getting on the throttle too early can disrupt the balance of the bike and send you off the track. Here a chicane has been added for MotoGP races, firm braking and gentle throttle application will allow the bike to smoothly exit here and prepare for the next two left-handers.
For the consecutive 200R and 250R, minimize your steering operation and drive so that you do not inhibit you acceleration. For the latter, set your apex on the far side of the corner in order to allow you to braking in a straight line.
One of the most difficult, left hand combined corners, formed by turns 13 and 14 on the Suzuka Circuit, is called the Spoon Curve. This is an important turn that will affect the top speed on the West straight. Focus on raising your exit speed as much as you can. For the entry into turn 13, brake using the side road on the right side of the track as your cue, and make your turn into the corner. Be wary of overspeeding and causing understeer. On he exit, go wide all the way to the outer side of the track. For turn 14, make your approach be using the area where the outer kerbstones end as your mark. Apply brakes lightly while turning to avoid understeer. After the apex the track will begin to descend, making the way ahead almost blind. Make sure you are not late on the throttle, and go wide all the way out to the kerbstones as you exit the corner.
For the ultra high speed 130R, perform minimum deceleration and clear the turn in an out-in-out line. The trick here is to perform braking for entry early on. This will suppress load shifts of the car during turn in, and will give yo additional cornering speed. Alternatively, release the throttle at the marshals hut and reapply it as you begin to turn in. As soon as the outer kerbstones end, move your line to the left for the next chicane.
During a race, the chicane where you apply full brakes from high speed is an optimal point on the track for braking. Apply hard brakes, aiming to cut across the first kerbstone of the chicane will make your approach to the second left hand corner easier. Use the kerbstone again in the second corner, facing your bike towards the exit early on. pen the throttle, and clear the final corner on the descent flat out.
- Suzuka Circuit appears in the 1983 arcade game, "Pole Position II". In certain re-releases of the game, it is replaced by a track called "Wonder Circuit", which bears resemblence to Suzuka Circuit, and even has a ferris wheel in the background, just like in Suzuka Circuit in the arcade version of the game, in Gran Turismo, and in real life.