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Island GP

MOTOGP is coming to town! Go on, make the pilgrimage, get down to Phillip Island for the biggest Event in Town. The biggest in the country even.

It truly is a great event, the highlight of Australia's motorcycling calendar - even if Cycle Torque, for the first time ever, won't be there. Pickett is off to New Zealand on the day of the event for a Can-Am launch and I'm going to the Supercross the night before in Newcastle before the November issue deadline two days later, so my run of 22 Australian Motorcycle

Grands Prix in a row will be stopping there.

For anyone going down to the Island though, you'll find it's a great event. The bikes seem so much faster and are so much louder when you're there. The atmosphere's electric and there's heaps to see and do at the track and on the Island.

Many of the major manufacturers offer hospitality deals, too, which often include food and non-alcoholic drinks, as well as some of the best seats in the house and TV screens so you don't miss any of the action around the track. (Check out www. for more information.)

The grandstands are also an awesome way to watch the action, with the seating around the track getting you a bird's-eye view of what's going on so you can take it all in.

There's no spot where you can see all the action though, so there are Superscreens, giant TV monitors which show the action - make sure you position yourself near one of these.

There's always heaps of things to see and do between races too, from the Expo to stunt riders to a fly-past by the RAAF, and lots more.

The grid girls are pretty easy on the eyes, too.

The bike racing is awesome. The support races are always fantastic as riders do their absolute best in front of the largest crowd most will ever ride in front of, trying to impress race team bosses with their skill and daring.

The main game is MotoGP, and it's fast, furious and exciting, and Phillip Island is one track which consistently turns on good racing. The support classes have been great this year, with Moto2 developing into one of the most hard-fought classes ever to fill a grid.

The 125cc class - doomed though it might be - almost always produces spectacular slipstreaming battles, while the MotoGP boys are riding the most exotic competition motorcycles ever built.

And Casey Stoner is in with a good chance of winning, again. He's bounced back from lacklustre results and crashes early in the 2010 season to record a win in Spain, so should be on a roll as he heads toward the Australian round.

But for the first time ever, I'm not planning on attending the MotoGP round at Phillip Island. It's not that I don't want

to go, rather that other events happening and the evolution of Cycle Torque means, well, I don't really need to be there, and I do need to be around the office to get the November issue of Cycle Torque out the door.

The night before is the SuperX Nationals in Newcastle, an event my eldest son, Damien, will be busting to see, and now, with the latest technology, it can be argued I don't need to be at thee track.

Cycle Torque scaled back and has basically dropped its racing coverage in the last few years: as monthly race rep orts were often very old by tine time the magazine was published. In theae days of race reports being posted on websites within hours of events finishing, "wee; decided Cyslt Tosquc was better off pointing people to those wabsites rather than printing race reports less and less people were reading, and now its got to the stage where I don't even need to attend.

We do put information and results on www.cycletorque., but really Cycle Torque is more about features and letting you know an event like MotoGP is on ton covering the result these days.

You only have to look at the once-mighty American publication Cycls News for evidence of that: its website is to continue but the printed edition is dead, killed by the GFC, slashe d advertising budgets and a readership base which could get the information once almost exclusive to Cycle News from si plethora of online places.

-Nigel Paterson

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