Valencia Named Best Grand Prix Of 2002 By IRTA

Valencia Named Best Grand Prix Of 2002 By IRTA

© 2003, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.


From a press release issued by Honda Racing for reasons which remain unclear to us:

Circuit Ricardo Tormo Valencia Takes 2002 IRTA Trophy Honours

The IRTA ‘Best Grand Prix of the Year’ Trophy, has been awarded to the Ricardo Circuit – Valencia for the superbly run grand prix in 2002. The 4.005km circuit, named after former 50cc World Champion Ricardo Tormo, a local hero, was opened for racing in 1998 with the first motorcycle grand prix taking place a year later.

Each year the circuit management and associated on-event staff have improved their performance to make the event one of the most popular on the calendar. Valencia was voted into third place in the 2001 poll, few in attendance at the 2002 event will be surprised they have secured the prestigious Trophy this time round.

The IRTA Trophy is awarded based upon a point scoring system that covers every aspect of the running of a grand prix. Safety measures and medical facilities are paramount in motorsport and Valencia passed those tests with flying colours.

The Clerk of the Course, Jose Maria Barona quickly derailed any potential disruptions to the weekend programme. Medical staff, under the auspices of Chief Medical Officer Enrique Gastaldi, were more than equal to the demands made of them over a very busy four days. The circuit medical team and the Clinica Mobile cooperated throughout the weekend.

Cooperation with the teams has always been excellent, from the welcome party at the first ever GP in 1999 through until today. The circuit organisation offer the teams safe guarded motorhome and vehicle parking between the Estoril and Valencia races, while the teams are performing outside Europe. Track preparation, race direction and the race marshals were top class.

The Circuit Director and Chairman of the organisation, Jose-Maria Oltra, presided over one of the smoothest running events of the season, supported at every turn by his tireless, unruffled staff.

Away from the actual racing cooperation and assistance from paddock and media staff was unfailing, for all competitors and team staff in need of help. Circuit access and parking is both smooth and effortless. On-event facilities are the equal of any encountered on the 16 MotoGP race schedule. The reputation for hospitality the event has earned is considerably enhanced on the night of the race with the, now traditional, celebratory ‘End of season party.’

Last but certainly not least, the incredibly enthusiastic and knowledgeable crowds that flock to the circuit for the season finale. The amazing 120,000 capacity crowd that attended the race brought a special electrifying atmosphere to the event. Their enthusiasm was richly rewarded with a home win for Dani Pedrosa in the 125cc race, and a spectacular race long MotoGP battle between Alex Barros and Valentino Rossi.

IRTA President Sito Pons said of Valencia. “I think Valencia have done a great job. They should be congratulated on their performance, to win the ‘Best Grand Prix’ of the year award after organising only four grands prix is quite an achievement. Valencia’s success should work as an incentive to those race organisers who have yet to achieve the level that Valencia has.

“The track is safe, and the medical services are good. The people who work at the race are always friendly and very helpful. All the grand prix teams and riders appreciate what Valencia has provided for them, excellent facilities from the paddock and pit boxes through to the hospitality suites. The arena style lay-out of the circuit also gives the team staff the opportunity to enjoy the racing as much as the enthusiastic crowd,” Pons concluded.

Valencia topped the poll ahead of multiple trophy winners Mugello, with Catalunya, the 2001 IRTA Trophy holder in third place.

IRTA Trophy Roll of Honour
1984 Silverstone / GB
1985 Hockenheim / Germany
1986 Nurburgring / Germany
1987 Assen / Netherlands
1988 Suzuka / Japan
1989 Donington Park / GB
1990 Jerez / Spain
1991 Donington Park / GB
1992 Catalunya / Spain
1993 Eastern Creek / Australia
1994 1994 Eastern Creek / Australia
1995 Mugello / Italy
1996 Mugello / Italy
1997 Mugello / Italy
1998 Phillip Island / Australia
1999 Brno / Czech Republic
2000 Mugello / Italy
2001 Catalunya / Spain
2002 Valencia / Spain

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