HJC HELMETS GRAND PRIX CZECH REPUBLIC
Paskelbta: 2016-06-23 (Thursday)
A unique circuit, a unique race. This is the Grand Prix of the Czech Republic at the Masaryk Circuit. A fifty-year tradition and unusual settings of the racing circuit hidden in the woods attract tens of thousands of fans each year. Thanks to them, Brno has been for a long time the most visited race on the MotoGP calendar. This year, the Grand Prix is organized for the first time by the Association for the Grand Prix of the Czech Republic; its founding members are the South Moravian Region, the City of Brno and the Tourist Authority South Moravia. Almost a quarter million people will come to the Masaryk Circuit in three days. There are six natural and six seating grandstands; bikers even have their own campsite, which is situated literally just a few meters from the 5.5 kilometre race track, one of the longest and mainly the most attractive in the championship. Why? In addition to the enchanting wood scenery, it is its articulation. The track has an elevation of almost 74 meters. Curves, a long upward slope and a number of tricky points will test not only the riders but also their equipment.
Not by chance Brno is the first circuit, where Valentino Rossi launched his career with his first victory in the World Championship. This year will mark twenty years since he triumphed here in the 125ccm class race and opened his way to the title of the most successful motorbike rider ever. He then won six more times in Brno. The same number of victories in Brno was reached by two other legends – Max Biaggi and Giacomo Agostini. However, Valentino Rossi still runs. What do you think? Will he manage to reach his record-breaking eighth victory this year? The trophy is now ready for him.
If he manages to win, he will re-write history that has lasted for more than fifty years. Brno is in fact the second most traditional track in the World Championship. With its 156 completed world championship races it is only behind the Dutch TT Circuit in Assen, which did not miss even once. Brno is the “Vice-Champion” in the number of premier class races – those have started already 40 times at the Masaryk Circuit in all modifications. So far it has shared the second place with the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, but already this year it will become self-standing. The current state-of-the-art track was opened in 1987; previously the races had run on a natural circuit leading along the roads on the outskirts of Brno. Its remains can be found in the city streets up to these days. A joyride on them can be an interesting amusement during the evenings that you spend in Brno at the Grand Prix. But even if you decide to leave motorbikes behind after the racing programme, you will certainly not be bored in the largest Moravian city.
You can view Brno from the Petrov hill and at the same time visit its landmarks the Špilberk Castle and the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul. Brno’s underground lures adventurers with its extensive labyrinth of underground corridors, tunnels, galleries, crypts and cellars, hiding a number of secrets, such as the Mintmaster’s Cellar or the charnel house by the Church of St. James. Lovers of architecture will appreciate Villa Tugendhat – a gemstone of functionalism, or the classicist Mitrovský Mansion. Brno also offers a broad range of cultural activities: theatres, museums, galleries and music clubs. In the evening, city streets wake up, rich in original sculptures and street musicians. The genius loci is shaped by young, creative people who run cafés, organize festivals and actively participate in public life. The opportunities offered by the city have already been noticed abroad – Brno has been recognized as a great tourist spot, for example, by The Guardian, a prestigious British daily newspaper.
And if you need an intellectually undemanding relax, go and take a bath at the Brno dam and visit our beautiful zoo, located in the shade of trees. Meanwhile, you can have a good lunch in one of the ever-improving Brno restaurants and wash it down with traditional Moravian wine.
And you do not need to stay only in Brno. In its immediate surroundings you will find, for example, the Moravian Karst with karst caves, the Macocha abyss and the underground river Punkva. Within sight from Brno, there are also the Pavlov Hills or the Austerlitz battlefield – the site of the Battle of Three Emperors. Southern Moravia is home to more than 90 percent of the Czech Republic’s vineyards, which provide grapes for excellent wines. These taste best in a wine cellar while listening to folk songs. Come and see for yourself.
May Kaunas City always remain the symbol of Lithuanian strength. 07/03/98
Former President of Lithuania Valdas Adamkus