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  3. Etihad Arena set to transform into epic supercross dirt track ahead of World Supercross Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Etihad Arena set to transform into epic supercross dirt track ahead of World Supercross Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

06 Nov 2023
  • What are the highlights of the Etihad Arena Supercross track?

As the world’s best supercross riders descend on Yas Island for the FIM World Supercross Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this Saturday, 4th November, Etihad Arena is set to undergo its transformation into a supercross track for the first time ever.

7,000 tonnes of dirt, which has been locally sourced in the UAE, will be trucked into the Middle East’s largest indoor entertainment venue via 400 truckloads for a night of adrenaline and thrills. WSX tracks are designed to deliver high quality racing, and allow opportunities for the riders to go faster, push harder, and deliver a high level of excitement and competitiveness for fans. WSX is not for the faint hearted, with heavy bikes, high speeds, big jumps, and tight turns all setting the scene as the riders battle it out for the win.

Salem Al Sulaimani, Event Operations Director at Ethara, said “The transformation of Etihad Arena into a supercross track for the first time ever will not only showcase the versatility of the world-class venue, but also provide an unforgettable experience for fans and riders alike.

“The success of an event like this, where we are completely transforming a venue, relies on flawless event operations, with every detail from track construction to logistics being carefully orchestrated in collaboration between our local team at Ethara and the track design team at World Supercross from start to finish. Etihad Arena is about to witness the convergence of speed, skill, and some extremely exhilarating stunts, and we can’t wait to see it all come to life on race day.”

Highlights of the Etihad Arena Supercross track

Highlights of the Etihad Arena Supercross track

Unique two row start gate

The start of a supercross race is a pivotal moment. The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will see a dual row start, with ten riders on the front and ten on the rear, a departure from the standard 20-wide configuration. A rider’s start will be of paramount importance, making qualifying and gate picks more critical than ever. The top ten riders at the front will enjoy a distinct advantage over those behind them. In a sport where every inch matters, the Abu Dhabi race and its unique two row start gate promises extreme action.

Rhythms

The Etihad Arena track will boast several rhythm sections, composed of multiple jumps strung together, allowing riders various line choices based on personal preference, experience, split-second decision making, and strategic moves inspired by their competitors on the day.

Triple jump

The most significant jump on the track at Etihad Arena, known as the “Triple”, comprises three jumps that riders must clear in a single leap, covering an approximate distance of 70 feet. A miscalculation here could make or break a rider’s performance.

Whoops

The whoops section presents a long stretch of small, evenly spaced bumps, creating a rolling sensation. Fans will watch on nervously as the WSX riders navigate this section at breakneck speeds, testing their balance, control, and timing. Success here can lead to valuable seconds gained, but even a slight error can result in a significant loss of speed and control.

Outside section

A distinctive part of the track, looping outside of the Etihad Arena in a first for the venue, the outside section offers two tight rhythm sections with corners that promise exciting passing opportunities, but also pose high risks for errors. Upon re-entering the arena, riders face a challenging wall jump, followed by a split s-bend that presents two distinct line choices. The riders then tackle the rhythm section once more before crossing the finish line.

Finish line double

Serving as the finish line at Etihad Arena, the “finish line double” is a critical part of the track. While it may seem straightforward, it offers passing opportunities in the corners before and after, rewarding riders with exceptional skill and precision.

The sheer scale of Etihad Arena’s transformation will be a sight to behold. The entire process, from turning a clean venue into a finished racing track, will take approximately four days, involving 16 different forms of earth moving machinery such as excavators, dozers, and street sweepers. The dirt used is clay-based, carefully selected to adhere to safety regulation while providing the ideal composition for the supercross track.

Fans looking for even more thrilling experiences can avail the Yas Island Race Season Package - your ticket to an exhilarating experience, providing exclusive access not just to the World Supercross Abu Dhabi Grand Prix but also to the grand finale of the F1 2023 season in Abu Dhabi on 23-26 November. It features an exclusive track-walk experience on the opening day and provides access to the final F1 race of the season at Yas Marina Circuit. You'll enjoy prime seating at the new West Straight Grandstand, situated at the end of the circuit’s longest section. That’s not all. The ultimate racing fan experience also includes access to the Pirelli F1 Testing on Tuesday, 28th November, allowing fans to witness some of the sport’s upcoming stars take their first laps in an F1 car around the Yas Marina Circuit track.

Motor 283

BY Motor 283

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