The final phase of Mondello Park's 2007 upgrade programme has taken place with last week's completion of the circuit's latest resurfacing work. Competitors will now benefit from better levels of grip along with a smoother surface, which has ironed out many of the remaining bumpy areas.
With the Bennetts British Superbike Championship set to return to Mondello in June, some of the areas which particularly affected motorcycle competitors have been brought to the top of the list. Beginning on the main straight the new surface commences at the pit lane exit and continues all the way down to Turn 1.
From the main straight the improvements to the surface continue around to the exit of Turn 2. Most of the remainder of the National circuit has been resurfaced in recent years, but additional work has been carried out to repair problem spots, particularly on the exit of Turn 3.
Out on the International circuit, the major bump on the exit of the fastest corner on the circuit, 'Lola', is a thing of the past and all other corners not attended to over the past couple of seasons have now been improved. New surface also extends from the braking area for Turn 7A & 7B to well beyond the exit of these two right handers. Birrane's Bends have also benefited from the works and the new tarmac covers all of the area where competitors are turning through this tricky right left complex.
Speaking on the completion of this latest Mondello Park circuit up-grade, Managing Director John Morris said. "Our main concern was to remove the last of the major bumps and to that end we're delighted with the result. The bump under the bridge is gone and the run into Turn 1 is now smooth and consistent. In addition, over the last couple of years we'd seen a depression develop in the track at Turn 2 and we've taken the opportunity to repair this before overlaying with the new surface. Out on the International loop competitors will benefit mostly from the works at turns 7a & 7b and through Birrane's Bends. It represents another stage in the continual development of the circuit that will next see the run off at turn 7b extended, as the earth bank is scheduled to be moved back"
The first opportunity for competitors to test the new surface was at last weekend's championship car races on April 22nd. There was universal praise from competitors for the new surface and the improved drainage on a day that saw mixed weather conditions. Motorcycle competitors will not have the chance to sample the new smoother Mondello until May 20th, but the feedback from recent motorcycle track days has been excellent.