Sepang International Circuit, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The MotoGP Championship has been visiting the Sepang Circuit for over 20 years now and the fan base just keeps growing. Malaysia offers quite the challenge to the racers who have to battle it out in high temperatures and immensely high humidity. For the losers, an ice bath awaits them, for the victors, the top step of the podium and one hell of a party.

Once hosting Formula 1 races and ever the World Endurance Championship, this challenging 5.54 km (3.45 miles) circuit features a number of iconic corners, probably none more so than the hairpin corner at the end of the lap, linking the back straight with the mainstraight in a V shape. 

Opened in 1999 for the Malaysian F1 Grand Prix, it now hosts the MotoGP as well as Moto2 and Moto3 championships. It also hosts the pre-season testing in February which you can attend. 

The circuit is fast, seriously fast and with the unpredictability of tropical thunderstorms raging through the landscape, it’s often an exciting race too. Featuring 14 hours, 4 slow speed, 10 high speed, it’s a real racer’s track.

Considered a modern classic. Sepang has seen its fair share of dramas, surprises and indeed tradegies over its 20 year history on the MotoGP calendar. Up there with the likes of Mugello and Argentina for excitement, but with more comfortable grandstand options like those of the Americas MotoGP at COTA.

Located just 50km from Kuala Lumpur, the circuit was built close to the international airport (KLIA) so access to and from the circuit is quick and easy. Capacity is also generous at around 130,000 on race day. The main two grandstands on the straights accommodate some 19,000 MotoGP fans. 

Tickets are keenly priced too with something to suit every budget. This is a popular race and a great fly-away destination so I recommend booking early to avoid missing out.

Viewing options

Main Grandstand (unreserved)

The long pit straight at Sepang has ample seating for thousands of MotoGP fans and at a price most can afford too. Located as you’d expect, opposite the pit garages, this mostly covered grandstand gives you an excellent view into all of the garages.

Tickets are all unreserved here so you can try multiple locations throughout the weekend. This does of course mean your favourite spot may be gone come race day so I advise arriving early on the Sunday and camping out in your perfect position.

Rather confusingly the grandstand blocks have names rather than numbers so its not immediately obvious where your block is. 

Here are the names of the main grandstand blocks at Sepang International Circuit.

  • Sapphire
  • Turquoise
  • Emerald
  • Jade
  • Diamond
  • Crystal
  • Ruby
  • Garnet
  • Tower (North Lower)
  • Tower(South Lower)
  • Tower 1 (Lower)
  • Topaz
  • Citrine

Not the most memorable or descriptive names ever so here’s a quick breakdown of where each block is.

Sapphire and Turquoise

These are the upper and lower grandstands of the block closest to turn 1. The leftmost block of the main grandstand.

Emerald and Jade

The upper and lower blocks of the 2nd block on the main grandstand. Opposite the pits. This is used as the Marc Marquez Tribune / AKA fan club grandstand.

Diamond and Crystal

Located right on the start line, the left of this grandstand is situated after the start line, the right is just before it. The rightmost side of this grandstand is the most popular on race day.

Ruby and Garnet

The block just before the tower section, riders line up on the grid right in front of you here. The start line is to the left of the grandstand. The first of the pit garages is in front of you.

Tower North

The curved grandstand situated near the final hairpin. This does not include the hairpin itself but is situated on the exit of the final corner. The grid lineup to the left of you. The pit lane entry is in front of you with the garages to your far left.

Tower 1 (Lower)

The curved grandstand situated right on the hairpin curve. There is no view of the main straight here, only the iconic hairpin corner and the track beyond, with turns 6 to your left and turns 7 and 8 to your right.

South Tower

Located just before the hairpin, right on the braking zone of the long back straight. You’ll have a long unbroken view of this high speed section of the track and the MotoGP riders doing their best to out-brake one another for turn 15. You can also see the short straight between turns 8 and 9.

Topaz and Citrine

Almost all of the entire back straight grandstand is considered one block. With the upper level of Topaz and the lower, Citrine. The views here include the back straight right in front of you and turns 9 – 14, with 11, 12 and 13 directly in front of you and 14 to your far right. If you want to see the riders at their best this is one for you.

If you purchase a Main Grandstand ticket you can sit anywhere you like in almost all of the blocks here, giving you the chance to experience multiple grandstand views over the race weekend. 

I recommend checking out Citrine for a practice session, Turquoise, Garnet for qualifying and Crystal for race day. 

As the seating is all unreserved here it’s just a first come first served deal so if you have a particular spot in mind you’ll need to be there early. 

Access in and out of the grandstands is excellent, this is a permanent structure and the “mall” area behind the grandstand is actually raised, with plenty of toilets nearby. 

You also get “roving” with your ticket allowing you in any of the other grandstands at the circuit over the race weekend, but honestly I’d make use of the main grandstands as walking to the others can be time consuming.

Main Grandstand Premium Seat (unreserved)

While standard tickets give you access to the lower tiers. The “Premium” ticket holders get access to the top tiers of the main grandstand. These are the main grandstand top tiers.

  • Sapphire
  • Emerald
  • Diamond
  • Ruby
  • Topaz

You also get access to the North and South Tower lower levels and Tower 1 on the hairpin.

While the top tier is slightly further away from the track, it has a better view over the pit wall and into the garages, making this a preferred option for the main grandstand, at least on the North side. It makes little difference in the South where you’re just looking out over the circuit.

About 70% of the way down the Diamond grandstand is the sweet spot, right on the start line for the beginning of the race. As you can imagine this is the most popular spot and the unreserved seating system here means it’s one of the early birds who get to the best seats early for sessions, especially the race.

The view down to turn 1 from the Diamond block.

The podium is opposite you at the Diamond Grandstand too. So for race buildup and a view of the ceremony you’ll want Diamond or Ruby. 

For the best view of turn 1 action you’ll want to head to Sapphire.

You’re free to enjoy the other grandstands at the track too just like the standard tickets although there’s enough going on at the main grandstands to keep you busy all weekend. 

Marc Marquez Tribune

Located in the upper tier of the main grandstand is a premium ticket price reserved for the die hard Marc Marquez fans. Expect a party atmosphere and a lot of enthusiastic fans. Ticket holders also get a MM93 related gift upon entry as well.

The grandstand takes up part of the left end of the Diamond block of the main grandstand. With the starting grid to your right. While some ticket vendors claim views of the podium celebrations it’s worth noting the podium is some distance to your right, rather than in front of this fan zone.

You get all the same perks as premium ticket holders with roving access during the weekend to other grandstands and unreserved seating in most of the main grandstand. But honestly why would you want to miss out on the MM party with all the other excited fans? 

The cost isn’t much higher than a main grandstand and adds a little extra excitement to your race weekend.

K1 Grandstand

Now to the grandstands away from the back and main straights. Sepang is a very grassy circuit with man made hills surrounding the 15 corners. 

What the main grandstand lacks is views of corners, not so at K1 where you can witness the MotoGP racers battle it into turn one which quickly winds into turn 2. A tricky part of the track before they blast down to turn 3 some distance away.

K1 Grandstand faces head on to the track so you’ll see the bikes heading straight towards you. It’s an impressive sight especially at the start of the race.

This low speed, heavy braking corner after a fast straight does require a decent amount of run-off so the grandstand is set some ways back from the track. It’s worth it though for that head-on view. 

All of the action is right in front of you, an unbroken view down the track. As the riders tackle turn 1 and 2 your view is soon obscured by the fact the track dips down in front of you, causing the man-made hill between the two sections of track to get in your way. 

It’s an odd track layout that’s not ideal for spectators especially as its seen numerous overtakes happen over the years in this hidden section of the track.

Amenities can be found in the main entrance and “Mall area” between the two main grandstands. 

This is a permanent grandstand and thankfully covered too as are most of the viewing options. Shading you from the intense Tropical heat and potential thunderstorms that often appear mid afternoon in Malaysia.

F Grandstand

Probably one of the most panoramic views you’ll get at the Sepang International Circuit. Definitely the highest amount of track time as the circuit appears from your right, to the North of the track and sweeps past this grandstand heading for the final few corners. 

The huge back straight, hairpin and main straight are all directly in front of you, albeit some distance away. So there’s plenty of track action to witness here. 

Situated right opposite the “Tower” seating of the main grandstand. There’s plenty to view here. The MotoGP bikes appear at speed around turn 5 with the circuit before that obscured by a large man-made hill. 

The S curves of turns 5 and 6 snake to your right before the bikes blast past you before they take on the very angular turns 7 and 8 to your left. 

You’ll see the bikes racing all the way down to turn 9 in the distance before your view is blocked by another man-made hill. 

They reappear some seconds later down the back straight, visible only to seats on the far left of Grandstand F.

The riders lean hard around the left hand hairpin and then head up to the finish line, visible for many of the seats to the right of Grandstand F.

The downside to this grandstand is its remote location. There’s a car parks nearby (Bay 12 and 14 are the closest) and there’s an entrance to the circuit at the left end of the grandstand.

If you want to get to any of the fan zone “Mall area” activities or check out the views from other grandstands you’ll have to take the long walk around the perimiter of the circuit to reach it. A path that snakes around the hill, behind C2 Hilstand and numerous car parking areas to finally reach the main entrance. You wont be repeating that work very often as its hot and humid in Malaysia.

Seats are all covered (thankfully) and unreserved so take your pick of your preferrred view at this grandstand. On the Friday you have access to all grandstands at the circuit so maybe that’s the day you check out the main grandstand and pit views as well as the Mall Area.

C2 Hillstand

It’s not often General Admission tickets get much shade at MotoGP events but Sepang is a little different. Located around the curves of turns 9, 10 and 11 you’ll find plenty of grassy embankment to set up camp for the afternoon and watch the riders in action.

At the top of this man-made hill you’ll find a long canopy covering a decent chunk of ground for you to get out of the intense sunshine, or indeed the intense rain that tends to fall in this part of the world.

You can view a decent amount of the track from here with the twists and turns of turns 9 to 14 in front of you as well as the fast back straight leading down to the hairpin turn 15.

The 2nd most panoramic view at the track but with less of the comforts of a grandstand. You’ll ideally need something to sit on like picnic blanket. I highly recommend you bring a large umbrella to keep the sun and rain off you. Ponchos are a must in heavy rainfall too. Be prepared for all weather conditions at Sepang.

You’ll find toilets the other side of hill near the access path and a few merchandise stalls too. For everything else head along the path to the main grandstand complex and the “Mall Area”.

If you have a grandstand or Premier Roving ticket you can access this area. Maybe good for one of the Friday sessions or support race. Find your preferred spot well before the race as the best views soon get crowded.

Premier Roving

General Admission on steroids is one definition for the Premier Roving ticket option. This allows grandstand access as well as general admission viewing. Cheaper than a standard grandstand ticket, you can roam the entire circuit and access multiple grandstands during the practice, qualifying and support race sessions.

You can gain access to much of the south side of the Main Grandstand, K1, F and C2 Hillstand during Friday and Saturday. Its only Sunday you’ll need to a general admission viewing spot.

The only grandstands you can’t access are the premium North grandstands and fan club grandstands like the Marc Marquez block and Sepang Racing Team Grandstand.

If you’re on a tight budget and want to experience as much of Sepang International Circuit as possible then this may be a great option.