The Bulgarian Motorcycling Federation has signed a preliminary agreement with Dorna Sports to host a round of the MotoGP World Championship from 2012 to 2016.

The deal was signed in Sofia by Dorna Sports CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta and the president of the Bulgarian Motorcycle Federation Bogdan Nikolov, in the presence of the chairman of the Bulgarian Grand Prix Organizing Committee Rumen Petkov and the president of the Bulgarian State Agency for Youth and Sports Vessela Letcheva.

Following the press conference, an additional meeting was held between Ezpeleta and the Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev to further discuss the project.

"This is the first step in bringing MotoGP to Bulgaria, which is an exciting project for us," said Ezpeleta. "The Bulgarian government demonstrated great interest in bringing a grand prix here and it will be an important development for us, having never staged a race here before. We are highly confident in Bulgaria's ability to host and organise grands prix efficiently and safely."

The addition of Bulgaria, which could potentially expand the MotoGP calendar to 19 rounds, comes as something of a surprise given the recent attempts to reduce costs by slashing track time during both grand prix weekends and testing.

Hungary - separated from Bulgaria by Romania - is due to rejoin the motorcycle grand prix calendar this season, but doubts has been raised about whether the new Balatonring circuit will be ready in time.

The meeting in Sofia also saw the announcement that Bulgarian free-to-air national broadcasters BNT will show all MotoGP races live in 2009.

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