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Abu Dhabi wants MotoGP, Qatar plans F1

9 March 2010

Abu Dhabi, which held its inaugural F1 event at the end of last season on the brand-new $1-billion Yas Marina Circuit, is aiming to host a round of the MotoGP World Championship within the next few years.

“MotoGP boss Carmelo Ezpeleta was here last year and the track designer Hermann Tilke will be coming up with a proposal in the next couple of weeks. But it will take time. We are looking at a time-frame of maybe two to three years when Abu Dhabi will be able to hold a MotoGP round,” Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management CEO Richard Cregan told the Khaleej Times.

“MotoGP is one thing which I'm very passionate about. I would love to see MotoGP coming to Abu Dhabi in two to three years time. It would be fantastic. The Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) has brought the World Rally Championship (WRC) candidature event to Abu Dhabi, with the aim of becoming an official WRC event in 2011. And with a MotoGP race, Abu Dhabi will become a real hotspot for motorsport,” he added.

Qatar is currently the only Middle Eastern round on the MotoGP World Championship - and the only night race. But while Abu Dhabi is looking to add MotoGP, Qatar's Losail International Circuit is working towards an F1 round.

“Surely F1 is part of our future plans,” the Gulf Times quotes Qatar Motor and Motorcycling Federation president Nasser bin Khalifa al-Attiyah as saying. “Considerable work on the track has already been done, but there's a lot of development that still needs to be done [for F1].

“We need to be absolutely sure when it comes to safety. Once everything is in place the track will be evaluated by the safety commissioner and then the track will be licensed for official F1 testing.

“After that we will be ready to be part of the F1 circuit.”

Bahrain is the other Middle Eastern country, alongside Abu Dhabi, on the present F1 calendar.

The 2010 MotoGP season begins at Qatar on the night of April 11.


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