Hungary's hopes of hosting a MotoGP race at the all-new Balatonring this season has taken a major hit after a loan crucial to the venue's completion was refused.
Situated at Lake Balaton, a popular tourist destination in Hungary, the Balatonring was originally scheduled to host a round of the MotoGP World Championship in 2009, but was removed when it became clear the circuit would not be completed in time.
Returning to the calendar for 2010, the Balatonring is still undergoing building work ahead of its planned MotoGP inauguration in September.
However, there are now concerns that the circuit will not have the funding it needs to be completed after a loan of 15.3-billion-forint was rejected by the state-owned Hungarian Development Bank, which cited due diligence 'risks'.
Under the original terms of the loan agreement, the state would provide 70 per cent of the funding in return for receiving a 30 per cent stake in the Balatonring circuit. However, calculations required to measure the return on the investment had not been made.
As such, while Hungarian news agency MTI
is reporting that the government is happy to fund the MotoGP round, construction firm Savoly Motorcentrum Fejleszto will need to finance the building work itself.
The Hungarian round was originally added to the 2009 MotoGP calendar at the expense of Shanghai, in China. Motorcycle grand prix racing is very popular in Hungary due to the success of 2007 125cc world champion Gabor Talmacsi.
Hungary last played host to a motorcycle grand prix back in 1992, when Eddie Lawson took victory from fellow Americans Doug Chandler and Randy Mamola. That race was only the second held in the country, with the first having taken place in 1990 - both were held at the Hungaroring near Budapest.
Should the 2010 Hungarian Grand Prix not go ahead as planned, the Motorland Aragon circuit in Spain is expected to take its place having been confirmed as the calendar's 'reserve' round.