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Yamaha: MotoGP should move out of Europe
28 March 2013
MotoGP needs more races in South East Asia, plus a return to South America and Africa.
That's the view of Yamaha's Motor Racing managing director Lin Jarvis, who feels that the current European-dominated calendar does not reflect the commercial reality for motorcycle sales.
Of the 18 rounds on the 2013 MotoGP schedule, eleven are based in Europe. The other events comprise three rounds in the USA, plus one each in Qatar, Japan, Australia and Malaysia - Sepang hosting the only grand prix in the booming South East Asian region.
"I would like to see this sport move to some other markets around the world, which are growing markets, in particular in South East Asia: MotoGP is very important there and we only have one race there at the moment in Sepang. There is definitely capacity to have more races there," said Jarvis.
"I would like to see the Championship grow to be a truly global Championship.
"I would like to see it in South America, I would like to see it back in Africa, I would like to see two races in South East Asia and I believe that if we moved to the areas where the economy is struggling less than in Europe, for instance, we would see better financial circumstances.
"I believe there is a very hungry audience there for MotoGP. We believe in this sport but we need to work on it together with the teams, together with Dorna, together with the FIM to look for growth and to try to promote it."
The Factory Yamaha team will run reigning double MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo and returning seven time title winner Valentino Rossi this season.
Yamaha sent Rossi and Lorenzo to Indonesia in January - for Rossi's first public appearance since re-joining the factory. The Doctor has since visited Brazil for a further PR event, underlining where Yamaha's global priorities lie.
Africa, the scene of Rossi's debut Yamaha victory in 2004, and Brazil both dropped off the MotoGP calendar at the end of that year. Argentina is scheduled to return in 2014, for the first time since 1999, after being dropped from this year's calendar at the last minute.
F1 has already slashed the number of its European races. Of this year's 19 rounds, only seven are in Europe.