Crash.Net MotoGP News
Laguna Seca dropped from 2014 MotoGP calendar
1 October 2013
Laguna Seca, the scene of MotoGP's American return in 2005, has lost its place for 2014.
Indianapolis joined the Californian circuit on the MotoGP line-up in 2008, with a third US round in Texas making its debut this season.
While the other US events will continue, Laguna Seca is dropping out - despite appearing to have a contract for 2014
- stating that America can only support two events and that, as a not-for-profit, it cannot compete with Indianapolis and Austin.
The official statement can be seen below, but the Monterey Herald
reports that the US MotoGP has not been profitable for the past four years, adding: 'Attendance dipped this year and the licensing fee with Dorna is going up by $800,000 next year. It takes about $9 million to put on the event...
'Indianapolis raceway received a $100 million Indiana state grant to make improvements for motorcycle racing. The Circuit of the Americas raceway in Austin receives $2 million in state tax credits'.
Laguna Seca only hosts the premier MotoGP class - space restrictions ruling out the supporting Moto2 and Moto3 championships, which attend every other round.
The statement from Laguna Seca read: "For 25 years, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca has served as the “home” for Grand Prix motorcycle racing in the United States, having staged 15 world championship Grands Prix since 1988. Unfortunately, and in spite of loyal support from fans, sponsors and media, there will not be a 16th U.S. Grand Prix in 2014.
"At this time, the U.S. is only able to support two MotoGP events. The support provided by the states of Texas and Indiana make it difficult for us, as a not-for-profit, to currently compete.
"Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca extends its gratitude to all those whose combined efforts made the U.S. Grand Prix such an iconic event; it took all of you – fans, sponsors, motorcycle community, media, volunteers and, not the least, Dorna Sports. Our pledge to you is to work diligently to return the MotoGP World Championship to Monterey, Calif., in the very near future."
New events in Argentina and Brazil are set to join the MotoGP schedule in 2014, with a draft calendar expected imminently. The only country with more MotoGP rounds than the US is Spain, which currently hosts four events each year.
Indianapolis initially looked most likely of the American rounds to be dropped, but suddenly appears more enthusiastic about MotoGP - confirming a 2014 event, speaking of a 'long-term future' and pledging to resurface and tweak its infield circuit.
Laguna Seca, which returned to the World Superbike calendar this year, is famed for its Corkscrew turn, the scene of memorable passes by Valentino Rossi (2008) and Marc Marquez (2013).
The official title of 'US Grand Prix' will now presumably pass to one of the other American events.