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British MotoGP moves to Circuit of Wales!

The British MotoGP round is to move from Silverstone to the Circuit of Wales, but 2015 race venue unclear...
The Circuit of Wales is set to take over from Silverstone as host of the British MotoGP round.

The new venue, due to be built near Ebbw Vale, has announced a five-year MotoGP contract with Dorna Sports, with the option for a further five-year extension.

While the collaboration will begin in 2015, next year's MotoGP 'could be staged at an alternative British venue'. The Circuit of Wales then expects to be ready for a 2016 grand prix debut.

The new circuit is a flagship for the regeneration of the Blaenau Gwent area in a project that includes a focus on youth employment, education, academy structures and an investment in motorsport, one of the UK's key industrial sectors.

“Our agreement with Dorna is a significant landmark in the development of the Circuit of Wales,” said Michael Carrick, Chief Executive of the Circuit of Wales. “MotoGP is the pinnacle of global motorcycle racing and expectations within the series and of its millions of fans worldwide are for a truly world class event at iconic and state-of-the art venues.

“We look forward to meeting those expectations when we welcome MotoGP to Wales from 2016 and we are now working closely with Dorna and the FIM, MotoGP's governing body, with regard to the 2015 British round of the MotoGP World Championship.”

Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta commented: “We are excited to be working closely with the Circuit of Wales after being involved with the project for more than four years. The commitment to MotoGP is obviously a catalyst to a wide range of exciting projects aimed at contributing to the regeneration of the area, while we work together with MotoGP governing body the FIM in relation to the full homologation of the circuit.”

Ezpeleta continued: “The commitment to youth, to employment opportunities for the area, to its academy plans – linked to our own FIM CEV Repsol series – and the general investment in motorsport infrastructure will ensure very exciting times are ahead for Blaenau Gwent and the surrounding areas.”

Silverstone took over as host of the British MotoGP from Donington Park in 2010, when the Northamptonshire venue looked to have lost F1. Silverstone's MotoGP contract expires this year.

The Circuit of Wales is a £280 million project to develop a purpose-built hub for the British motorsport industry around a state-of-the art track.

The first phase of the development will be the construction of the international specification motor racing circuit and world championship facilities, hotel, commercial and retail complexes.

Plans include not only a 3.5-mile track that takes advantage of the natural flow of the topography, but an indoor academy training facility, motocross, trials and enduro venues, an international kart circuit and driver training facilities as well as a variety of leisure and cultural amenities.

The automotive park will be one of the world's leading sustainable developments, targeting the growth of low-carbon industries and events. It will be a hub for research and development companies that are seeking to push the boundaries in environmental technology and energy solutions. The park will showcase the latest technologies that capture and generate energy for the facility.

The race academy and training facility to develop future Welsh and UK talent will work in unison with the motor racing circuit and with Dorna. Commercial, industrial and leisure developments will be at the heart of the project, providing opportunities for the growth of advanced engineering, technology, education and sustainable transport-related businesses.

Councillor Hedley McCarthy, the Leader of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, commented: “On behalf of the community in Blaenau Gwent, we are absolutely delighted that Dorna is bringing the British Motorcycle Grand Prix to the Circuit of Wales. The MotoGP series is an amazing championship that has provided a stimulant and confidence for the growth of infrastructure in a number of similar areas to ours around the world in recent years. We look forward to welcoming the teams, riders, officials, media and fans to Blaenau Gwent.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Impression of the Circuit of Wales [Pic credit: Circuit of Wales]
The proposed Circuit of Wales (pic: Circuit of Wales)
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August 13, 2014 5:22 PM
Last Edited 145 days ago

What??? My understanding was - There are problems with planning permission (because there is a significant amount of common land affected). They need a substantial grant from the Welsh Government (in other words the English taxpayer) which they don't have and may be regarded as illegal State Aid under EU law. They need substantial private investment which they don't seem to presently have. The fact that the circuit is a LONG way from where most race fans live and that a permanent cloud seems to hover over the Head of the Valleys almost guaranteeing a wet race seem almost inconsequential. So, let's award a long-term race contract to a circuit that doesn't exist and doesn't seem to have the necessary resources to create it. Brilliant. Only Dorna could be this incompetent couldn't they? No wait, the same thing happened with Donington and F1 didn't it? That went well.

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