Singapore could be set to host a MotoGP race as early as 2011 after Dorna Sports boss Carmelo Ezpeleta revealed an agreement had been met with a promoter for the event.
Having made a significant impact on the motorsport stage with the spectacular first Formula 1 night race last month, Singapore is now being targeted by MotoGP to expand its interests in Asia, an endeavour that has become more pressing in the wake of China's omission from the calendar.
According to national newspaper Today
, plans are in place for Singapore to build its first permanent race circuit within the next two years, whereby it is expected to feature on the 18-race calendar in 2011, or possibly 2012.
Ezpeleta has backed plans for Singapore to join the fold, particularly as the country becomes increasingly prominent in the financial sector.
“Yes, I can confirm that we have signed an agreement with a promoter to stage a round of the motorbike world championships in Singapore,” he is quoted as saying.
“But it depends when the permanent track you are going to build will be completed. I understand it will be up in three years' time, so you can have a race there as early as 2011, if not 2012.”
Despite the current economic climate threatening a delay in building work, the circuit in Changi is set to go ahead as planned. However, Ezpeleta stressed the agreement is hinged on the premise that the track does get built.
“We prefer a race track with a length of at least 4km to 4.5km, but safety is our top priority,” he said. “It would be good also if the track could hold at least 70,000 people, but I am leaving that to the promoter in Singapore to decide.
“Asia is important to MotoGP's growth and Singapore is at the centre of it, that is why we want to hold a round there. But like I said, my agreement with the promoter in Singapore is subject to the track being built.”
Singapore's first F1 event was hailed a major success, attracting large crowds and prompting plans to install more night races on the calendar. A similar approach could be adopted by MotoGP, as was the case earlier this season in Qatar, in order to exploit crucial European television audiences.
However, the agreement does state neither the MotoGP nor F1 race can come close to clashing. As such, the MotoGP race is likely to take place towards the start of the season.