Donington Park has declared itself 'annoyed' at losing the rights to host the MotoGP British Grand Prix from 2010 after claiming to have received assurances that they would have the opportunity to renew their contract.
In a surprisingly frank press release issued in response to the news that Silverstone has signed a five-year agreement with series organisers Dorna to host the race from 2010, Donington Park owner Simon Gillett has expressed his disappointment at losing one of their flagship races at a time when the circuit is undergoing significant changes.
Indeed, only this week Donington Park was given the go ahead to begin work on upgrading their facilities and revising the track layout in their bid to get ready for the proposed 2010 Formula 1 British Grand Prix.
Even so, Donington Park had always stated it was their intention to be the home of both two and four-wheel motorsport in the UK and vented their frustration at the series organisers after claiming to have been 'committed to two-wheel motorsport' after 'Silverstone seemingly took a decision to distance itself from all motorcycle sport for a significant period of time', before adding that they are 'annoyed that Dorna did not give the circuit the courtesy to renew the agreement, despite reassurances to the contrary'.
Going on to state that Dorna have made their decision based on commercial interests, the press release speculates that Silverstone has doubled the existing rights fee paid by Donington Park.
Although Gillett admits he understands the lengths Silverstone are likely to have gone to in order to secure the rights to a prestigious event following the loss of Formula 1, he is nonetheless frustrated to be losing the MotoGP having seen Donington Park develop the UK's interest in the sport over 22 years.
"Given the need for a flagship event in 2010 to replace Formula One, we understand the importance to Silverstone of gaining the rights to MotoGP from a business perspective,” he said. "However, since 1987 we have continually invested in MotoGP, emotionally as well as financially.
"We would like to wish Silverstone the best of luck with the required construction and all of the work involved in staging a top flight motorcycle race and ask them to take care of an event that we have invested heavily in since we took it over with just 18,000 people attending each race.”
Despite the loss of MotoGP, Gillett confirms that Donington Park will now turn its attentions to the World Superbike Championship, which enters 2009 on the ascendancy with the promise of bumper grids and a competitive grid.