The release of last Sunday's provisional 2009 World Superbike Championship calendar caused outrage amongst many British fans due to the absence of a Brands Hatch round, one of WSBK's biggest and most popular events since 1993.
A subsequent explanation from MSV president and CEO Jonathan Palmer revealed that - despite boasting five British riders in WSBK next year - Brands Hatch looks set to be lost from the calendar due to a sharp increase in fees.
"FGSport has demanded a fee over twice as much as MSV paid in 2008, which seems strange given the very obvious global economic crisis," said Palmer, who claimed the increase "is equivalent to an extra £15 on the price of every race day ticket".
Palmer also stated that he was looking at replacing the mid-summer event.
"MSV is however more committed than ever to major motor cycle events at Brands Hatch and we are advancing plans for a major new bike event to take place on the traditional WSB date that will provide fans with outstanding entertainment and value," he said. "We anticipate making an announcement within the next month."
A joint statement issued by FGSport and MSV today (Thursday) confirmed that a fee rise is at the root of the problem, although Palmer's position seems to have softened a little - the Englishman indicating that other circuits are able to pay the same fee, whilst adding that no new event will be arranged until the WSBK calendar is finalised "in case there is any change to the commercial situation from market conditions".
"Following a period of analysis and negotiation, FGSport and MSV have decided not to stage the 2009 Superbike World Championship UK Round at Brands Hatch," the statement began.
"Paolo Flammini, CEO of FGSport, declared: “The cooperation with MSV has always been perfect but for several reasons we came to a joint conclusion that there are not the conditions to confirm the inclusion of the Brands Hatch Circuit in the 2009 Calendar”.
"Jonathan Palmer, President and CEO of MSV, added: “Unfortunately in the current economic climate we are unable to accept the much increased sanction fee that it appears FGSport can obtain from other circuits. However we have an excellent relationship with FGSport and Brands Hatch has provided some of the biggest crowds for the World Superbike championship, which is an outstanding series. We will therefore not finalise our alternative plans until the SBK calendar is confirmed in case there is any change to the commercial situation from market conditions.” "
At present, Donington Park will be the only British round during the 2009 WSBK season.