LONDON (Reuters) - A new circuit to be built in south Wales has agreed a deal that could see it host the British round of the MotoGP world championship until 2024, commercial rights holders Dorna said on Wednesday.
The British Grand Prix is currently held at Silverstone, the central English track which also has a long-term contract for the country’s Formula One race.
Dorna and local promoters made clear in a statement that although the agreement with the planned Circuit of Wales near Ebbw Vale starts next year, the 2015 race would be held at an alternative venue.
No financial details were given for the deal, which is for five years with an option of a further five years.
Silverstone Circuits managing director Richard Phillips said, however, that while his track had wanted to keep the MotoGP race, the event was not sustainable at the fee level Dorna was proposing.
“Any future deal had to make economic sense and sadly we reached an impasse,” he added. “The Circuit of Wales obviously believes it can make the finances work.”
Circuit of Wales chief executive Michael Carrick hailed the agreement with Dorna as a “significant landmark.
”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,” he added.
“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.”
Developers of the proposed Circuit of Wales, which has an estimated cost of 280 million pounds ($467.3 million), say the country’s first purpose-built motorcycle grand prix track will also serve as a centre for motorsport-related industries.
($1 = 0.5992 British Pounds)
Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ed Osmond