MotoGP postpones Argentinian round due to political rows
|By Matt Beer||Friday, November 23rd 2012, 14:26 GMT|
MotoGP has postponed its planned return to Argentina until 2014 due to political rows.
The event at the revamped Termas de Rio Hondo track had been scheduled as round two of the 2013 world championship on 14 April.
But it had been in doubt due to the controversy over the Argentinian government nationalising the local arm of Repsol, title sponsor of the works Honda MotoGP team.
The Spanish government had recommended that it would be unsafe for Repsol personnel to travel to Argentina for the race.
MotoGP organiser Dorna set a deadline of 18 November for the situation to be resolved, but it came too late and the race had to be dropped from the calendar.
"On June 20th 2012, the Spanish government recommended that teams and riders sponsored by Repsol should not travel to the Republica Argentina for safety reasons," said a Dorna statement.
"Therefore, the celebration of the 2013 Gran Premio de la Republica Argentina remained under suspension while such a recommendation would be kept in force.
"The deadline for Dorna Sports, commercial rights holder of the MotoGP World Championship, to officially propose the 2013 MotoGP calendar to [the] FIM was November 18th.
"On November 20th, the Spanish government notified through email sent to Dorna Sports the withdrawal of the above-referred recommendation, when the time for the calendar presentation had already expired and therefore, there was no possibility to include a new MotoGP event."
To close the calendar gap created by Argentina's absence, the season opener in Qatar will be moved back one week to 7 April. Round two takes place at the new Austin track on 28 April.
Dorna added that it was still committed to including an Argentinian race from 2014.
"Dorna Sports commits itself to including Gran Premio de la Republica Argentina on the 2014 calendar and onwards, to be approved by [the] FIM subject to the homologation of the track, which presumably shall take place within the first quarter of 2013," said its statement.
"Dorna Sports recognises the Gran Premio de la Republica Argentina promoter's efforts regarding the satisfactorily completion of the construction works and the organisational and promotional preliminary activities."
The series last raced in Argentina when MotoGP's 500cc predecessor used the Buenos Aires circuit in 1998-99.