Circuit of Wales secures five-year MotoGP deal
|Wednesday, August 13th 2014, 16:10 GMT|
MotoGP has confirmed that it has signed a five-year deal with the Circuit of Wales to host the British round of the championship from 2015, although an alternative track will be used next year.
The announcement comes after the Ebbw Vale venue had long been eyeing the acquisition of the event to help accelerate its construction, which is due to begin later this year at a cost of around £315m.
With the circuit still to be built and there being such a short time until next year's British MotoGP, it is likely that the series will remain at either Silverstone for an additional year or make a brief return to Donington Park.
Chief executive of the Circuit of Wales Michael Carrick confirmed a deal had been agreed and that motorcycle racing would be arriving in South Wales from 2016.
"Our agreement with Dorna is a significant landmark in the development of the Circuit of Wales," said Carrick.
"MotoGP is the pinnacle of global motorcycle racing and 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 and 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."
The deal also includes an option for a further five years once it has expired in 2019.
The Circuit of Wales has been beset with issues since the project's inception.
Construction of the facility had originally been targeted for spring of this year, but that was put back due to delays in the acquisition of complete planning permissions.
No investors have been announced, with the only officially confirmed funding intent coming from the developers' requests for support from the Welsh and UK governments amounting to a combined £50m - which only the Welsh state is understood to have agreed to.
In addition to financial question marks and concerns over its transparency - with numerous Freedom of Information requests being rejected - the project has faced mounting political pressures.