United States MotoGP
Once work began on a new circuit in Austin, Texas, that will host Formula 1 Racing in 2012, rumors immediately circulated about MotoGP competing at the venue.
And on Tuesday, those rumors became fact – the new Circuit of the Americas will began hosting MotoGP, Moto2 and the future Moto3 classes at the venue for 10 years beginning in 2013.
The deal was struck between Dorna Sports, the governing body of MotoGP, 3FourTexasMGP, which is managed by 1993 MotoGP Champion and Texan Kevin Schwantz, and Full Throttle Productions.
This will create three MotoGP rounds in the United States; the Circuit of the Americas will now join the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Red Bull Indy GP) and Laguna Seca (Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix).
And the track will be great news for the two Americans currently competing in MotoGP, Ben Spies (Factory Yamaha) and Colin Edwards (Monster Tech 3 Yamaha). These two US MotoGP pilots will not only have another race in their country, but also a race in their home state of Texas.
The FIM says the addition of a 10-year MotoGP deal is coupled with the already scheduled 10-year deal to host the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix, for which the Circuit of the Americas is currently under construction; the track will be completed before the F1 USGP in 2012.
Carmelo Ezpeleta (CEO of Dorna Sports, S.L.) says: “We are delighted to be adding the Circuit of the Americas to the MotoGP calendar. It’s an honour to expand our Championship to Texas, which has a rich history of producing World Championship riders.
“We have had a wonderful and special relationship with Kevin (Schwantz) for twenty years and often talked about a mutual dream of increasing the popularity of MotoGP in the U.S. and raising our already successful worldwide profile.
“Now, with what Tavo Hellmund (Managing Partner of Full Throttle Productions) is doing in Austin, we have realised that situation and are looking forward to this new venture together. The 10 year agreement is a sign of our confidence and commitment to the future success of MotoGP racing in Austin.”
Kevin Schwantz (Manager of 3FourTexasMGP) says: “For me this is a dream come true, that the FIM MotoGP World Championship will be in my home state of Texas. I am such a believer in the sport and know how popular motorcycling is in Texas. I am sure that this will be a resounding long term success.”
Tavo Hellmund says: “We are extremely pleased to add the best motorcycle World Championship to our annual schedule. This is a fantastic opportunity for the State of Texas and this region and I believe it is the first time in American Motorsports history that both the cars and the motorbikes world championships are held at the same facility annually. We are very proud of becoming the United States international facility for motorsports.
“Kevin and I have been close friends for a long time and I enjoy a great relationship with Carmelo. I respect so much what they (Dorna) and the FIM have done for MotoGP globally. It’s going to be great for the State, the product is fantastic and you never know, we may even have a reigning Texan in Ben Spies as World Champion for our first event…that would be icing on the cake.”
Jeff Belskus (CEO of Indianapolis Motor Speedway) says: “We’re pleased to learn of the addition of another MotoGP event to the United States. This can only help elevate the profile in America of this thrilling form of motorsport, which will benefit all existing MotoGP races in this country and enhance the global prestige of the World Championship. We’re committed to the growth of the Red Bull Indianapolis GP and motorcycle road racing in the United States.”
About the new Austin Circuit
For a sporting event on the scale of a Grand Prix, Austin provides an ideal site being perfectly located for North, South and Central American visitors and also being well served by international flights. The close proximity of the downtown area, airport, circuit and hotels offers a fantastic and highly convenient setting.Upon its completion the new Circuit of the Americas will be the only “Grade 1” listed facility in the US, and the event will be coordinated by one of the most experienced promoters in the industry which holds a 40-year history within various prominent international racing series.