Circuit of the Wales MotoGPThe Circuit of Wales – a £280 million project to develop a purpose-built hub for the multi-billion pound British motorsport industry – will host the British round of MotoGP by 2016
Britain’s first state-of-the-art motorcycle Grand Prix circuit will feature unrivaled facilities for race fans. The venue is located on the fringe of the picturesque Brecon Beacons, and is anticipated to be a major catalyst for business, leisure and tourism as part of the regeneration of the Blaenau Gwent region.In a five-year agreement with the option for further five year extension with Dorna Sports S.L. – the holder of the MotoGP World Championship Series commercial rights – the Circuit of Wales is set to host the British round of the FIM MotoGP World Championship until 2024. The collaboration will begin in 2015 with next year’s Grand Prix which could be staged at an alternative British venue.“Our agreement with Dorna is a significant landmark in the development of the Circuit of Wales,” said Michael Carrick, Chief Executive of the Circuit of Wales. “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.”Carmelo Ezpeleta, the Chief Executive Officer of Dorna Sport S.L., says “We are excited to be working closely with the Circuit of Wales after being involved with the project for more than four years. The commitment to MotoGP is obviously a catalyst to a wide range of exciting projects aimed at contributing to the regeneration of the area, while we work together with MotoGP governing body the FIM in relation to the full homologation of the circuit.“The commitment to youth, to employment opportunities for the area, to its academy plans – linked to our own FIM CEV Repsol series – and the general investment in motorsport infrastructure will ensure very exciting times are ahead for Blaenau Gwent and the surrounding areas.”The first phase of the multi-purpose development will be the construction of an international specification motor racing circuit and world championship facilities, hotel, commercial and retail complexes. The facility is designed to host international motorsport events and will be a center for motorsport-related industries.Plans include a 3.5-mile track that capitalizes on the natural topography of the area, an indoor academy training facility, motocross, trials and enduro venues, an international kart circuit and driver training facilities as well as a variety of leisure and cultural amenities.Designed to be much more than a race track, the automotive park included in the plans will be one of the world’s leading sustainable commercial developments, targeting the growth of low-carbon industries and events.It will be a research hub for development companies that are seeking to innovate in environmental technology and energy solutions. The park will showcase the latest technologies that capture and generate energy for the facility. The race academy and training facility to develop future Welsh and UK talent will work in unison with the motor racing circuit and with Dorna.Councillor Hedley McCarthy, the Leader of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council says, “On behalf of the community in Blaenau Gwent, we are absolutely delighted that Dorna is bringing the British Motorcycle Grand Prix to the Circuit of Wales.“The MotoGP series is an amazing championship that has provided a stimulant and confidence for the growth of infrastructure in a number of similar areas to ours around the world in recent years. We look forward to welcoming the teams, riders, officials, media and fans to Blaenau Gwent.”
Hello everyone and welcome once again to the Ultimate Motorcycling podcast—Motos and Friends. My name is Arthur Coldwells.
Motos and Friends is brought to you by the Yamaha YZF-R7—Yamaha’s awesome supersport machine that is as capable on the racetrack as it is on the street. …and it’s comfortable too! Check it out at at your local Yamaha dealer, or of course at YamahaMotorsports.com.
In this week’s first segment, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the BMW K 1600 GT. This is the sporty bagger version of BMW’s K series of machines, those are the models with the awesome 6-cylinder engine. The GT has been given a little makeover for 2023, and Nic gives us his take.
In the second segment, I chat with one of my all time heroes—three-time World Champion racer ‘fast’ Freddie Spencer. I’ll do my best not to come off as too much of a fanboy here, but frankly it’ll be tough!
In my humble opinion, Spencer is a contender for the GOAT—greatest of all time. Sure, his career was a little shorter than some, and his number of championships falls behind the likes of Lawson, Doohan, Rossi, and of course Marquez. But at the time, Freddie literally changed the way motorcycles were ridden. 30 years before Marc Marquez, Freddie was able to push the front wheel into a slide, corner after corner, lap after lap in order to get the bike turned faster than anyone else. Freddie took completely different lines and was able to get on the throttle so early he could out accelerate anyone off a corner.
In the modern era, of course Freddie is the chairman of the FIM MotoGP Stewards panel. This is the panel of referees for all three classes of Grand prix racing. I talked to Freddie about his task there, and although for contractual reasons with Dorna and the FIM he cannot talk about specific riders, teams, or events, nevertheless his explanation of the job makes for interesting listening. It’s a tough job, and frankly I wouldn’t want to do it!
Actually—Ultimate Motorcycling is giving away five copies of the book—signed by Freddie himself—to the first five listeners who contact us with the correct answer to the question: How many national AMA championships did Freddie win, and which years were they?
Please email your answers to email@example.com and we will contact the winners and send you a signed copy of Feel. Those five winners will be announced on a future episode. Unfortunately for legal reasons this offer is ONLY open to US residents.
So, from all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!