MotoGP set for Donington return

Donington Park's Dunlop Straight will reverberate to the sound of MotoGP in 2015

Donington Park's Dunlop Straight will reverberate to the sound of MotoGP in 2015

First published in National Sport © by

MotoGP will return to Donington Park for the first time in six years in 2015 but with the decision drawing stinging criticism from Silverstone chiefs.

The East Midlands circuit will stage the British round of the championship on a one-off basis whilst the race's future permanent home, the Circuit of Wales, is completed.

CoW bosses announced last month the signing of a five-year deal from 2015 for MotoGP to be staged at their venue.

However, the long-overdue £315million track has yet to be built, with construction set to finally commence later this year.

MotoGP commercial rights holders Dorna always understood the British event in 2015 would likely have to be staged elsewhere given the circumstances surrounding the Circuit of Wales.

It has now been confirmed Donington Park, which hosted MotoGP from 1987 through to 2009 before it switched to Silverstone for five years, has been confirmed as the chosen venue.

CoW consultant Chris Herring said: "After announcing the long-term MotoGP agreement between Dorna and the Circuit of Wales three weeks ago our priority has been to agree the venue for 2015.

"It is in the interests of everyone, especially the fans, to make a decision as soon as possible, and in Donington Park we have a venue that shares our vision for growing MotoGP in the UK."

Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta added: "The Circuit of Wales has worked very quickly to secure the best deal for the British race fans and we believe Donington Park will deliver a fantastic race in 2015.

"Donington has a long history and has been the scene of some of the most exciting MotoGP races in recent years.

"We are sure the extensive works undertaken since it reopened four years ago will guarantee a successful event."

CoW, however, still faces searching questions as to its development, in particular with regard to the funding of the project.

Silverstone managing director Richard Phillips, meanwhile, has slated CoW's decision to hand the race to Donington after failing to agree terms on a deal for 2015.

After five successful years at Silverstone, which was partly redesigned to attract bike racing to the Northamptonshire venue, Phillips said: "We have invested heavily in the circuit and facilities here at Silverstone, specifically to host MotoGP, and have developed the British Grand Prix into a highly successful event.

"We wanted to keep MotoGP at Silverstone, but cannot afford to subsidise it. We are extremely disappointed not to be hosting the event in 2015.

"Any future deal, with Dorna or The Circuit of Wales, had to make economic sense for all parties, including us.

"We know from experience what it takes to run a high quality British Grand Prix.

"We made what we considered to be the maximum sensible offer to retain the event at Silverstone, but it seems The Circuit of Wales, who have no experience of running a grand prix, have concluded they can do better running it themselves, using Donington until their circuit is ready.

"Silverstone has taken the event to a whole new level over the last five years, so we hope this won't turn out to be a backwards step for the British Grand Prix, teams and fans.

"The Circuit of Wales evidently believe they can make the finances work using Donington next year - we wish them the best of luck."


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