Donington Park is to host the British round of MotoGP in 2015. The Leicestershire circuit has reached agreement with the Circuit of Wales to host the British Grand Prix while the Welsh track is being built.
The Circuit of Wales was in talks with both Donington, which hosted the British Grand Prix from 1987 until 2009, and Silverstone, which hosted the race from 2010 until this year, but agreed more favorable terms with Donington.
The deal is a little more complicated than most contracts with racetracks. Dorna has a contract with the Circuit of Wales to host the race for the next five years, but the Circuit of Wales is yet to be built. Construction on the ambitious project has yet to be started, and the project is still a long way short of the money it needs for completion.
While the Head of the Valleys Development Company continues to work on completing the facilities, the Circuit of Wales needed to comply with its contract with Dorna and provide a venue to hold the British Grand Prix.
The Circuit of Wales held talks with both Donington Park and Silverstone, but Silverstone wanted too much money to host the event, citing very high costs to run it. Unwilling to ‘subsidize’ the event, as they put it in the press release, Silverstone refused to drop their asking price. That left Donington Park as the only alternative.
Before Donington can put on the race, it will have to undergo an inspection by Dorna and the FIM. Donington will carry out any upgrades required to bring it up to Grand Prix standard, but it is unclear where the funding for this will come from.
It is also unclear what will happen if the circuit should, for whatever reason, fail to complete the required upgrades in time. Given that the circuit already hosts a round of World Superbikes, it seems unlikely that the changes needed will be too extensive, though WSBK races at tracks where MotoGP would be unable to go for safety reasons, such as Imola and (formerly) Monza.
Source: Dorna & Donington Park