2014 MotoGP Calendar: Brazil In, Laguna Seca Out?

08/21/2013 @ 11:09 am, by David Emmett45 COMMENTS

2014 MotoGP Calendar: Brazil In, Laguna Seca Out? Sunday Laguna Seca US GP MotoGP Scott Jones 08 635x423

The 2014 MotoGP calendar could see the first steps in a long process to transform Grand Prix motorcycle racing from a Eurocentric series to a truly international world championship. Today, Dorna CEO held a press conference in Brazil to announce that MotoGP could make a return to that South American country as early as late 2014.

The event would be held at the Autodromo Nelson Piquet de Brasilia, the motorcycle circuit in the capital city of Brazil, and has been scheduled to take place in the second half of the 2014 season. That date is still very far from certain, however, as the track is still subject to safety homologation by the FIM for Grand Prix motorcycle racing.

If the race goes ahead – and the facilities at the circuit are believed to need a lot of work to bring them up to MotoGP standard, though there appear to be few physical obstacles to moving walls back and creating the necessary runoff required – then it will join the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit in Argentina as the second South American race on the calendar, giving a much more international feel to the MotoGP series.

The expansion into Central and South America is seen as crucial to the future of the sport, as all forms of motor sport are extremely popular in the region. The inclusion of Colombian rider Yonny Hernandez in the premier class provided a boost for the visibility of the series in the region, and the hope is that by adding Argentina and Brazil to the calendar, more local talent can be cultivated. The region is also a key market for the Japanese motorcycle manufacturers.

The addition of both Brazil and Argentina to the calendar creates a major headache for the schedule. While a 19 race calendar is just about acceptable to the riders and factories, having 20 races on the calendar would start to create severe logistical and technical challenges.

Engine limits in all three Grand Prix classes mean that the reliability of the engines would be severely tested, especially for the MSMA entries in MotoGP, which are allowed just 5 engines to last an entire season. As a result, at least one event is likely to be cut from next year’s schedule,

Prime candidate to be dropped is Laguna Seca, according to British publication MCN. Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta said last year, when the contracts with the Austin circuit were signed, that three US rounds on the calendar was one too many.

It had long been assumed that Indianapolis would be the race to be dropped, but a deal announced on Saturday secured the event for 2014, with talks ongoing about a long-term extension to that deal. The long-term contract with Austin leaves only Laguna Seca as the race which could be dropped.

Though the loss of Laguna Seca would be deeply unpopular – the circuit has gained an iconic status among motorcycle racing fans, and is a firm favorite with almost everyone in the paddock – it is the logical choice for a US race to be dropped.

There have always been safety concerns about the circuit – the closeness of the wall at several points along the track from Turn 4 all the way up to the Corkscrew – and the facilities are severely lacking for a Grand Prix circuit. The lack of the Moto2 and Moto3 classes is also seen as a disadvantage, but Laguna Seca is not believed to be able to hike in sanctioning fee which would be necessary to cover the cost of flying the support classes to the circuit.

Spectator numbers also dropped significantly between 2012 and 2013, falling from 52,677 on race day in 2012 to 46,256 in 2013, the three-day totals falling from 137,221 to 118,696. In contrast, the race day total at Indianapolis fell from 65,372 to 60,327, while throughout the European rounds held so far, attendance has generally increased by between 5 and 10%.

The biggest problem with dropping Laguna Seca would be its strategic location, right in the heart of West Coast motorcycle culture, situated as it is a couple of hours south of the Bay Area around San Francicso. But though the track enjoys an iconic status with existing bike fans, it is peripheral to mainstream US motor sports culture.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a household name among ordinary Americans, and Dorna believes that being linked to such an important venue will help them to expand the series’ popularity in North America.

Meanwhile during all of this, Laguna Seca General Manager Gill Campbell denied to venerable US publication Cycle News that there was any question of Laguna Seca being dropped for 2014. “We have a contract through 2014 and we’ll be negotiating our future contract within the next year. It doesn’t affect us at all – we’re not going anywhere,” she told Cycle News.

Of course, that still leaves MotoGP with four races in Spain. Jerez has a contract for 2014 and 2015, while Aragon, Barcelona and Valencia all have contracts until 2016. However, only funding for Aragon is completely secure, though the Junta de Andalucia is also keen to retain Jerez on the calendar. That leaves Barcelona and Valencia, with the latter the most likely to be dropped.

Barcelona is the home base of Dorna, the Spanish owners of MotoGP, and the regional council is trying to find a way to retain the race. The financial situation of Valencia is much more perilous, and coupled with falling attendances for the final race of the season, it is becoming increasingly unsustainable as an event.

There are no signs that any of the Spanish races will be dropped for 2014, but it is unlikely that the country will continue to have four races beyond next season.

With South America now much better catered for, Dorna’s next target is Asia. Both the MotoGP organizers and the motorcycle manufacturers are very keen to race in the region, as it is a massive market both in terms of TV audiences and motorcycle sales.

MotoGP is keen to make the trip to India, though the experience of both the World Superbike series and Formula One suggest it is very difficult to hold an international motor sports event in the country at the moment, as a range of bureaucratic difficults make it an expensive logistical challenge.

Dorna is also looking at another circuit in Malaysia, a track in Thailand, and an as yet unnamed project in Indonesia as circuits to host an extra Asian round of MotoGP, but formidable financial and political difficulties still remain. Races will take place in the region in the near future, but it is not yet clear exactly where that will be.

Though the loss of Laguna Seca will be widely mourned, and any expansion into Asia will mean the loss of more venues in Europe, potentially at some of its more iconic circuits, the move to make MotoGP a more international series will be welcomed. It is, after all, supposed to be a World Championship.

Source: MotoGP.comMCN, & Cycle News; Photo: © 2013 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

This article was originally published on MotoMatters, and is republished here on Asphalt & Rubber with permission by the author.

Comment:

  1. Damo says:

    They better not drop Laguna! I am already planning my second vacation out to the west coast for next year!

    (Although I wouldn’t cry if I just saw WSBK instead.)

    The best part about walking around Laguna Seca is you run into a crowd of great racing icons. Many retired American racers live in close proximity to the track.

  2. smiler says:

    Call me cynical….you are cynical……but
    in 2014:
    30% of MotoGP riders will be Spanish
    5 of the biggest sponsors will be Spanish
    4 of the rounds will be in Spain (all flat tracks)
    1&2 in the championship will likely be Spanish, with 3/4.
    MotoGP will be renamed the Iberian Peninsula Champioship in honour of one of Portugal’s former colonies, Brazil holding a GP.
    From 2015, MotoGp will drop a round in Spain and move this to Estoril.

    In what other form of motor racing do the Spanish lead the world? None.

    I mean not even Bernie Ecclestone would consider making F1 that British. Races in New Zealand, Kenya and the Virgin Islands, with rounds at Brands, Silverstone, Donnington and Rockingham…….

    And dropping Laguna, one of the few 3 dimensional circuits. One factor that makes that race interesting. Amazingly stupid behaviour.

  3. Josh says:

    I don’t understand why they have to limit the number of rounds? I thought more rounds = more money? So wouldn’t having 20 or 21 dates better than 19?

    Someone help me understand the economics of it please.

  4. Will says:

    So to make the series more “international” they propose dropping one of the American rounds in the series? They should first consider dropping one of the MANY European rounds. It’s just more of the typical Anti-Americanism that oozes from the pores of Europeans. If the competitive teams would hire a talented American rider, turn out would be better at the US rounds.

  5. Soul_reaver says:

    Josh : as mentioned in the article : an extra round would put more strain on the already limited amount of engines. Even now some teams are struggling to reach max mileage out of the engines under current rules. And it’ll only get worse with the new rules that are in effect from 2014 onwards.
    So the solution would be : drop a round or change the regulations ( again ) . Seeing that everyone is going crazy over the many regulation changes the last couple of years, Dorna decided it would be better to axe a round.

    So the economics of this : more strain on engines => extra R&D for the teams. Thus, partly, negating the cost-cutting measures Dorna is trying to take.

  6. AK says:

    I love Laguna track, but they only hold MotoGP…. No Moto2 or Moto3, and that place is middle of no-where…

    Indy offer more then just GP race.

  7. FernandoARG says:

    Keep laguna, get rid of Indy, horrible track.

  8. MrDefo says:

    I’m confused as to why this is being posted here, now, when on Motomatters there’s been an update before today that states that Laguna isn’t going anywhere. At least why wasn’t that part of the article posted?

  9. Ian says:

    Moto GP needs a top tier American rider to grow attendance. Americans love when Americans win. They won’t go for interview after interview with people who barely speak English explaining how they won the race.

    As someone who loves Moto GP and riding motorcycles, I wish it wasn’t that way. America should be an extremely important market for all manufacturers just based on the social economic realities and power of the market for potential sponsors.

    America is a car country and its love for the sport bike is getting weaker and weaker. Why is that?

  10. David P says:

    Yes, it is supposed to be a world championship, which should mean that it is a trial of the best, most difficult, most amazing courses in the world. So only when courses are living up to that sort of status should they be added. Obviously there is a certain amount of history that would factor into whether or not a race track should be kept…but being tied to general (4 wheel) racing history on a poor track (for motorcycles) should not be a reason to keep a round. I’d be happy if they dropped Indy. I wish Indy had a great motorcycle track and a reason for MotoGP to stay but they simply don’t.

    And obviously they should really just change the regulations, but this time make rules that flex with a growing/shrinking race schedule. Define the number of races that an engine is expected to last and then allow for the appropriate amount. For example, if an engine should last 3 races and there is 10 on the schedule then you get a total of 4 that year.

    This is THE premier motorcycle world championship. As best as it should, it really needs to be about the most amazingly difficult/beautiful/exotic/new/historic tracks and locales…not just simply about how big of a market asia might be.

  11. Spamtasticus says:

    Ian.
    MotoGP is an international motorcycle event comprised of riders who’s native languages include French, Italian, Spanish, English, German, Japanese, Czech, and whatever the hell it is that Crtutchlow and Smith speak. When the riders are interviewed, they all answer in their native language and then in English, regardless of where they are from. English is the only extra language they all attempt to answer in and you are complaining about their accent? Believe it or not, there be other lands beyond the TSA’s checkpoints.

  12. Spamtasticus says:

    It is ridiculous to believe that the solution to this problem is to eliminate a race instead of adding an engine. One is a stroke of a pen and the other is an event that brings in millions in tickets, advertising, and sponsor interest.

  13. SBPilot says:

    I think there are a bunch of geographically challenged yanks here. Brazil is not part of Spain, why is everyone going on about Spain. 3 races in America is a lot, for a market that is not growing. To drop one and replace it with a South American location makes sense, there isn’t a single race in that continent and some of the best riders/drivers have historically come from that region. It’s a motorsport friendly region, and a two wheeled cultured region. How does it not make sense.

    They will may take out more Euro rounds and put one more in South America, and of course they plan to put more in South East Asia as well. Yes, the poorer parts of the world, where people still commute on motorbikes.

    Motorbikes to North Americans and Europeans are luxury items mainly, we do not depend on them. In those aforementioned places, they depend on them, that’s the market you want, that’s the people you want to convince your brand is better.

    Lastly, I was just at Indy, and the facilities there are abysmal. The screens are tiny and few and far between. You’re literally watching the race from where you sit, you can’t follow anything else that’s going on, the screens don’t even show the race. It’s pathetic. Having said that I had a good time. If Laguna Seca is worse, than America has it coming for losing GPs. Austin is the only logical choice, hence a long term contract. Modern and up to date, safe, and in a young growing part of America.

    Also, to hold 21 races not only strains bikes, engines whatever, it strains team budgets, and riders. If I’m a rider, hell, I want a break too you know. Go look up how much it cost for a team to fly all their personnel and gear and bikes to a track and you may understand why just adding rounds isn’t that simple. Private teams cannot afford it, factory teams don’t’ see the ROI of an extra one or two rounds.

  14. irksome says:

    Indy is a failed F1 track that has a schizophrenic surface, is flat as a pancake and is run backwards from it’s original configuration so most of the turns tighten up thus creating fewer passing (read: racing) opportunities. It’s in the heart of Harley Country and all the riders hate it.

    So let’s dump Laguna Seca!

  15. Mariani says:

    So, they will keep both American circuits made for Formula One and drop the one Circuit made for motorcycle racing?
    Sigh.

  16. TexusTim says:

    DROP INDY KEEP LAGUNA…THE RIDERS HATE INDY.. THE RIDERS LOVE LAGUNA ..THE ASSPAULT HAS THREE DIFFERENT SURFACE AT INDY..THERE IS BUT ONE AT LAGUNA..O INDY IS DURING HURRICANE SEASON!!! SO THEY GOT THERE WAY TO ANOTHER ROUND IN 14…THEY PROBABLY DROPPED THERE PANTS TO GET THAT..MAYBE PROMISE TO RELAY THE ASSPAULT O WAIT THEY DID THAT ALLREADY BUT HEAVEN FORBID THE NASCAR CROWD WOULD NOT PUT UP WITH THAT..stupid to have a roadrace at indy other than the history…for cages…I know many many years ago they did some loop style racing but wasnt that when they wore leather helmits?.. lol

  17. TexusTim says:

    south america is made up of spanish speaking people and they kinda relate to that ..MR SB PILOT…we know were the place is …it can be walked to from here unlke were you at…geez

  18. irksome says:

    TexusTim: Brazilians speak Portugese. And have a nice walk through Central America… geez.

  19. Keith says:

    Drop Indy unless they completely resurface (not likely); add Miller or Barber

  20. paulus says:

    Unfortunately the best place to watch a race… is at home.
    Going the the track… get gouged for the ticket price (thanks sanctioning fees), then jockey for parking, mortgage your food and beverage (if you dont bring your own in). Watch a small section of the event (in front of where you are sitting) or on a screen bigger than the perspective comparative size of your i-phone, if you are lucky.

    Watch the pinnacle of what engineering minds and top riders can do…. to improve gas mileage!

    Multiply the cost/pain if you are attending as a family.

    Yes, the track has the atmosphere and the sound… but is it really better than watching at home?

  21. Mike says:

    “”The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a household name among ordinary Americans, and Dorna believes that being linked to such an important venue will help them to expand the series’ popularity in North America.””

    Dorna is a victim of false thinking on this one.

    Indy may be the heart of US Auto racing but bike racers could care less about Indy & so could all
    the ordinary Americans as they say when it comes to Bike racing at Indy.
    Indy is a boring burnt out track when it comes to bikes.
    It holds no history at all. Daytona would probably place ahead of Indy in that regard.

    Not that I would suggest a GP race at Daytona either :)

    Dorna if you want to drop a US race make it Indy not Laguna
    Riders & fans would prefer it would be my guess

  22. Damo says:

    @paulus

    You really have to get out and see an event at Laguna Seca. The tickets are reasonably priced (without pit access) and Mazda makes sure the food/beverage prices at the track are kept low so people can spend the whole day there.

    It is one of the few sporting events I have attended any where that I could get a proper pint of craft brew for $6!

  23. Norm G. says:

    Q: “I don’t understand why they have to limit the number of rounds? I thought more rounds = more money? So wouldn’t having 20 or 21 dates better than 19?”

    A: because riders aren’t SLAVES to be whored out with the end game of making one man rich.

  24. Norm G. says:

    re: “SO THEY GOT THERE WAY TO ANOTHER ROUND IN 14…THEY PROBABLY DROPPED THERE PANTS TO GET THAT”

    no, 2014 was part of the existing contract. there was a clause in said contract, that would allow them to opt out after 2013. IMS simply chose not to exercise that option.

    re: “Drop Indy unless they completely resurface (not likely)”

    likely, IMS is under new management and they have the incentive of the merger between Grand Am and ALMS. GA’s been racing on the infield for 2 seasons now.

  25. Random says:

    Being a brazillian, as much as I would like to have a race at our country, I do not believe everything will be ready for a race next year. Obviously, if you have a lot of money to throw away, it might, but if you’ve seen anything about our country’s political concerns after the recent protests this seems unlikely.

    We’re not exactly recognized by finishing things ahead of time; actually the common sense is we do the opposite. Besides, we are talking about an unsafe circuit that recently (july) has seen the death of a female pro racer due to its abysmal conditions.

  26. Bertus says:

    Come back to South Africa!

  27. Norm G. says:

    ps, even if they DO repave the infield in it’s entirety, I don’t think it’s going to save the round. even if attendance were magically up (which it ain’t)…? and there wasn’t competition from other countries for the schedule (which there is)…? the rider’s are pretty much soured on the place. it’s not what i (personally) want to hear, but we have to defer to them.

  28. TexusTim says:

    I would rather walk thru south america than swim to england…. okay you guys have silverstone we have laguna….they both are awsome places to watch a motogp race or any motocycle roadrace..indy not so much it was and is for cagers not bikes…
    I understand there was an option for indy and they probably dropped there pants to get dorna to exercise said option…dont hate on the fact that somehow indy got one more round…everyone is acting like because of that it’s every year…I dont seee anything that say’s this goes beyond 2014…I am thinking maybe dorna wants some more of california’s parks and recreation money…lol and south america is more than just brazil and spanish is the main language of most of it…why not correct my spoelling while your at it ? geez the point is the place is made up of mostly spanish imigirants from spain when spain congoured most of south america and meixico unless you want to include the german nazi’s that excaped with the help of the vatican back in the 40s and 50s…maybe we should ask them to rebild the ciricut…you know war reperations and all or we’ll take bradls ride away and give it to hayden…lol

  29. Norm G. says:

    re: “Prime candidate to be dropped is Laguna Seca, according to British publication MCN”

    MCN obviously didn’t read an advanced copy of the 2013 season script that outlined Marcus was to put a “dramatic outside pass thru the gravel” on Ross in the corkscrew. interesting this event would take place in California (near Hollywood) and the Writer’s Guild.

    re: “we’re not going anywhere”

    FISTPUMP…!!!

    for effect, ex-pat Campbell should’ve ended her comment with a 1 sec pause… and then said the word… BITCHES…!!! LOL

  30. BBQdog says:

    @smiler: couldn’t agree more. Under friends we don’t call it MotoGP anymore but the ‘Spanish open’.

  31. Norm G. says:

    re: “Being a brazillian, as much as I would like to have a race at our country, I do not believe everything will be ready for a race next year.”

    lemme guess, the circuit is looking for a late july date, yes…? this way they can try and capitalize on the influx of HUMANITY descending on Rio come 2016. the opening ceremonies for the Olympics are conveniently 5th of august.

    it would seem the reason laguna’s name pops up in this conversation is because they are the one’s iirc who got on the schedule in ’05 when Rio VACATED their 4th of july slot the previous year. over time, the event has shifted from it’s date of 1st weekend in july, to it’s current position of 3rd weekend in july.

  32. Paulo says:

    Besides seeing it in person, on TV Laguna IMO is heads and tails above Indy! I’ll say this too……despite what others will have you believe, Austin COTA…….stinks too. Yes, COTA is a fantastically designed track that is so fantastic that it stinks for pure moto racing. There abre hardly any places to pass, the tracks too far from fans, and it is in the middle of NASCAR country! Yes, watching it on TV is great but that’s because the zoom and camera angles make it. Drop Indy and COTA, they don’t measure up and besides that most riders will agree they don’t care for running at those tracks.

  33. Norm G. says:

    re: “Dorna is also looking at another circuit in Malaysia, a track in Thailand, and an as yet unnamed project in Indonesia as circuits to host an extra Asian round of MotoGP”

    2 words… Hafizh Syahrin.

    re: “but formidable financial and political difficulties still remain.”

    get PETRONAS on the phone. all will be fast-tracked. I have spoken.

  34. shumy27 says:

    I do agree with fernandoARG…Indy is kinda boring mickey mouse track.

  35. anders 'ace' eliasson says:

    Keep Laguna if you want, drop COTA/Indy, and bring one race to Barber … that way I don’t have to drive too far … :^D …

    ACE

  36. Barber would be a phenomenal choice for many reasons: geographical, market, track, & museum. It could draw the largest crowds of the 3 current races. What track changes (if any) would need made to satisfy GP racing?

    Some people mentioned American riders joining the ranks. I would really like to see Josh Hayes in GP.

    Is it also time for a qualifier at Laguna for Moto 2 & Moto 3? Or, at least the top x in points at the time are selected to race at that round? Imagine a pack of Moto3 bikes raging through the corkscrew lap after lap. That would be entertaining racing.

  37. Norm G. says:

    re: “Lastly, I was just at Indy, and the facilities there are abysmal.”

    I don’t think you mean that. you’re probably referring to simply some of the superficial cosmetic anomalies related specifically to the stands (ie. rusty protection fence and the peeling paint). I myself have wondered about that too over the years.

    however (comma) everything apart from that is TOP TIER. the garages, paddock access, the manicured grounds (easily seen from the helo shots during the race), parking, bath rooms, the LOW COST overall, available food/liquor vendors, manufacturers midway, activities for kids (this was actually HUGE this year), security, traffic to and from, souvenir shops, downtown restaurants, etc. oh, and lest we forget the MUSEUM. it’s quite easy to see the places where money is being spent.

    while laguna’s strength may be the track itself, the aforementioned are indy’s strengths. their year’s of experience hosting massive crowds for NASCAR and the indy500 is evident all around. it isn’t 100% picture perfect in every detail, but it’s pretty damn good when take time to reflect… everything around you is MORE THAN 100 YEARS OLD…!!! I should looks so good when i’m that age. LOL

  38. Norm G. says:

    Q: “What track changes (if any) would need made to satisfy GP racing?”

    A: many. we’ve already went down this road in the 990 era. both the track and the facility are too small to host the bikes and the crowds. I think the phrase used at that time was “jet planes in a gymnasium”.

    re: “Is it also time for a qualifier at Laguna for Moto 2 & Moto 3?”

    space is also at a premium at laguna. their pit garages are barely adequate for the MotoGP teams. no room to expand, thus no room at the inn for M2 and M3.

    the importance of infrastructure and supporting facilities can’t be overlooked when you’re asking the WORLD to expend effort, time, and money to hop on a plane and come visit you.

  39. Racetrack Style says:

    Norm G. – always appreciate your commentary…

    I agree the infrastructure & support facilities are important, but why would the track be in question? It is slightly longer than Laguna Seca but with 4 more turns. “Jet planes in a gymnasium” is missing the point of GP racing. I think there should be more tracks that have less long straights & more chicanes to balance out the calendar and make teams & manufacturers have to think about the shorter, “slower” tracks. This would make for more interesting racing across the season. Plus, Indy cars race at Barber, so their size and speed refute that sentiment.

    The area around Laguna Seca isn’t exactly metropolis (Car traffic is an exercise in patience with a one lane road for much of the northbound exit from the track). The hotel facilities in Birmingham area might be an issue, but relative driving times from surrounding hotels might be equivalent to Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Jose, etc. e.g. Atlanta is 2-3 hours away from Birmingham with hotels in between. You could spend that amount of time getting to Santa Cruz from Laguna Seca.

    Garage space ? They could go vertical with trick lifts . Some teams might like the reduced foot traffic if they are up one story in the paddock. If the lift is built right, the teams wouldn’t even have to swap out garage space…they just raise & lower their bike & equipment whenever they are ready to practice or race.

  40. Ian says:

    @ Spamtasticus

    I was born in Europe and my mother is from Holland. I’ve been to many rounds in the US and many rounds in Europe. I’m well aware of the many countries the riders come from and what languages they speak. I know what Moto GP is and I have a pretty good idea why America is not embracing it to the level I wish they would. I was commenting on how hard it is to grow Moto GP and motorcycling here in the US because of the culture. Attendance is down and it is reported that Dorna is thinking of cutting one race out of the calendar. All I was saying is you wouldn’t think that would be the case based on the potential of the market.

    In the future, you should probably assume people who take the time to read A&R and comment on articles are fans of the sport and have the basic info covered.

  41. Ian says:

    No COTA round?!?! That won’t happen for years and years. I’m about to move from Sacramento to Austin. I can’t imaging the frustration if they kept Laguna and dropped COTA.

    Guess I would be moving back. Lol

  42. Norm G. says:

    re: “but why would the track be in question? It is slightly longer than Laguna Seca but with 4 more turns.”

    not short in length but short in terms of run off. couldn’t pass an FIM homologation. at least not without further construction. when George opened the museum, he just wanted the track to have a place to run some of the vehicles in his collection. as the cool kids say, he was “going hard”. unlike a typical museum, he wanted to offer both DYNAMIC as well as static displays. :) that man Barb’s is a visionary.

    also keep in mind, when the current location opened in leeds in ’03, nobody in the states (‘cept for a select few) knew from MotoGP…? it had just switched over in ’02, and it wasn’t until ’05 that the US got a round. prior to that, grandprix had been absent from the states since like the early 90’s…? you couldn’t get arrested on a NSR500. so there would’ve been no need for any newly constructed track to even remotely give a rat’s about hosting a world championship. besides, when you got a collection like that, you don’t need no “stinkin’ badges” or world championships. :)

    re: “Jet planes in a gymnasium” is missing the point of GP racing.”

    not my words. just recalling what I heard said by some other industry pundit. i’m right there with ya. the tracks are SUPPOSED to offer a challenge. some flat, some undulating, some poot butt, and some double ton. so yeah, we can’t hold all 18 rounds at say an assen or a catalunya, though i’m sure some would like that. LOL

  43. Norm G. says:

    re: “Garage space ? They could go vertical with trick lifts . Some teams might like the reduced foot traffic if they are up one story in the paddock. If the lift is built right, the teams wouldn’t even have to swap out garage space…they just raise & lower their bike & equipment whenever they are ready to practice or race.”

    ps, I’ve actually thought about this myself. my inspiration came from the transporters the factory’s bring to the track. ya know with the elevators inside. also, thought about the double (and even triple) stacked parking
    I once saw in NYC. hell, they race through tunnels at motegi…! so yeah, where there’s a will there’s a way I guess. lol impressive to see someone else think like that. that’s steve jobs, outside the box.

    if you have the engineering chops, draw something up and submit it. or even if you don’t have the chops, draw something up and submit it. maybe funds for construction will materialize if the idea can accommodate auto traffic…? ’cause they sure as hell ain’t gonna build shite for bike world beggars.

  44. Kevin says:

    I’m not sure Dorna has this right but then I’m not a broke Private Equity investment who spends the night at the list of Fine Hotels & Resorts while asking online media to pay for the privilege of promoting there event and has no clue as to who should be given a pass.

    Walking away from the West Coast is a big mistake given the market there. Catering to Indy because “Dorna believes that being linked to such an important venue will help them to expand the series’ popularity in North America.” speaks volumes about how they see it wrong. People in America who watch cars go in circles know of
    Indy’s rusted old, in debt, race track. Motorcycle riders and race fans know Laguna.

    If the goal is to turn motorcycle racing in to a maze of tiered social order so that the hard core fans who care are kept on the outside looking in and the son/friend/person of someone who does nothing for the cause is rolling full access on a comp pass then they are on target. IF the goal is to cater to the true fan, who rides and introduce new fans then they’ve got it all so wrong. The rich kid or son/daughter/friend of nobody is never going to ride like a fan, spend the time to make it to the race the way the rest of world does or care two shits about who won. Walk thru the paddock of comped nobody’s and ask them about the race or series and you’ll get a blank stare. Meanwhile, outside the golden paddock and no where near a race bike is the family who brought there son or daughter who are and would be huge life long fans but they can’t even get an autograph or into the paddock to see what goes on.

    Anyone, including Dorna, who looks at web analytics should know that Cruisers and sport bikes are the majority of riders in that order and any magazine will tell you it’s those two groups and largely the cruisers that dominate. So keep acting like an elitist group for the rich and Dorna will be selling the typical Private Equity fiasco for pennies
    on the dollar. Not that there is any long established history in the world of Private Equity failing to understand the dynamics of what keeps an entity like MotoGP afloat, the hardcore dedicated fan, who’s riding in the rain, riding in the sun and most of all riding.

  45. Nancy says:

    I’ve been going to MotoGP at Laguna Seca for over 8 years! Please, Please, Please don’t let it end!!!!!!