After hosting its first ever round of Formula one, the Yas Marina Circuit outside of Abu Dhabi has its eyes on bringing MotoGP to the capital of the Emirates. Like most things in the UAE, the $1 billion circuit is impressive and brand new, and its owners hope to have the track MotoGP ready in the next two to three years, despite Dorna has yet to sign off on bringing the premiere motorcycle class to the UAE.
“MotoGP boss Carmelo Ezpeleta was here last year and the track designer Hermann Tilke will be coming up with a proposal in the next couple of weeks. But it will take time. We are looking at a time-frame of maybe two to three years when Abu Dhabi will be able to hold a MotoGP round,” said Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management CEO Richard Cregan talking to the Khaleej Times.
Part of the issue is simply getting the track to meet FIM criteria, which takes time and money. The other issue is that MotoGP already has a stop in the Middle East, at the Losail track in Qatar. MotoGP’s stop in Qatar is currently the only night race, and is primarily structured to ease televised coverage (along with the sweltering heat), instead of being watched in person. However Yas Marina Circuit has some advantages that Losail does not possess, namely that the race track takes its 21 twists and turns through a maze of city, hotel, and theme park.
Comfortable air-conditioned viewing is bountiful, and the man-made island is equipped to provide all the amenities needed for a large scale event like MotoGP. Total capacity is 50,000 strong which makes Abu Dhabi to likely be another night race if plans to include the venue go forward.