MotoGP: Donington Park Will Host British GP in 2015

09/02/2014 @ 11:18 pm, by David Emmett7 COMMENTS


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

  • Your picture isn’t of Donington. It’s of what Donington might have been if the changes for F1 had been completed. So here’s hoping that MotoGP is the incentive they use to restore spectator access to the majority of the infield that’s been lost. But then it’s only for one year, so I bet they just cobble something together or leave it in it’s current horrible state.

  • Precisely. I think you’ll find that we chose our title photos for a reason — some more subtle than others.

  • KSW

    I think it’s time to change the style of these stories on the “Business” of MotoGP. I’d like to see the questions ask and answers given instead, putting the Dorna/Bridgepoint and anonymous investors to task. I want to see what questions Carmelo did or didn’t answer and what response his Bridgepoint boss and President of Dorna had to say or not. This should read, ” X question was asked of Y person and they didn’t answer.”

    One question I have is, “Carmelo, is there a circuit that Dorna/Bridgepoint believes has enough historical value to not allow it to fail?” “Carmelo, with the high fee’s, less viewers in England as a result of the TV deal and governments the world over asking tax payers to fund your events how are you benefiting motorcycling in a real way beyond your own pocket with your personal ownership percentage of the business?

    Even more important is what is the cost of the deal? References to Austin’s estimated $50 million to the local economy is meaningless without a reference to what other events bring in. Attendance at a MotoGP race are less than a musical concert so what is MotoGP bringing to the local economy that is somehow meaningful? I’d recommend that the HVDC built a concert stage, it’s cheaper and draws more people, sells more alcohol (high margins sales that supports truly local breweries/distilleries from the UK) and you don’t need government assistance build a concert venue. That is if you truly believe what your doing is profitable and willing to stand without government aid and take the risk.

    These stories on the state of moving tracks, tax payer dollars are all the same, just replace the names of what ever track and local economy is loosing out with Dorna/Bridgepoint.

  • Shawn

    I’m amazed that it’s possible to sign a 5-year contract with Dorna and THEN go about actually building a track. Is Dorna in the business of granting hosting contracts to non-existent venues? If so, I’m going to see if I can get a contract to host another U.S. round here in South Carolina; there’s a beautiful location at the base of the mountains over here that I think would make a great location. I’ll worry about buying the land and building a track later.

  • Frank

    @ Shawn – that move with the 5 year contract was made to leverage a deal with Silverstone. They knew full well that CoW wouldn’t be ready for next year but they wanted to force Silverstone’s hand to commit and host for 2015. Looks like Silverstone called their bluff. It will be interesting to see how this pans out. It’s a shame really – Silverstone might not be the most fan acommodating track on the calendar from what I’ve heard/read, but it sure makes for some spectacular racing.

  • Elton Alwine

    I’m glad Donington Park is hosting MotoGP next year, honestly. I would like to return to England. My first Grand Prix was the 2004 British Grand Prix, where I traveled from stateside by myself with a backpack. One of my great adventures that I’ll never forget. I got drunk with Jeremy Burgess (sorry to name-drop) after the race at the Thistle hotel’s bar. I think it’s time to return to England again next summer! j

    The sea of bikes was magnificent! All the two-strokes that we never got imported over here, and the hospitality. Wonderful experience at Donington Park!

    I hope it’s close to Cadwell Park BSB like this year Silverstone and Cadwell were a weekend apart. Love this news…

  • paulus

    Dorna does not grant anything… the take the money.
    If the track is not available… I am sure that there is no refund.
    The British Government has coughed up a whole bunch of tax payers money to assist the circuit of Wales.
    50 million pounds has already been paid to Dorna for the 5 year contract.

    I hope for the best… but the circuit of Wales sounds like another tax-payer bale out about to happen.