Two major announcements for the MotoGP calendar came at the Sachsenring on Sunday. That the organizers of the German Grand Prix have extended their contract for another five years, securing its future through 2021. And that Finland is to host a MotoGP round from 2018 onwards.
The announcement of the German Grand Prix had been expected. What the agreement does not cover, however, is which circuit the race will be at.
The Sachsenring is the current favorite, and extraordinarily popular with the fans, but the organizers have struggled to make the race profitable.
There have been talks with the Nurburgring, but the fear is that attendance would suffer, as it has historically been low at the circuit. The race could end up alternating between the two tracks.
The announcement of Finland was more of a surprise. There have been rumors of Finland making a return for the last year or so, but a deal was finally announced today.
The race will mean a return to Finland after 36 years of absence, the race last held at Imatra. The Finnish round of MotoGP will be held for the first time in 2018, at the Kymiring about 150km from the Finnish capital Helsinki.
With Finland joining the calendar in 2018, the MotoGP schedule could grow to 20 races. Thailand is highly likely to join the calendar in 2017, with the current three flyaway races being split up into two pairs of races.
Whether Finland replaces a race in Spain or becomes the 20th race remains to be seen.