It would seem that the Dorna might be interested in adding Imola to the list of venues MotoGP attends this year. The Italian daily newspaper has reported that FIM’s Race Director Paul Butler recently visited the Imola race circuit, and seemed to approve of the track, and is considering it as a replacement to the dropped Hungarian GP.
While hard to believe, if this rumor turns out to be true, that would make 2 stops for MotoGP in Italy (3 stops if you count San Marino as a part of Italy…which is something we’d never say to someone from San Marino), 3 stops in Spain, 2 stops in the United States, and then a plethora of other venues scattered about the globe, although still weighted heavily in Europe and Southeast Asia.
We see a number of problems with this rumor. For one, it comes from the incredibly passionate, yet often wrong Italian media. Secondly, with 2 Italian-ish (see caveat above) stops already on the books, it would seem the MotoGP has already sufficiently hit the Italian market.
Also consider the reason MotoGP looked to the Balatonring in the first place, i.e. expansion into new, emerging markets. We’d believe a Sao Paulo GP before another Italian GP at this point.
The last problem is one of logistics. Assuming that a new stop on the roster is intended to be on the September 20th date that the Hungarian GP was slated, on that day Imola is already booked with the WTCC Italian round. In fact, Imola is booked pretty much solid throughout all of September.
We love Imola, and we love MotoGP, but this rumor seems a little too far-fetched. We’ll gladly fly to Rio though if our Sao Paulo idea catches on.