Donington Park secures 2015 MotoGP action

03 Sep 2014

By: Sport Industry Group

Donington Park has been selected to host the MotoGP British Grand Prix on the 2015 calendar of the motorcycling series after striking a deal with the Circuit of Wales.

The Leicestershire track, which staged the British MotoGP between 1987 and 2009, will hold it for one year before it moves to the yet-to-be-built Welsh circuit near Ebbw Vale.

Carmelo Ezpeleta, chief executive of MotoGP’s promoter, Dorna, said: ‘The Circuit of Wales has worked very quickly to secure the best deal for British race fans and we believe Donington Park will deliver a fantastic race in 2015.’

‘Donington has a long history and has been the scene of some of the most exciting MotoGP races in recent years and we are sure that the extensive works undertaken since it reopened four years ago will guarantee a successful event.’

Bosses at Silverstone, which has hosted the event for the last five years, had hoped to retain it for another year after the Wales venue dislodged Silverstone as hosts for the annual British event in a five-year deal, running from 2015 to 2019, with the option of an extension taking the agreement through to 2024.

The agreement included the provision that the 2015 event would take place at an alternative venue, with construction work on the new £315m circuit only set to begin later this year.

However, Silverstone managing director Richard Phillips, expressed his disappointment with the decision. The Northamptonshire circuit, which has staged Formula 1's British Grand Prix for the past 27 years, was partly redesigned to attract bike racing.

Phillips said: ‘We have invested heavily in the circuit and facilities here at Silverstone, specifically to host MotoGP, and have developed the British Grand Prix into a highly successful event.’

‘We wanted to keep MotoGP at Silverstone, but cannot afford to subsidise it. We are extremely disappointed not to be hosting the event in 2015.’

He added: ‘We know from experience what it takes to run a high quality British Grand Prix. We made what we considered to be the maximum sensible offer to retain the event at Silverstone, but it seems that the Circuit of Wales, who have no experience of running a Grand Prix, have concluded they can do better running it themselves, using Donington until their circuit is ready.’

‘Silverstone has taken the event to a new level over the last five years, so we hope this won’t turn out to be a backwards step for the British Grand Prix, teams and fans. The Circuit of Wales evidently believe they can make the finances work using Donington next year – we wish them the best of luck.’