Donington, Great Britain
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.
The British Grand Prix is to move, if everything goes to plan. At a press conference held today, Dorna and the management of the Circuit of Wales announced that a deal had been reached that will see the track, to be built in Ebbw Vale in South Wales, will host the race for the next five seasons, with an option to extend the contract for another five years after that, until 2024.
The only problem is that the Circuit of Wales does not exist yet. The track is part of a £ 315 million project aimed at regenerating the Blaenau Gwent region, a once-prosperous region that has lost most of its employment since the coal and steel industries closed. The Heads of the Valleys Development Company have set up a scheme to create a major motorsports industry hub centered around an FIM and FIA homologated race track, capable of hosting world championship racing.
Press releases from some of the World Superbike and World Supersport teams after Sunday's races at Donington Park:
World Superbike Race Two was a dry race and the temperature had risen to 18º, with a 28º track.
World Supersport was dry, with 16-degree air temperature and 27-degree track temperature.
World Superbike race one was a dry race, with the sun making a much needed appearance on the grid.
The English rain was, at moments, the worst rain can be without halting proceedings. The morning's free practice was damp, with laps eleven seconds slower than Friday's times, while the wet Superpole laps were seventeen seconds slower. There were wet crashes in both Superpoles, with at least two riders being taken to be evaluated by the medical centre.
Wet weather continued to plague the Donington round, causing qualifying to be attrition-based.
Tricky conditions in the morning's untimed session let PJ Jacobsen take the honours ahead of Marco Bussolotti, both of whom were a second clear of third place.
In a wet morning's untimed session, Jonathan Rea on the Honda was a second and a quarter quicker than Ayrton Badovini's Evo Bimota and Alex Lowes on a Suzuki. A surprising bunch, but as this is the first properly wet session for the Superbikes, it's as unpredictable as expected. The wet track time will be useful for this afternoon's Superpole session as heavy rain looks unavoidable.