Over the past year, the Balatonring project has been dogged by bad luck and economic hardship. The project was born under the unluckiest of stars, planned in Hungary and to be built by a Spanish-based construction firm shortly before the economic crisis began. Just months later, the Spanish real estate market collapsed, causing huge problems for the Spanish construction industry. At the same time, the value of the Hungarian Forint plummeted, plunging the country into further economic difficulties as so much of the business of the country was being done in Euros.
Fortunately, those troubles seem to be at an end. The holes created in the project's budget by the financial crisis have been filled by Magyar Fejlesztési Bank, the Hungarian Development Bank, according to BikeRacing.it. The Bank, whose mission is to provide funding for infrastructure and economic development projects such as the Balatonring circuit, has stepped in with a loan to allow the circuit to be completed in time for the September 19th Hungarian round of MotoGP. As a consequence, the Hungarian Grand Prix, which was cancelled last year after work on the Balatonring circuit ceased, is almost certain to take place as scheduled. Sources close to the management of the Balatonring track are extremely confident that the race will go ahead as planned.
This will come as welcome news not just to Hungarian MotoGP fans, but also to fans around the world, and particularly to companies that organize travel to MotoGP races, such as friends of MotoMatters.com Pole Position Travel. The 2010 MotoGP calendar is still only provisional, meaning that, in theory, shifts could take place in the calendar. Though this is unlikely in practice, the business of planning and organizing travel to MotoGP races becomes both markedly more complex and more expensive when the calendar is still subject to change. Fans planning their vacations, either independently or through travel agencies, have been holding off on booking while waiting to find out whether the combined trip to Hungary and Italy will see them attending races or hanging around the shores of Lake Balaton and the Italian Riviera twiddling their thumbs. Once the calendar has been confirmed, then fans can be certain that if they book a trip to the races, the races will actually take place.
The Hungarian round of MotoGP actually taking place at the Balatonring will have one slight downside. For MotoGP will in that case not visit the spectacular Motorland Aragon track near Alcañiz, about 275km west of Barcelona, which has been designated at the reserve circuit for the series. Having visited the facility, and been given a guided tour of the place by the circuit's extremely helpful press spokesman David Salvador, I was extremely impressed by the track. It featured its very own version of the "Sacacorchos" or Corkscrew, a dizzying right-left downhill plunge to the rear of the circuit. Though Spain is hardly in need of another Grand Prix, to race at the Motorland Aragon would be no punishment at all.