Brno MotoGP Round Under Threat From 2012
These are difficult times for circuit owners. The Jerez de la Frontera circuit in southern Spain is currently dealing with asset seizures from the contractor who carried out alterations to the circuit, putting the future of the Andalusian circuit in jeopardy. And now it has emerged from the Czech Republic that the Autodromo Brno, home of the Czech Grand Prix, made a loss of 79.7 million Czech Koruny last year, or approximately 3.26 million Euros, and potentially unable to stage the MotoGP round from 2012.
According to a spokesperson of the Cardion AB MotoGP team - the owner of the Cardion AB team, Karel Abraham Sr. also owns the Brno circuit - the 2011 MotoGP race is not in danger, and will proceed as planned. The problem for the circuit is that there is a major budget shortfall for the MotoGP race, and if they do not receive support from the Czech government, they will be unable to fulfill their contract to stage the race until 2014.
The Brno MotoGP race is the only race on the calendar which does not receive state support in one form or another. The circuit receives some 19 million Koruny in support from the Brno municipal council and from the regional government of Moravia. That leaves the circuit with a gap of some 60 million Koruny to fill, and the Autodromo Brno had applied to the Czech government for a subsidy to organize the race.
The Czech Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek had rejected the approach for subsidy, and according to the Cardion AB spokesperson, declaring that the state had no interest in supporting the race. The circuit claims his rejection is based on a lack of familiarity with the race, and also with the financial benefits the race brings to the region and to the Czech Republic as a whole. The Cardion AB spokesperson told MotoMatters.com that the race generated some 180 million Koruny (some 7.4 million Euros) just in tax revenues for the Czech Republic, and the circuit was currently engaged in lobbying the Ministry of Finance with these figures in hand.
The Cardion AB spokesperson was confident that the outcome of that political lobbying process would be positive, and was confident that the situation would be resolved. When asked to estimate the chances of the Brno MotoGP round continuing from 2012 onwards, the spokesperson refused to be drawn, saying that it was still too early in the political discussions to be able to say anything sensible.
The 2011 round of MotoGP may be secured, rounds beyond that are as yet uncertain. But to paraphrase a famous Missourian, reports of its demise from 2012 onwards are a little premature.