After the financial difficulties that have recently dogged the Jerez Circuit, at last there is some good news. Today, the Andalucian State Government announced that it would be underwriting the Spanish MotoGP round at Jerez for the next five years, guaranteeing its future until 2016.
The future of the race had been uncertain. Despite being probably the best attended MotoGP event, and one that rates as one of the must-visit races for MotoGP fans around the world, a financial dispute with contractors had threatened to disrupt the event. As reported earlier this month, the assets of the circuit have been frozen by a local court, after the circuit failed to make outstanding payments owed to the consortium that carried out construction work on the track to improve safety in 2005. That dispute is still unresolved, though information on the status of negotiations is scarce, a situation which has raised the hackles of local politicians, though the event enjoys the backing of almost every party in the region, due to the publicity the event generates.
This was the reason for the Andalucian State Government to back the event. The race is to be sponsored by the Andalucian Sports And Tourism Council, who are using it to raise the profile of the region and to promote it as a tourist destination. The campaign will also feature a range of ads in magazines and on TV stations to run in proximity to the race, adding extra emphasis to the sponsorship deal.
But the deal extends beyond the Spanish round in Jerez as well. The logo of the Andalucian Tourism Council will appear trackside at Assen, Brno, Le Mans and Sepang, and a special promotional stand and hospitality unit will also be on location at the Assen and Silverstone rounds of MotoGP.
Whether the Andalucian State Government has also underwritten the debts of the circuit is not known, but backing the race for a further five years suggests that there is strong support inside the body politic for solving the dispute between CIRJESA, the circuit owners, and Serviobras and FCC, the firms contracted to do the work in 2005. Whatever the political situation, having the future of the race ensured until 2016 is excellent news for the fans.