We already know that 2013 will be a big year for MotoGP in the Americas. With the addition of the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, the total number of MotoGP rounds in the United States will increase to three, with Austin joining Indianapolis and Laguna Seca on the calendar. And according to reports in the Argentinian press, there could be a fourth round of MotoGP in the Americas, with a South American race joining the three North American rounds of the series.
The reports state that the Las Termas de Rio Hondo circuit in Argentina is due to sign a contract with Dorna to host a round of the MotoGP championship from 2013 through to 2015. The contract will be signed in the next few days, as the Argentinian president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is in France to sign, among other things, contracts with the ASO for the extension of the Dakar Rally, and she will be present at the signing with Dorna.
Rumors that an Argentinian round of MotoGP would take place emerged much earlier in the year, when Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta's right-hand man Javier Alonso inspected the Las Termas de Rio Hondo circuit and expressed his approval of the facility. The reports in the Argentinian press confirm that the earlier speculation was well-founded, and see MotoGP make a welcome return to South America. There has been some criticism of the series over the fact that although MotoGP is a world championship, it is still largely a European affair, with a couple of trips to the US, Asia and Australia, and no races in South America or Africa.
The 2013 MotoGP calendar could see a fairly major shakeup: with at least two new circuits entering the calendar (Austin and Las Termas de Rio Hondo), and another candidate in India, as well as other potential targets such as the Ukraine and Singapore, the calendar could be expanded to 20 or more rounds. The new calendar would require more careful logistical coordination, with Dorna and IRTA keen to cut costs by keeping flyaway races together, reducing shipping costs for overseas rounds. The Argentinian round could be part of that consolidation, with the race being placed together with one of the US rounds - most likely the race in Austin - to limit the four American rounds of MotoGP to two back-to-back affairs, with Laguna Seca and Indianapolis likely to stay paired together, and Austin and Argentina another possible pairing.