Donington Park To Host British MotoGP Round In 2015

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. 

Before Donington can put on the race, it will have to undergo an inspection by Dorna and the FIM. Donington will carry out any upgrades required to bring it up to Grand Prix standard, but it is unclear where the funding for this will come from. It is also unclear what will happen if the circuit should, for whatever reason, fail to complete the required upgrades in time. Given that the circuit already hosts a round of World Superbikes, it seems unlikely that the changes needed will be too extensive, though WSBK races at tracks where MotoGP would be unable to go for safety reasons, such as Imola and (formerly) Monza.

The press releases issued by the Circuit of Wales, Dorna and Silverstone on the British Grand Prix moving to Donington Park appear below: 


Circuit of Wales reaches agreement with Donington Park to host 2015 British MotoGP™

September 2 2014

Dorna Sports and the Circuit of Wales have reached agreement with Donington Park for the circuit to become the venue for next year’s British round of the FIM MotoGP™ World Championship.

MotoGP will be returning to Donington Park for the first time since 2009 after the Leicestershire circuit had been the home of the event since 1987. The partnership with Donington Park will now focus on the promotion of the 2015 MotoGP event and any upgrades the circuit requires to comply with FIM MotoGP™ World Championship circuit standards.

“After announcing the long-term MotoGP agreement between Dorna and the Circuit of Wales three weeks ago our priority has been to agree the venue for 2015,” explained Chris Herring of the Circuit of Wales.

Herring added: “It is in the interests of everyone, especially the fans, to make a decision as soon as possible and in Donington Park we have a venue that shares our vision for growing MotoGP in the UK.”

Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta commented: “The Circuit of Wales has worked very quickly to secure the best deal for the British race fans and we believe Donington Park will deliver a fantastic race in 2015.”

Ezpeleta continued, “Donington Park has a long history and has been the scene of some of the most exciting MotoGP races in recent years and we are sure that the extensive works undertaken since it reopened four years ago will guarantee a successful event.”

The date for the 2015 British FIM MotoGP™ World Championship round is expected to be announced later this month.


Donington Park to host 2015 British Motorcycle Grand Prix

Donington Park has been elected by the Circuit of Wales and Dorna Sports as the alternative venue for the British Motorcycle Grand Prix for the 2015 event.

Whilst the Circuit of Wales is scheduled to host the British Motorcycle Grand Prix until 2024 after agreeing a five-year contract with the option for further five year extension with the Championship’s commercial rights holders, it has been decided that the series would return to the Leicestershire venue next year, before moving to the new Circuit of Wales in 2016.

“After announcing the long-term MotoGP agreement between Dorna and the Circuit of Wales three weeks ago our priority has been to agree the venue for 2015,” explained Chris Herring of the Circuit of Wales. Herring added: “It is in the interests of everyone, especially the fans, to make a decision as soon as possible and in Donington Park we have a venue that shares our vision for growing MotoGP in the UK.”

Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta commented: “The Circuit of Wales has worked very quickly to secure the best deal for the British race fans and we believe Donington Park will deliver a fantastic race in 2015. ”Ezpeleta continued, “Donington Park has a long history and has been the scene of some of the most exciting MotoGP races in recent years and we are sure that the extensive works undertaken since it reopened four years ago will guarantee a successful event.”

The date for the 2015 British FIM MotoGP™ World Championship round is expected to be announced later this month.

Donington Park had previously been the home of MotoGP™ for 23 years, hosting it from 1987 to 2009.


Silverstone unable to reach agreement with Circuit of Wales to host MotoGP

Silverstone Circuits Limited has confirmed that it will not be staging the British round of the FIM MotoGP™ World Championship in 2015, after failing to agree terms with The Circuit of Wales (the promoter of the event from 2015).

Richard Phillips, Managing Director of Silverstone Circuits Limited, said: “We have invested heavily in the circuit and facilities here at Silverstone, specifically to host MotoGP, and have developed the British Grand Prix into a highly successful event. We wanted to keep MotoGP™ at Silverstone, but cannot afford to subsidise it. We are extremely disappointed not to be hosting the event in 2015.

“Any future deal, with Dorna or The Circuit of Wales, had to make economic sense for all parties, including us. We know from experience what it takes to run a high quality British Grand Prix. We made what we considered to be the maximum sensible offer to retain the event at Silverstone, but it seems that The Circuit of Wales, who have no experience of running a Grand Prix, have concluded they can do better running it themselves, using Donington until their circuit is ready.

“Silverstone has taken the event to a whole new level over the last five years, so we hope this won’t turn out to be a backwards step for the British Grand Prix, teams and fans. The Circuit of Wales evidently believe they can make the finances work using Donington next year – we wish them the best of luck.”


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Comments

...especially the fans" to host the race at an actual race circuit, rather than the computer rendering that they've signed a 5 + 5 year deal with?

How wonderfully thoughtful of them to be so considerate of us little peoples!

I really do not know how many people reading this blog appreciated your comment (above), but I really think that is hell of a way of describing Dorna's latest. You had me in splits mate, thanks for that.

Always loved watching the Donnington races on TV. But Silverstone is great too.

Both are my favorite tracks in the games too! :)

"Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta commented: “The Circuit of Wales has worked very quickly to secure the best deal for the British race fans"

Yeah, right. Best deal for Dornas pockets would be a better description.

Never liked Donnington with its "Micky-Mouse" loop
They managed to pull in 70 thousand odd spectators at Silverstone this year. Not many considering that Crash.net reckon the average is 115k...

"Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta commented: “The Circuit of Wales has worked very quickly to secure the best deal for the British race fans"

Yeah, right. Best deal for Dornas pockets would be a better description.

Never liked Donnington with its "Micky-Mouse" loop
They managed to pull in 70 thousand odd spectators at Silverstone this year. Not many considering that Crash.net reckon the average is 115k...

"Not many considering that Crash.net reckon the average is 115k"

This does not surprise me given the shameful ticket price Silverstone charged for a family of four at last weekends event.

What's with the outrageous prices we are expected to pay in the UK for major Motorsport events?

I've given up on paying such prices for one off events and attend several BSB rounds a year instead.

Dorna were having trouble with Silverstone (as F1 and others seem to....) and needed an option. They seem to have lined up Donington (track inspection etc.).
Fair play to CoW/Chris Herring, they haven't prevaricated and have quickly secured the event. If there is a hiccup they can cancel it, but let's hope that doesn't happen.
If they/he can close the other deals as efficiently that Welsh wonder might just be more than a dream.
I wish them both well. If the worst comes to the worst, then Donington has it. Not so bad, much as I think Silverstone is a great circuit, it seems that they have priced themselves out of the market.

A GP track with 2 grandstands?? The spectator facilities are poor at Donington compared to Silverstone. So the race is owned by a circuit that doesn't exist and doesn't have the money yet to build the circuit. So it rents out the race to a track which isn't up to GP standards and needs to spend money, but will spend the bare minimum because it has no long term contract and therefore no incentive. Dorka seems to be doing its best to kill off MotoGP in the UK, first BT Sport then this fiasco. I think I'll be going to a European round next year. Mat Oxley is right, Dorka is making decisions for its own short term financial gain rather than promoting MotoGP in the UK.

I have loved motorcycle racing for over 40 years, I have club raced and so has my son and I have many friends who have raced and still race. I used to buy every Motocourse annual, starting with the very first one, I used to purchase MCN every week, I have had lunch with Phil Read and employed Barry Sheene.

Times changed my sport became a commodity, read Jon Ekerold's book about his GP years and that's what it was really like, tough guys in a tough sport. When it became 'entertainment' we stopped getting real scoops, talk to Chris Carter (look him up) about his conversations with Jarno Saarinen, he didn't just reproduce press releases.

Why the rant, well I like this site because it does lift the curtain, Mat Oxley from his last bit is doing the same. So here's my two pennies worth.

What is this Circuit of Wales stuff really about, are we really to believe that thousands of extra people than visit Silverstone/Donington will pay to cross the Severn road bridge and venture into Wales? Looking at the list of Directors and share holders of the various companys that link to this project I could only find one that made sense. That person works for a major Formula 1 business. Is Bernie about to come back into motorcycling, does the Formula 1 firm want a decent test track or is this a genuine attempt to get the South Wales valleys humming to the sound of machinery again?

Things are not looking good for Silverstone. First they lose a WSBK round and now Motogp. If the F1 race went to COW they would be truly stuffed - but i think its unlikely to happen as the London-centric media would not want to head so far west into another country!

It would be interesting to see how much the sanction fees are for the various races and whether one country gets a better deal than the others. Look at the pressure being applied to Brno this year - its all very worrying because we will end up at Tilke designed tracks with no crowds but the organisers having deep pockets to buy a race.

I hope the COW track does get build so there will be a presence in Wales on the BSB calendar. Also you never know COW might end up hosting a second round of WSBK.

I may be in a minority but I'm glad to see the back of Silverstone and almost anywhere else would be an improvement. It was just about acceptable last weekend because the weather was OK and the racing was great. IMHO it's too big to create any atmosphere with MotoGP attendance levels and getting a decent view without springing for a grandstand seat can be really difficult.

Sure, Donnington lacks facilities but that is more than compensated for by the excellent viewing spots. Brands Hatch would be my personal favourite but it has definitely fallen from grace in the past few years.

Silverstone did produce some good races last round but I prefer Donington.

Car park section aside, the first half/two-thirds of Donington is a great flowing track. A proper English race track, and not a problematic air field.

As a keen GP follower for the last 44 years, who has been to many of the European GP's and most of the British ones I think Silverstone is up there amongst the best venues now.

Donington park is without a doubt amongst the worst. There are no covered grandstands to talk of,the lovely grassland is now mostly filthy shale, the vandalism of the failed F1 venture is everywhere to be seen and the mature trees of the parkland are long gone.

It is not even a particularly good track to view at either as you have to be a fair way away from the track to be able to see a reasonable length of action; binoculars essential.

The Melbourne loop chops up groups fighting for position so there are very few close races in any class.

And don't get me going about the toilet facilities...

Or the road access/egress! Competing with a sizeable airport a stones throw from the circuit and sharing the same access road is a dire arrangement.

Lots of intelligent comment on a frankly bizarre situation with shades of the F1 at Donington soap opera. Been travelling to Euro GPs since the mid-80s, I live 44 miles from Donington...I'd always go for either Fri/Sat practice but not normally the race; why? The rubbish facilities, poorly positioned paltry grandstands and traffic chaos ( though I worked out a neat rat-run if anyone's interested...).
Yes, the ribbon of Tarmac is epic-Marquez down to the Old Hairpin anyone?!!- the Foggy esses and Melbourne ain't so bad and you can get CLOSE around there and other spots, much closer than you can at virtually any other GP track nowadays. but unless you want to be hemmed trackside in by getting in at 7am or you're 6 foot 7 which I ain't, you aren't going to see that much.
Even going back over a decade, you could sometimes have a choice of over ten grandstands at some European tracks, all with real position viewing online before you purchase and these weren't always the biggest venues, you have a choice, at a price, to enhance your race day experience. in this day and age many of us would pay a one-off premium to have the memories; Mugello being a great example, I spend Saturday doing a full lap on foot watching from everywhere but come race day it's great to know you've got a seat, a screen and a bloody good view. Silverstone has that choice but is at F1 level, with the resultant huge costs that brings, now being passed down to the MotoGP crowd, they have made an effort in the formative years but were always going to start to ramp up the costs-£17.50 to park a car, really??
Donington- if it has the money and the drive- could get that GP for more than a year if CoW doesn't happen or, heaven forbid, Dorna can't think of another Spanish venue and give us two. I no longer know why Spain still has four and simply my reasoning is you would NEVER see an empty grandstand seat, you do now at least in Catalunya and Jerez.
Being an anorak on old circuits (did the Temples of Speed series on Motopod if anyone heard them), I'd pay whatever they asked to see the circus pull up at Spa, Salzburg or Monza. I think I need a lie down....

Having been to Donington for the BSB round last weekend, they do seem to be making the place a little more pleasant. I also took the opportunity to have a few laps on foot at their Run @Donington event last night. Great track upclose and was great to get a perspective from the tarmac - wow!!! I now know why do many riders love it.

The dirt areas where the excavation was taking place is almost now fully grassed over, or should be by next year. They are building a new access tunnel at Coppice for better access to the infield areas.

There's still a lack of permanent facilities on the infield however and parts are still a dusty mess. It's looking like the failed F1 debacle set them back a few years. Hope they make a good go of things.

After BSB the car park situation looked like a real mess. There was seemingly no organisation for "small" event. Cars everywhere trying to get out of the only few exits. I hope things improve for the MotoGP. One worrying thing I did see is that they were selling early bird tickets - one of them being £15 for car parking.