Two major announcements for the MotoGP calendar came at the Sachsenring on Sunday. That the organizers of the German Grand Prix have extended their contract for another five years, securing its future through 2021. And that Finland is to host a MotoGP round from 2018 onwards.
The announcement of the German Grand Prix had been expected. What the agreement does not cover, however, is which circuit the race will be at. The Sachsenring is the current favorite, and extraordinarily popular with the fans, but the organizers have struggled to make the race profitable. There have been talks with the Nurburgring, but the fear is that attendance would suffer, as it has historically been low at the circuit. The race could end up alternating between the two tracks.
The announcement of Finland was more of a surprise. There have been rumors of Finland making a return for the last year or so, but a deal was finally announced today. The race will mean a return to Finland after 36 years of absence, the race last held at Imatra. The Finnish round of MotoGP will be held for the first time in 2018, at the Kymiring about 150km from the Finnish capital Helsinki.
With Finland joining the calendar in 2018, the MotoGP schedule could grow to 20 races. Thailand is highly likely to join the calendar in 2017, with the current three flyaway races being split up into two pairs of races. Whether Finland replaces a race in Spain or becomes the 20th race remains to be seen.
The press releases from Dorna announcing the races are shown below:
Finland poised to join MotoGP schedule
The FIM MotoGP World Championship is set to reach new territory in Scandinavia, with Dorna Sports delighted to announce an agreement has been reached for Finland to join the schedule in 2018.
The new KymiRing track in Iitti is currently under construction, with the FIM and Dorna working in close collaboration with all parties involved for the circuit to be homologated in time for the 2018 World Championship season.
Today’s announcement that MotoGP is set for a return to Finland for the first time since 1982 reflects the global appeal and growing popularity of the FIM MotoGP World Championship.
Future of German Motorcycle Grand Prix secured
ADAC and MotoGP rights holder DORNA renew contract
Germany will continue to host fixtures on the MotoGP World Championship calendar. During the GoPro Motorcycle Grand Prix of Germany weekend at the Sachsenring, Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of the MotoGP rights holder DORNA Sports, and ADAC Sports President Hermann Tomczyk agreed to extend the existing contract by a further five years. Germany will therefore be hosting the MotoGP Motorcycle World Championship until at least 2021.
“We are pleased that collaboration with our longstanding partners at ADAC has been extended for another five years,” said Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of DORNA Sports. “We and the ADAC will be making a joint announcement in the next few weeks concerning the venue for the German MotoGP round.”
ADAC Sports President Hermann Tomczyk: “The Motorcycle Grand Prix is one of the sportingevents in Germany that draws the biggest crowds. We are very pleased that we have secured the future of the German round of the World Championship for the next five years. The world’s top motorcycle racing stars will be lining up on German tracks until at least 2021. I would like to thank Dorna for being such excellent partners and also everyone on our side for their commitment over recent months in securing the future of the German Motorcycle Grand Prix. We are already on the home straight in our negotiations with the Sachsenring to serve as the venue for the next five years. We hope to get the thumbs-up from our partners in Saxony by mid-August at the latest.”