HISTORIC VENUE: MotoGP riders taking part in an event at Donington Park. Image: AP
LONDON, England - Donington Park in England has pulled out of hosting this year's British MotoGP round after the Circuit of Wales, which secured the rights to the race but has yet to build its track, failed to meet payment deadlines.
Donington's owners said: "The time lost with the Circuit of Wales being unable to complete the funding arrangements has resulted in delays in almost all of the event's critically important operational plans - from track works to equipment hire.
"This position could jeopardise the safe and successful running of the 2015 British MotoGP at Donington to such an extent that both the commercial risks and the lack of time are now too great to allow Donington to proceed."
'WE HAVE NECESSARY FUNDING'
The Circuit of Wales disputed that, saying in a subsequent statement that it was disappointed with Donington's withdrawal.
"Contrary to claims by DPRL (Donington Park Racing Ltd) that the Circuit of Wales is unable to meet the funding arrangements, we are unwilling to provide the significant funding that DPRL required for the necessary track upgrades to host the British Motorcycle Grand Prix without a signed contractual agreement," it said.
"We have all of the funding necessary in place to promote and host the 2015 race in the UK."
Commercial-rights owner Dorna announced a five-year deal in August 2014 with the southern Welsh circuit which has yet to overcome a public inquiry before building work can start on the £250-million (about R4.4-billion) facility.
The race had been scheduled for August 30 at the Midlands (central England) circuit which last hosted MotoGP in 2009 before it moved to Silverstone.
The proposed new Circuit of Wales was unlikely to be ready until 2016 - at the earliest.
Promoters had then approached Donington as a stand-in venue.
Donington said spectators who had already bought tickets would be refunded and added: “Any announcement on a replacement MotoGP race or about any future UK dates is now a matter solely for Circuit of Wales and Dorna.”