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Trouble brewing for British MotoGP fans

2014-09-02 09:41

SILVERSTONE’S SHINE FADES: Ducati Corner at Silverstone seen during the 2014 British MotoGP race. Alas, the circuit has been given the cold shoulder for further racing by Dorna, the event’s promoter and governing body. Image: Newspress


Motorsport occasionally throws up some interesting facts – and even some oddball ones.

In July 2014, Wheels24 told readers about the sale of the Kyalami Racetrack in Johannesburg to Porsche South Africa CEO Toby Venter, who revealed his visionary plans to make the Kyalami circuit the cream of the crop (for both cars and motorcycles) once again – this at arguably one of the best racing circuits found in the southern hemisphere.

If you watched the exciting 2014 British MotoGP at Silverstone on August 30, you would have witnessed one of the closest finishes yet for maestro Marc Marquez, with 11 wins in the 18-race series – just one more victory/good podium finish will guarantee him the title for 2014.


Losing just once this season at Brno, Marquez’ greatest admirer is none other than Valentino Rossi*, who after the race quipped: “It was nice to beat Marc, I’ve rehearsed for 10 races!”

Unfortunately there’s bad news ahead for British bike fans – and most probably those found in other parts of the world – is the fact that the Silverstone venue will no longer showcase or continue to support the MotoGP at the famed, quintessential and illustrious venue to be found 80km north-west of London.

Silverstone has apparently invested heavily in recent years hosting the MotoGP – alongside Formula 1 – but the general consensus of opinion is that specifically the bike-paying crowds have fallen significantly in numbers in recent years and the circuit can no longer afford to run at a loss – given Dorna’s (the global promoter of the event) tough financial demands on Silverstone’s board of directors and shareholders.

According to British motorcycle newspaper Motorcycle News, Dorna boss, Carmelo Ezpeleta, is hoping to move the 2015 event to Ebbw Vale in Wales.

Trouble is the circuit hasn’t even been built yet – let alone one that’s tried and tested.


‘Circuit of Wales’, to give the proposed track its proper name seems fraught with problems. Building of the venue and the many buildings, clubhouses and medical facilities normally found alongside something of this nature are at a standstill because the incredible amount of capital needed isn’t even there yet.

With a time frame of just nine months left, the chances are British spectators, backers, MotoGP teams and of course armchair racers, are going to be seriously disappointed with a ‘no show motorcycle race’ and being left high and dry for the 2015-onwards Grand Prix event.

It all seems a bit like doom and gloom. Well, looking on the bright side, Qatar said it could build a dedicated motor racing circuit in nine months – and they jolly well did.

Could the Welsh government/financial backers/construction guys get their act together in a matter of a few months? Somehow or other I think it is going to be rather difficult to achieve a miracle of this magnitude.


Ezpeleta was asked wouldn’t he rather consider Donington as an alternative and viable venue instead, a circuit that’s steeped in history and one that currently accommodates WSB (World Superbike Series) racing.

Ezpeleta said: “We are talking to them a lot and happy to discuss things with them but the Circuit of Wales must be the first choice. We hope to publish the provisional calendar by the end of September with the decision made by then.”

Will a Welsh version of South African Toby Venter step up to the plate, please!

*Valentino Rossi now holds the record for MotoGP appearances - his 246th Silverstone start. A record that may never be broken.

Read more on:    dave fall  |  england  |  silverstone  |  wales  |  racing  |  bikes  |  motogp  |  motorsport

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