Dorna Sports, organizers of the MotoGP World Championship, and Full Throttle Productions jointly announced that they have signed a 10-year contract bringing MotoGP to the new Circuit of the Americas facility in Austin, Texas – home of the new United States Grand Prix Formula 1 event – beginning in 2013. The agreement includes the three categories of the World Championship; the MotoGP class Moto2 and Moto3.
The addition of a 10-year MotoGP deal is coupled with the already scheduled 10-year deal to host the Formula 1 USGP at the track, which is currently under construction. The first F1 race is scheduled for next year.
“We are delighted to be adding the Circuit of the Americas to the MotoGP calendar," said Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports. "It's an honor to expand our championship to Texas, which has a rich history of producing World Championship riders. We have had a wonderful and special relationship with Kevin [Schwantz] for 20 years and often talked about a mutual dream of increasing the popularity of MotoGP in the U.S. and raising our already successful worldwide profile. Now, with what Tavo Hellmund (managing partner of Full Throttle Productions) is doing in Austin, we have realized that situation and are looking forward to this new venture together. The 10-year agreement is a sign of our confidence and commitment to the future success of MotoGP racing in Austin.”
“For me, this is a dream come true, that the MotoGP World Championship will be in my home state of Texas. I am such a believer in the sport and know how popular motorcycling is in Texas. I am sure that this will be a resounding long-term success,” said Schwantz the 1993 FIM MotoGP champion, who serves as manager of 3FourTexas MGP.
Hellmund added: “We are extremely pleased to add the best motorcycle World Championship to our annual schedule. This is a fantastic opportunity for the State of Texas and this region and I believe it is the first time in American Motorsports history that both the car and motorbike World Championships are held at the same facility annually. We are very proud of becoming the United States international facility for motorsports.”
“Kevin and I have been close friends for a long time and I enjoy a great relationship with Carmelo. I respect so much what they (Dorna) and the FIM have done for MotoGP globally. It's going to be great for the state, the product is fantastic and you never know, we may even have a reigning Texan in Ben Spies as World Champion for our first event…that would be icing on the cake.”
Although there had been speculation that the future of the MotoGP race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway was uncertain, IMS President and CEO Jeff Belskus indicated that his track remained committed to its event.
"We're pleased to learn of the addition of another MotoGP event to the United States," Belskus said. "This can only help elevate the profile in America of this thrilling form of motorsport, which will benefit all existing MotoGP races in this country and enhance the global prestige of the World Championship. We're committed to the growth of the Red Bull Indianapolis GP and motorcycle road racing in the United States."