British Moto GP round in danger as Donington Park cancel deal

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Great Britain is in danger of having no Moto GP race this season after Donington Park officials announced that they have walked away from a deal with the Circuit of Wales.

In a statement released today, Donington Park Racing Limited (DPRL) claimed that the Circuit of Wales (CoW) had failed to meet payment deadlines.

The statement read: “Despite DPRL’s best efforts, the time lost with CoW 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.

“Therefore, in the judgment of the Board of DPRL, this current position could jeopardise the safe and successful running of the 2015 British Moto GP 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.”

Back in September last year, the CoW signed a five-year contract with Moto GP organisers Dorna, which allowed them to host the British round of Moto GP starting from the 2015 season.

After construction of the new Blaneau Gwent circuit was delayed, a deal was made between themselves and DPRL so that they could host the event at Donington Park on August 28-30 and fulfil their contract.

The managing Director of Donington Park, Christopher Tate, has expressed his disappointment about the deal falling through.

The whole Donington team who have worked so hard here over the past six months to fulfil our part of the MotoGP planning are as disappointed as those many fans will be who wanted to see the event return to Donington Park,” said Tate.

“We have rebuilt so much of this facility and its global reputation in the years since 2010 under new ownership and management, and we are not going to risk all that, nor is risk affecting the quality of the MotoGP fans’ experience – looking after the fans at the heart of what Donington does.”

In response to the decision and claims made by Donington Park officials, the CoW have now released their own statement on the issues.

It said: After initially agreeing Heads of Terms with the board of DPRL in September 2014, both parties were subsequently unable to agree further terms to form a legal contract. Contrary to claims by DPRL 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 Grand Prix without a signed contractual agreement.

“We have all of the funding necessary in place to promote and host the 2015 race in the UK. All funding for the flagship Circuit of Wales regeneration development in Blaenau Gwent is on track with works due to start later this year following the outcome of the public inquiry in March.”

The circuit is also still due to host the British round of the World Superbike Championship on May 22-24 as planned.

Donington Park officals have confirmed that fans who had already purchased tickets through the circuit itself and its agency would receive a full refund.  The future of the British Moto GP event is now unknown and a new home will have to be found by the CoW and the championship’s owners, Dorna.

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Josh is a Sports Journalism graduate and has been a member of the TCF team since 2015. Between 2015 and 2018, Josh focused primarily on British Superbikes and Road Racing events such as the Isle of Man TT. At the beginning of the 2019 season he became the MotoGP Reporter.
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