MotoGP is coming to Texas in a big way!
The great state of Texas will host a round of the MotoGP World Championship at the new Circuit of the Americas motorsports facility being constructed outside of Austin starting in 2013. Dorna announced the unprecedented 10-year deal will include MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3.
"We are delighted to be adding the Circuit of the Americas to the MotoGP calendar. It is an honor to expand our Championship to Texas, which has a rich history of producing World Championship riders," said Mr. Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports, S.L. "We have had a wonderful and special relationship with Kevin Schwantz for twenty 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 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."
Dorna currently has a multi-year agreement between Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and a pending deal between Indianapolis Motor speedway are reportedly in the works now. The addition of the Texas round at Circuit of the Americas would give American MotoGP fans up to three opportunities to see the greatest motorcycle racers in the world compete on US soil.
"We're pleased to learn of the addition of another MotoGP event to the United States,” explains Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Belskus. “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."
Formula1.com has a complete article on the proposed Circuit of the Americas Track Layout
including 3-D models and more. The track, which was laid out by infamous track designer Hermann Tilke will include 20 turns over the 3.4-mile layout and is claimed to be capable of hosting 120,000 spectators. It will incorporate the natural terrain and is certain to be accepted as a Formula 1 track as well.
Texas has a rich motorcycle racing history as many former AMA Superbike, World Superbike and Grand Prix champions inclduing 3-time AMA Superbike Champion & 2009 World Superbike Champion Ben Spies, 2000 & 2002 World Superbike Champion Colin Edwards and 1993 500 Grand Prix Champion Kevin Schwantz.
"For me this is a dream come true," says Schwantz, "that the FIM 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."
Below is the official press announcement courtesy of Dorna Sports S.L.
Dorna Sports, S.L., 3FourTexasMGP, LLC and Full Throttle Productions, LP are pleased to announce the historic signing of a 10 year contract bringing MotoGP to the new Circuit of the Americas facility in Austin, Texas, from 2013.
This agreement includes the three categories of the World Championship; the MotoGP class -the pinnacle of motorcycling-, Moto2 and Moto3.
The addition of a 10 year MotoGP deal is coupled with the already scheduled ten year deal to host the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix, for which the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas is currently under construction.
Mr. Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports, S.L. said “We are delighted to be adding the Circuit of the Americas™ to the MotoGP calendar. It’s an honour 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 twenty 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 realised 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 FIM 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,” stated Mr. Kevin Schwantz, Manager of 3FourTexas MGP, and LLC and the 1993 FIM MotoGP World Champion.
Mr. Hellmund, who has worked hard to bring MotoGP to Texas, stated: “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 cars and the motorbikes 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” concluded Mr. Hellmund.
Construction of the new facility is progressing well and is scheduled for completion sometime in mid 2012, in time for the first Formula 1 United States Grand Prix.