Silverstone Gets MotoGP

Henny Ray Abrams | January 13, 2009
MADONNA DI CAMPIGLIO, ITALY, JAN 13: The British Grand Prix will abandon Donington Park and return to the Silverstone Circuit after an absence of 22 years.

The announcement came as something of a surprise since Donington has just received approval to embark on a multi-million dollar upgrade that would transform both the racing circuit and the paddock infrastructure. Furthermore, the transformation will allow Formula One to race at Donington Park, rather than their traditional home at Silverstone.

Donington Park has long been criticized for its aging infrastructure, lack of suitable parking, and traffic nightmares. Silverstone, having been homologated as an F-1 circuit for years, is a much more modern facility.

Silverstone was once a great race track, with long, fast corners. But it’s been gradually transformed into a less exciting facility, with the final near stop turns sequence likely to need a fix for MotoGP.

The full release follows:

Silverstone Circuits Limited has signed a five year agreement with Dorna Sports, the commercial and television rights holder for MotoGP, which will see the Northamptonshire circuit host the British Grand Prix from 2010.

Having hosted MotoGP between 1977 and 1986, Silverstone is no stranger to the top flight of two-wheeled sport, and the classic battle of 1979 between Kenny Roberts and Barry Sheene is one which sticks in many an older fan’s memory.

Richard Phillips, Managing Director of Silverstone Circuits Limited, is thrilled to see top flight motorcycle racing back on the calendar at the Home of British Motor Racing. Phillips commented, “Silverstone is the UK’s premier motor racing venue and we are thoroughly looking forward to hosting the world’s premier motorcycle racing event from 2010. We have worked closely with Dorna Sports to bring MotoGP to Silverstone and both parties are extremely excited about the opportunity to take this world-class event to another level.

“Silverstone is a unique UK race circuit; rich in heritage and unrivalled in terms of what we are able to offer fans, championships and teams. The Grand Prix circuit offers a combination of high speed straights and technical corners, presenting a real challenge to the riders, while the facilities for teams and spectators are second to none.

“The circuit is also recognised as being one of the most easily accessible in the world. All of these factors, along with Silverstone’s vast experience of hosting world class international events, contributed to MotoGP coming to Silverstone.”

Dorna Sports CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta stated: “We are delighted that the MotoGP World Championship is returning to Silverstone as of 2010. The venue has excellent facilities and a circuit with a great heritage, having hosted some superb Grand Prix racing in the 1970s and 1980s. We are sure that MotoGP’s visits to the UK will continue to be highly successful when we make the historic move back to Silverstone next year.”

Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor

Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.