It's official: The U.S. will host three rounds of the MotoGP World Championship with the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, set to host the third round of the 2013 series on April 21, joining Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (July 21) and Indianapolis Motor Speedway (August 18) on the schedule.
"We are excited to be working with Circuit of The Americas to expand our programming in the United States and bring our series to an exceptional new Grand Prix facility in Texas," said Carmelo Ezpeleta, chief executive officer for Dorna Sports, commercial rights holder for the MotoGP series, in a release from the racetrack. "We see tremendous opportunities to market MotoGP and grow its fan base through this agreement and know Circuit of The Americas is the right promoter to help us achieve that goal."
The 2013 MotoGP World Championship will begin on March 31 at the Doha Circiut in Qatar. Round two is still listed as a To Be Confirmed on the schedule released a few weeks ago... and now Circuit of the Americas will be the third round, a week after the TBC and two weeks prior to round four in Jerez, Spain.
With the addition of the MotoGP round, Austin's venue is the first to host both two-and four-wheeled World Championship events in one year's time, according to COTA. It also gives the U.S. three MotoGP rounds - only Spain has more with four.
Circuit of the America's president Steve Sexton is thrilled to have the event on the schedule.
"The Circuit of The Americas team is delighted to introduce yet another world-renowned racing series to our 2013 event calendar - one we know will be hugely popular with fans coming to experience MotoGP for the first time at our state-of-the-art sports and entertainment complex in Austin," Sexton said in the track release. "MotoGP has a worldwide fan base with more than two million followers watching races in person each year. We're confident it will be a great addition to our programming and draw tens of thousands of people to Central Texas, creating yet another major event with significant economic impact for our region. We want to extend our thanks to the Austin Sports Commission for its help in securing yet another first-class event for our city and for helping us become the first U.S. racing venue to host two World Championship motorsport events."
The release from the track also quoted the American racers.
Nicky Hayden: "It's great for riders and fans to have another MotoGP event in the United States, and Circuit of The Americas will give us a chance to expose more of our homegrown fan base to MotoGP in an up-close-and-personal way," Hayden noted. "I love competing at new, fresh tracks and am really looking forward to racing at the Austin circuit."
Colin Edwards: "Adding a race to the U.S. schedule makes a statement that MotoGP is working to expand it influence on American soil. The best way to grow our sport is to add races, and with events on the East and West Coasts - and now one in Middle America - it's the perfect opportunity for more fans to see us in action. Plus, my family is really looking forward to jumping in a pick-up truck and driving up to Austin to see me compete."
Ben Spies: "Who wouldn't be excited to have a MotoGP race in their home state? I hope all of my CMRA, WERA and AMA racing friends and family storm the track. It will be so easy for me to cruise down to Circuit of The Americas from my house in Dallas."
Tickets for the MotoGP event at Circuit of The Americas go on sale October 16 with a price range of $133 to $199 and be available for purchase through Ticketmaster.