Published on 10 Nov 2008 by Toni M.
Now that Singapore has established itself as a premier venue for Formula 1, Singapore will also host a Moto GP race as early as 2011 when Singapore’s first permanent race track will be completed.
MotoGP’s CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta whose company Dorna Sports, holds the commercial rights to MotoGP, has signed an agreement with an unnamed Singaporean company to stage a round of the 18-leg world championships here, when the planned track is completed.
The 61-year-old Spaniard, who is to Moto-GP what Bernie Ecclestone is to Formula 1, has said: “Yes, I can confirm that we have signed an agreement with a promoter to stage a round of the motorbike world championships in Singapore.
“But it depends when the permanent track you are going to build will be completed. I understand it will be up in three years’ time, so you can have a race there as early as 2011, if not 2012.”
Unlike the Formula One Grand Prix Singapore held around its city streets in September, the bikes will race on a purpose-built track in the Changi area of the island. 20 hectares have been allocated for the project and the Government is willing to consider releasing more land should there be a need.
In their regulations for 2008, the sport’s world governing body, the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM), has stipulated that tracks hosting MotoGP races must be at least 3.5km long.
But Ezpeleta would like to see them longer than that. “We prefer a race track with a length of at least 4km to 4.5km, but safety is our top priority,” he said. “It would be good also if the track could hold at least 70,000 people, but I am leaving that to the promoter in Singapore to decide. Asia is important to MotoGP’s growth and Singapore is at the centre of it, that is why we want to hold a round there. But like I said, my agreement with the promoter in Singapore is subject to the track being built.”
But Ezpeleta, who has an “unwritten agreement” with Ecclestone to ensure their events don’t clash, said: “If Singapore’s F1 race is in September, we will have no choice but to plan a MotoGP race to be held there in early 2011.” –
Asia will host three Moto GP next year — in Japan, Australia and Malaysia — although China has been axed from the calendar.