Texas Lands MotoGP for 2013
Dorna Sports, S.L., 3FourTexasMGP, L.L.C. and Full Throttle Productions, L.P. have signed a 10-year contract to bring MotoGP to the new Circuit of the Americas beginning in 2013. The agreement includes the three categories of the Championship, the MotoGP class - the pinnacle of motorcycling, Moto2 and Moto3. The 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.
“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.”
Established as a World Championship by the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) in 1949, MotoGP is now in its 63rd year. Its Grand Prix events have taken place in every corner of the world and in 2010, more than 2.2 million people came through the gates of the world circuits to watch a weekend of world-class motorcycle racing.
Kevin Schwantz, Manager of 3FourTexasMGP, L.L.C. and the 1993 FIM MotoGP World Champion stated, “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.”
During his racing career, Schwantz accumulated 25 Grand Prix wins and he won the 1993 MotoGP World Championship. After his retirement from racing in 1995, the FIM, in an unprecedented gesture of respect, retired #34, his racing number. In 2000, the organization declared Kevin a Legend, their highest honor, as a testament to his popularity with fans and fellow drivers alike.
“We are extremely pleased to add the best motorcycle World Championship to our annual schedule,” said Tavo Hellmund, Managing Partner of Full Throttle Productions, L.P. “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 motorbikes world championships are held at the same facility annually. We are very proud of becoming the United States international facility for motorsports.”
Construction of Circuit of the Americas is progressing well and is scheduled for completion sometime in mid 2012, in time for the first Formula 1 United States Grand Prix.
“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 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.
Ben Spies from Longview, Texas is considered among a small field of favorites to challenge for the 2011 title. He was the 2010 MotoGP Rookie of the Year and recently finished sixth in the Qatar Grand Prix, the inaugural MotoGP race of the 2011 season.
The 2010 MotoGP World Champion is factory Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo, originally from Palma, Spain. Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) from Catalonia, Spain finished runner-up behind Lorenzo last year with seven-time World Champion Valentino Rossi from Urbino, Italy placing third.
Race Weekend Schedule
A Grand Prix event takes place over three days with total attendance nearing 200,000 fans. The first two days of the Grand Prix are set aside for practice and qualification for each class. In each category the three fastest qualification-time riders take positions on the first row of the grid, with the rest lining up in rows of three behind. Traditional race days begin with the 125cc contest with the Moto2 class following and finally the premier MotoGP event. Races vary in length between approximately 60 and 80 miles and normally last 40 to 45 minutes.