Sachsenring To Lose German GP From 2012?

The German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring is an immensely popular event, attracting over 100,000 fans on race day and some quarter of a million visitors over the three days of the MotoGP weekend. So it comes as something of a surprise to learn that 2011 could be the last year that the German MotoGP round is held at the track in Saxony, as according to the German tabloid Bild, the race could be moved elsewhere in Germany, if Dorna and the track owners - the Saxon branch of ADAC, the German equivalent of the Automobile Association - cannot reach agreement on the sanctioning fee for the event.

The Sachsenring's contract with the FIM to host the event runs out at the end of 2011, and according to Bild, Dorna is looking to double the sanctioning fee, raising it from 2 million to 4 million euros from 2012 onwards. That may put the event out of the financial reach of the Saxon branch of ADAC, leaving the German Grand Prix to move to another location. The Sachsenring is very keen to host the event, the ADAC's spokesperson Klaus Klötzner told Bild, but not at any price. Preliminary talks had been started, Klötzner reported, but the outcome was far from certain.

The ADAC were aiming to ensure the continuity of the event, however. The hosting organization are looking at selling increased advertising space at the track, and recoup some of the extra costs by raising ticket prices.

If the Sachsenring were to lose the German MotoGP round, it would also mean losing a little bit of racing history. The East German Grand Prix was held on the original public roads surrounding the area - roads which are still in use as public thoroughfares - from 1961 until 1972. The race fell out of favor with the East German authorities in 1971, when the 250 race was won by West German rider Dieter Braun, and the 200,000 fans gathered in the former Communist Eastern Bloc country sang along with the national anthem of its capitalist rival West Germany at full volume.

The race returned to the region in 1998, after the purpose-build circuit gained FIM approval. The race has been incredibly popular with fans from around the region, with Dutch, German, Belgian, British, Scandinavian and Czech fans all making the pilgrimage in droves to the rolling hills of Saxony.

If the race does leave the Sachsenring, replacing the circuit would present a problem for Dorna. The tracks in West Germany - Hockenheim and the Nurburgring - do not attract the same level of crowds as the tracks in the east, making funding the event there a much more difficult proposition. Other alternatives in the East of Germany also exist - most notably, the Eurospeedway Lausitzring near the Polish and Czech borders, but that circuit suffers from poor drainage, and failed to attract large crowds when the Lausitzring hosted the World Superbikes from 2005 to 2007. With former WSBK rider - now in Moto2 with MZ riding an FTR - Max Neukirchner born and raised just a few miles from the Sachsenring circuit, there is considerable local interest in the race. Few other German tracks can boast the same level of local interest.

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Well its all about money these days...
Not about the race...
Same here in Australia where the people running the shows ( Australian championships and state rounds) have the control of track days and race meetings
As this has happended the number of track days has halved and the price doubled!
The race entry fees has also doubled and around $500+ for a state round.
Even spectators to the smaller events are hit with $35 just to watch.
They are killing the sport..
Just to see there bank balance go up and their guts get bigger..

to tell Dorna to go forth and multiply and form a breakaway FIM sanctioned series. Their greed is matched only by their ineptitude and parochialism. The World Championship cannot be based on the Iberian Peninsula................

Is this a furtive attempt at a " back door " bailout for Dorna's financial survival, before their house of cards collapses, yet another example of commercialism run amok.

An example, to grant TV rights to a company ( Sport 1 in Germany ) that has 8 minute ad breaks during coverage, is an example of their shortsighted, mindless actions. Is it any wonder that teams struggle to find sponsorship ?

As a fellow Kiwi currently residing in the land of lederhosen I too find it a little frustrating to endure the ad breaks during G.P coverage on Sport1. But I doubt they amount to anywhere near 8 mins over the course of a 45 min G.P.

I've been to a couple of Sachsenring G.P's and endorse others comments. They are magnificent, mad, full house events. The Sachsenring is a great viewing G.P with its elevation changes too. It would be a shame for the East to lose out to its (presumably) deeper pocketed brethren.

Is Dorna aware the global recession is not over? Perhaps they do not like that nose on their corporate face.

I have timed single breaks..........all too frequently ! Next GP I will time total ads in a race .

I really miss Eurosport................

we get motogp free here in OZ... and they only have 1 add break during the race for around 75 seconds.
Thanks ONE HD ( channel 10 )

The only GP I've been to outside the US was the 2009 race at the Sachsenring. It was a fantastic time. I want to go back just for the fried dough things sold behind the main grandstand. All kinds of good pork and a great system for keeping the place is kept clean of beer glasses. The party on Saturday night is amazing. Even if I would never use the word 'friendly' to describe the people of the region, it would be an enormous shame for it to go away.

...loathed this track. Absolutely. That said, this is a CRAP move on Dorna's part. I think flattracker and kiwi might be onto something.

Nice to hear from you, Brookespeed... :)

F1 has already been down this road. It makes everyone (participants, manufacturers, fans, sponsors) angry when the commercial-rights company chases money at fly away rounds, raises ticket prices, and levies idle threats against successful venues in important markets.

If Bridgepoint Capital want more money, fix the formula!

When MotoGP has 24-30 bikes, 24-30 relatively happy riders, 6 manufacturers (at least), and highly entertaining racing, THEN Dorna can talk about raising prices. If Ezy can't get it done, buy/force him out, and put Suppo in charge. If Honda or Yamaha complain, dismiss them.

I've already canceled my subscription b/c I'm not paying more money for less of a show. I'd imagine Germans behave in approximately the same manner.

This is why I wont patronize or dorna the best I can. They are slowly killing GP racing with there odd regulations and $ obvious agenda.. Sad when you see a company who licenses out a sport suddenly be the one who controls its path and legacy

Maybe both parties are playing "the game of chicken," bluffing each other. Sounds there is room for bargaining. And eventually they cannot afford the lose-lose situation and settle down. :P

... if track operators were to tell Dorna to stick their sanctioning fee?

It might be hard to hold a motorcycle racing championship without racetracks...

I don't remember the figure (probably posted by Mr Emmett around here) but Dorna profits were pretty ridiculous compared to F1 or any major sport.
Obviously they are trying to generate money but their profit are far from being outrageous. Basically they are strugling to generate revenue that they need for this sport to be healthy. What does Dorna spend their money on? Paying riders, helping satellite teams and so on. Overall MotoGP NEEDS to generate profits, otherwise it would just stop...

Dorna only own a fraction of the commercial rights. The lion's share of the commercial rights (75% IIRC) was owned by CVC, but European courts forced them to sell in 2006 when the sport was at it's peak. The new owners, Bridgepoint Capital, overpaid.

The profits Dorna reported to the public are only a small portion of the profitability of MotoGP. Regardless of what Dorna are earning, I'm quite sure that Bridgepoint Capital are getting screwed, but raising prices is only going to make matters worse.

The loss of profitability in MotoGP is attributable to the product. The MSMA impaired the value of MotoGP by writing an awful formula, but rather than fight, Dorna went along with the 800s. The bill for Dorna's failure and Bridgepoint's failure is being passed along to the fans, sponsors, and advertisers while risks of raising the profit margins are being passed along to the track owners and TV companies.

Meanwhile, the fuel capacity limit is still in place.

This is completely unacceptable.

...the 800 was a major mistake and the excitement of MotoGP has dropped since its introduction. But I understand that once it was in place it would have been too costly to ditch it immediatly.

My concern is next year. Will they take away the fuel limit and lower the importance of electronics? I don't think so. Lesson maybe not learnt.

F1 took some time before realising how the cookie crumbles.

phoenix1, you know, I disagree with some of your conclusions but on this one, you've just summarized my perspective very accurately.

Awesome race to watch and one of my favorites in the MotoGP games. Please, anything but Nurburgring, not much fun to watch.

One of my favourite tracks to watch on TV but I've never been there. Guess I now know which GP I want to go to this year.

I really hope this is ether part of the contract bargaining game or Bild getting their facts wrong.

Situated not far from Holland, Germany and France, Francorchamps would be a marvellous addition to the motoGP travelogue but unfortunately many changes to the track were done for F1 purposes and much money is needed to make it FIM approved.

A real shame as watching the bikes doing Le Raidillon would be a blast, nor forgetting La Source...

I went there, year after year in the 70's and its not a good spectator circuit. Too long and rotten weather most times.
Good times in the villages on a Saturday night though.

Now, a refurbished Rijeka would get my interest...

I really like to watch at Saschenring - I think the riders like the track too (?).

If they attendence over the weekend that exceeds a 100k, plus television rights etc, concessions's hard to imagine that this is not a profitable venture for the track nor for Dorna.

I doubt anything will come from it? But we will have to see, all the tracks are claiming poverty all the sudden? If you look at the same discussion on Brno and Jerez it could be a same situation? Looking for lower costs from Dorna, asst. From the Government or Both (this is my guess). As it was put on the Brno String - one shot fired in two directions.

In this economy however, it's pretty stupid to arrogantly try to pass along cost that clearly it's very difficult for race fans to pay.

David, I would love to see an article about the economics of racing. From Track fees like this, what dorna gets in telivison, add, and website revenue, Fees for the teams etc.

Why would you move a race that has 100k spectators on race day? Why mess about with that? And I winch every time I read or hear "Hockenheim". The poor ol's saps over there bent over backwards and spread their ass for F1 and got f*d royally. "why yes, if you cut up your lovely historic track that runs so majestic through the forest we promise to always run races here!" Too bad they didn't tell them it was going to only hold F1 every other year. Now it has only half it's glory, the old forest section ripped up and trees planted over it, and now it's just another Tilke redesign track.

Sachsenring is an awesome track! I've never been in person but watching the on board cameras an seeing the bikes flying down turn 12 is just spine tinglingly amazing, almost the same feeling of watching the riders drop down into the corkscrew. I go to Laguna Seca every year and if I were to pick a race in Europe I'd have a hard time choosing between Sachsenring and Mugello.

Hopefully Dorna can start getting things figured out, financing, format, more manufacturers, more teams, more riders. It sucks when you have races that one-three riders may crash out or retire and then only 12-15 cross the finish line. Almost devaluing the points system.