Jerez Confirmed For 2013 MotoGP Season

The 2013 MotoGP calendar came one step closer to completion today. According to the ever-reliable Spanish website Motoworld, the Jerez circuit has finalized their contract with Dorna to host the Spanish round at the track on May 5th. The date had originally been listed as "Subject to contract" but is now confirmed for 2013.

The deal has been hammered out between the circuit, Dorna, and the government of the Autonomous Region of Andalucia, the federal part of Spain where the Jerez circuit is located. Under the agreement, according to Motoworld, the Andalucian government will pay the sanctioning fee to Dorna, in order to ensure the continuing presence of race on the MotoGP calendar. The race is the traditional opening of the European part of the season, and always attracts large crowds and draws money into the Jerez region.

However, with the Spanish economy in dire straits, especially in the already impoverish south, Dorna has had to make a compromise of its own. The sanctioning fee has been lowered for the Jerez event, from 4.5 million euros to 2.7 million euros, though that amount will be increased by VAT. The drastic price cut was necessary, for without it, the Jerez event would have had to have been canceled. That would have meant hosting the first European event of the season at Le Mans two weeks later, which would not have been popular, either inside or outside of Spain.

With both Austin, Texas and Jerez confirmed, the calendar is almost complete. The recent reshuffling of the Formula One calendar created two new clashes with MotoGP, pitting the German F1 and MotoGP races against one another. The F1 race at the Nurburgring will take place on July 14th, while the MotoGP race at the Sachsenring will be moved a week earlier. The other clash sees the Czech round of MotoGP go up against the Belgian F1 GP at Spa-Francorchamps; with Indianapolis the week before and Silverstone the week after, there is no room for maneuver for Brno, and so that race looks like going head-to-head with F1.

The final unknown on the calendar is the race in Argentina, scheduled for April 14th. Despite the affirmations of Argentinian officials that that race will go ahead, it seems almost certain that Dorna will cancel that, at the behest of the Spanish government, who are advising any staff in the pay of Repsol to remain at home, for fear of being refused entry or having equipment seized, after the Argentinian government nationalized Repsol YPF, the Argentinian subsidiary of the Spanish oil giant.

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Honda will have withdrawn from the series for next season along with it's title sponsor Repsol, just in time for the Argentinian GP to commence!
It's all falling into place nicely ;-)