Qatar Extends MotoGP Deal For Another Ten Years

Qatar is to host a MotoGP race through 2026. The Losail International Circuit has extended its current deal, which expires in 2016, for another 10 years. 

The race is to remain a night race, and will stay as the season opener for the foreseeable future. The race is a lucrative one for Dorna, the fee paid by Qatar covering all of the costs of all of the flyaway races for all of the teams for the full season. 

The night race is popular with fans, as it provides an interesting spectacle, and the layout is particularly well suited to motorcycle racing. However, holding the race as a night race means it is impossible to start the season much earlier than late March, as temperatures drop too much at night earlier in the year, causing dew to form on the track, making it dangerous to race on.

Below is the press release issued by Dorna:

Qatar secures 10-year MotoGP™ contract

The Losail International Circuit will be featured on the FIM MotoGP™ World Championship calendar until at least 2026 following a joint announcement by QMMF President Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Attiyah and Dorna Sports CEO Mr Carmelo Ezpeleta. The two parties committed to continue the agreement which has seen the Qatar round become a permanent fixture of Grand Prix racing since 2004.

On Sunday morning at the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit, Mr. Al-Attiyah and Mr. Ezpeleta penned a 10-year deal from 2017 onwards, meaning the event will run for at least 23 consecutive editions since it’s addition to the calendar in 2004. Since then the Qatar GP has become a key point of the Championship. It has acted as the season opener since 2007 and really made its mark in 2008 when it switched to a night-race format, a first in the history of MotoGP™.

Mr. Al-Attiyah declared: “We are very excited about continuing our partnership with MotoGP™ and securing our place in the calendar for another decade. The night race is a spectacular event that we’re proud to host and we aim to keep perfecting this partnership."

"Since its first edition in 2004, the Qatar GP became a trademark of the MotoGP™ World Championship and continues to provide a unique set-up for racing, so we're pleased to seal this agreement and extend our relationship beyond 2016. Losail International Circuit always creates a magic atmosphere and the brotherhood of the two companies has grown throughout the years", commented Dorna Sports SL CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta.

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+1, the number of locals is small anyway.. and the rest of the slave labour population is probably dying of heat exhaustion while building world cup stadiums enjoying the sunshine..

I bet Carmelo rubbed his hands together at all that Saudi $$ funnelling into Dorna.

Glad I'm not the only one that sees this as something of a diasspointment. It's always such a hollow start to a Motogp season with no atmosphere, no crowd. Fan favourite ? Hardly.

Just because they build it doesn't mean you have to come. What an utterly soulless facility. Barren...devoid of any character. No matter what these guys can not be worth it. Everything should not be for sale!


I kinda like the track, and the night race is kinda neat, but it has never really had the right feel for the opening race.

Sorry guys but i dont agree with anyone who says that motogp should not go to qatar and yeahh its qatar and not saudi arabia. Its an expensive sport and lets face it its not as famous as football, tennis, F1 etc etc. The big brands who pour $$$$ in these sports are not interested in motogp so when they have an investor whose investment covers all the expenses of all flyaway races of ALL THE TEAMS who the hell is fool enough to turn down this deal. Now lets come to the track its a masterpiece, i mean u see the newest tracks like aragon or austin and many of the hermann tilke designs and u see qatar. Its such a flowing track with very nice corners and above all it lives up to the honour of the season opener with a mind blowing race each year. Look at the past races and then u see the races in austin. In my opinion losail is comparable to mugello, catalunya or any track which provides edge of the seat action. Now the spectators part, here i totally agree that it loses out in this part. It does not have that crazy fans with that zeal which the other tracks have but its improving year by year and the only track in the middle east which hosts motogp whereas in f1 there are many. At the end the fact is that qatar is the richest country in the world and if its investing in motogp they should feel proud which it does and if its a desert country its not its fault. Mr al-attiyah is very much interested in motogp and its visible when he attends so many races and is the FIM board member.

at the tonsils of an equine sensation in a pink bow. It is a wonderful service that the QMMF can throw around mega bags of cash.

However I would call you on your suggestion that Losail (the engmatic track that mysteriously has no designer taking credit....) is in anyway shape or form comparable to any of the tracks you have suggested. It is flat minimally inclined.. the corners are nothing to write home about... At most tracks there is an iconic corner.. Aragon has the "reverse corkscrew", mugello has... well all of them catalunya has la caixa. I cant think of any memorable corners on losail. austin has the series of flowing corners from turn 2..

its the only ME state with a track that hosts MGP coz the other states there simply dont care, or they all have F1 which in the bags of cash and prestige stakes tends to beg the obvious.

Again I appreciate that there is a ME country on the calendar but try not to overblow the significance of the race. Its good because its the start of the season when everyone starts fresh and can have a good crack without the pressure of the championship. big risk for big reward.

Its location is not in question. and yes anything is better than saudi. it would be nice if we didnt have to wait for it to be in the goldilocks zone so the season could start at a better time of the year however. but that's what those bags of cash buy. the season opening.

Dude believe me, you dont wanna start comparing corners. Btw u mistook it my point was that qatar has a better layout than austin and aragon and each year it provides better races than them. This is not me but the riders saying. Who says austin is his favourite(maybe marc) or aragon. But losail, the riders enjoy it and my point was that it has the same characteristics as mugello and catalunya....flowing and fast. Who said anything abt memorable corners...i know it and m not saying that losail has better corners. Coming to your words "its the only ME state with a track that hosts MGP coz the other states there simply dont care, or they all have F1 which in the bags of cash and prestige stakes tends to beg the obvious" ....let me remind you recently bahrain wanted to host a race but dorna said that we cannot have any other race in the ME coz we need permission from qatar and they wud not want MOTOgp to go anywhere else in the ME apart from them. So its highly unlikely. But anyway having race in the night looks awesome. And did you read the comments of others or read straight mine ? I did not tried to overblow its significance instead reminded people of its value to motogp when everyone started to accuse it of various defections.