Barcelona Circuit Renews Contract As MotoGP Shifts Focus Out Of Spain

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has extended its contract with Dorna for another five years. However, like the contract signed last year with the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia, the contract does not guarantee a round of MotoGP for every year of the contract.

Instead, both Barcelona and Valencia have signed up to host three races between 2022 and 2026. With both circuits on the provisional 2022 calendar, that means that they will get two more races between 2023 and 2026. In addition, Barcelona will hold at least two rounds of WorldSBK between 2023 and 2026.

This is part of Dorna's plan to reduce the number of races on the Iberian peninsula, and more particularly, in Spain. After 2022, the plan is to have a maximum of 3 races in Spain and Portugal, with the rounds alternating among Barcelona, Valencia, Aragon, Jerez, and Portimão. With the calendar expanding to include new circuits, the move is necessary to allow new tracks to host a race without increasing the number of races beyond acceptable limits.

At the moment, Dorna has an agreement with the teams to limit the races to a maximum of 22 in a season. The 2022 calendar contains 21 rounds (subject, as all things, to the vagaries of the Covid-19 pandemic and government regulations), and with circuits in Russia, Hungary, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico having expressed an interest in hosting a round of MotoGP, it is impossible to make room for those tracks without dropping current circuits. Alternating between the four Spanish and one Portuguese circuit is a way of opening up space for new tracks.

The move to reduce the number of rounds in Spain will be welcomed, but the fact that there are four circuits in Spain currently homologated to host a round of MotoGP is a sign of just how much the country has become the epicenter of grand prix motorcycle racing. Circuits litter the country, with at least three other tracks very close to the standard required to host MotoGP. The Circuito de Navarra hosted WorldSBK this year, for example.

The addition of Indonesia to the MotoGP calendar is a long-awaited expansion into new, and MotoGP-mad territory. MotoGP's future lies in Asia, and opening up the path to the future requires dropping some of the established circuits.

The press release on Barcelona appears below, with last year's press release on the Valencia contract renewal below that as a reminder:


MotoGP™ renews agreement with Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya until 2026
The emblematic venue will host MotoGP™ in 2022, with least two more events confirmed between 2023 and 2026

Friday, 26 November 2021

Dorna Sports is happy to announce a new contract with the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, extending the partnership between the FIM MotoGP™ World Championship and the classic Catalonia venue for another five years. The new agreement guarantees the Gran Premi de Catalunya a place on the 2022 calendar and confirms a minimum of two more events to be held between 2023 and 2026.

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has been part of the FIM MotoGP™ World Championship calendar since 1992; first as the host of the European Grand Prix (from 1992-1995) and later the Catalan Grand Prix (from 1996). The event is a fan and rider favourite, bringing the world’s fastest motorcycle racing Championship to the vibrant Mediterranean city of Barcelona.

The provisional dates for the 2022 Catalan GP are the 3rd to the 5th of June. From 2023, the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya will then alternate with other venues on the Iberian peninsula, with a minimum of two more Grands Prix at the venue confirmed to take place between 2023 and 2026.

Roger Torrent, Catalan Minister of Business and Labour, and Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya President: "We are very pleased to continue hosting the most important competition in the world of motorcycling. This is great news for the fans of our country, for the international projection of Barcelona and Catalonia, and for the objective of turning the circuit into a strategic piece for the economic and social development linked to the green mobility industry."

Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports: "This contract renewal with the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for five more seasons is, without a doubt, fantastic news for MotoGP.

"The spectacular Catalan track has been linked to MotoGP since the first beginnings of Dorna and has been a key fixture on the calendar each season. This important agreement extending the collaboration until 2026 demonstrates, once again, the commitment shown to our Championship by the promoter."


Valencia renews agreement with MotoGP™ until 2026
The Circuit Ricardo Tormo will host at least three Grands Prix from 2022 – 2026

Thursday, 20 February 2020

Dorna Sports is happy to announce a contract renewal with the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia for 2022 to 2026, with an agreement confirming the track as host for at least three Grands Prix during those five years. Each of those Grands Prix will remain the season finale.

The Valencia GP is guaranteed to take place in 2022 and thereafter may alternate with other circuits on the Iberian peninsula until 2026; the final year of the agreement. This is due to the incredible global growth of MotoGP™, with more and more venues signing up to become part of the world’s fastest motorcycle racing World Championship.

The agreement was signed by Ximo Puig, President of the Government of Valencia, and Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports, in Valencia on Thursday.

Ximo Puig, President of the Government of Valencia: “There will be a Grand Prix until 2022 and from then on, each five years there will be a minimum of three Valencia Grands Prix, each of which will be the season finale. This shows the good work done by the Circuit, as well as the trust that has been sown between the organisation and the Generalitat.

“We have always said that this is a fundamental Grand Prix for the economic impact it generates and what it represents for the development of tourism in the Valencian community, as well as the hundreds of thousands of motorsport fans in Valencia – that’s why we have come to this agreement.”

Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports: “Dorna guarantees the Valencian community that, during these five years, there will be three Grands Prix at the track as a minimum. As Valencia is the first in coming to this agreement, it will be on the calendar in the first year that rotation begins, which is 2022.

“Valencia maintains the right to be the final Grand Prix on the calendar. I would like to be able to offer five more years with a guaranteed race but that is not possible. Nevertheless, I am proud to have once again come to an agreement with Valencia.”

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Comments

To me this is a good thing. I really like Barcelona and Portimao, and Aragon ain't too shabby either. But new tracks in new places can throw a spanner into things, and that usually produces something interesting. And it is, afterall, the motorcycle world championship.

Good to hear this, we could do with more races in the Americas to make MotoGP a proper world championship. A return to South Africa would be nice too.

But I hope we don't go further down the sportswashing route of Saudi Arabia & Russia like F1 have.