Circuit of Wales, Ebbw Vale: MotoGP for circuit
- 13 August 2014
- From the section Wales
A five-year deal has been signed to bring motorcycling's British MotoGP to Wales.
It will be held at the new £315m Circuit of Wales race track in Blaenau Gwent which has yet to be built.
Land near Ebbw Vale will be transformed into the Circuit of Wales to host all but Formula 1 racing.
Next year's event will take place elsewhere in Britain but it is hoped the circuit in Ebbw Vale will take on the remaining four years.
There is also an option for a further five years.
Heads of the Valleys Development Company says the circuit will bring 750,000 visitors a year to the area.
The project has been hit by delays with issues over common land and call for the Welsh and UK governments to commit up to £50m towards the scheme.
"Our agreement with [commercial rights holders] Dorna is a significant landmark in the development of the Circuit of Wales," said Michael Carrick, chief executive of the Circuit of Wales.
"MotoGP is the pinnacle of global motorcycle racing and expectations within the series and of its millions of fans worldwide are for a truly world class event at iconic and state-of-the art venues.
"We look forward to meeting those expectations when we welcome MotoGP to Wales from 2016 and we are now working closely with Dorna and the FIM, MotoGP's governing body, with regard to the 2015 British round of the MotoGP World Championship."
There are 18 MotoGP rounds held across four continents every year, drawing about three million fans to the trackside. MotoGP is broadcast to 200 countries and territories around the world.
The Circuit of Wales will be a purpose-built hub for the multi-billion pound British motorsport industry around a state-of-the art track,
The first phase of the multi-purpose development will be the construction of an 3.5-mile international specification motor racing circuit and world championship facilities, hotel, commercial and retail complexes.
The facility is designed to host international motorsport events and will be a centre for motorsport-related industries.
A race academy and training facility to develop future Welsh and UK talent will also be at the site.
Developers say it will create up to 6,000 jobs.
Carmelo Ezpeleta, chief executive of Dorna said: "The commitment to youth, to employment opportunities for the area, to its academy plans - linked to our own FIM CEV Repsol series - and the general investment in motorsport infrastructure will ensure very exciting times are ahead for Blaenau Gwent and the surrounding areas."
Silverstone has previously hosted the MotoGP.
Richard Phillips, managing director of Silverstone, said: "We have expressed our desire to keep MotoGP at Silverstone, but the event is not sustainable at the fee level Dorna was proposing.
"Any future deal had to make economic sense and sadly we reached an impasse. The Circuit of Wales obviously believes it can make the finances work."