After 22 years, Donington Park has lost the rights to host the British motorcycle GP to rival circuit Silverstone as of 2010.
This year’s prestigious race will still take place at Donington on 26th July 2009, but it will be the last time for at least five years that MotoGP bikes will be seen coming down Craner Curves or rear wheel steering out of Coppice after Dorna signed a five year deal to run the event at Silverstone.
Dorna’s decision to switch venues has comes as a massive blow to Donington Park bosses who were granted planning permission just last Thursday for a multi million pound refurbishment as part of a ten year deal to run F1.
Donington Park Chief Executive Simon Gillett said:
“It’s very disappointing but given the need for a flagship event in 2010 to replace Formula One, we understand the importance to Silverstone of gaining the rights to MotoGP from a business perspective. However, since 1987 we have continually invested in MotoGP, emotionally as well as financially.
“We would like to wish Silverstone the best of luck with the required construction and all of the work involved in staging a top flight motorcycle race and ask them to take care of an event that we have invested heavily in since we took it over with just 18,000 people attending each race.
“We are proud to have hosted the championship for 22 years and our continuing passion and enthusiasm for the sport will ensure that our commitment and dedication for staging this year’s event will remain just as high.”
Donington Park will continue to host the World Superbike Championship and has a contract with the organisers up to and including 2011. There is also an ongoing deal to host British Superbike races.