Turkey GP future in the air

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This weekend’s Turkish MotoGP race at the impressive Istanbul Park racetrack could be the last with no decision taken yet on whether it will be dumped off the 2008 world championship schedule.

In a press conference staged at 12.30pm local time at the circuit, it was confirmed Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone had taken control of the Istanbul Park track.

And while a deal is in place for Formula One to be staged in Turkey until 2021, the current contract for the MotoGP race expires at the end of this weekend.

Commenting specifically on the future of MotoGP in a largely Formula One dominated press conference, Ecclestone put the ball back in MotoGP rights owner Dorna’s court.

It depends an awful lot on the position of Dorna,” said Ecclestone.

“They are the people that decide what they want to do. The contract runs out after this event so we are not sure of exactly what they do and what they don’t want to do.

“I am a big, big, big motorcycle supporter and I think motorcycling racing is super.”

With a deal close to being signed for a second US GP in Indianapolis – likely to take place next August or early September according to sources – Dorna needs to reshuffle the calendar with boss Carmelo Ezpeleta insisting the schedule won’t be extended beyond the current 18-round format.

With Indianapolis joining the calendar, favourite for the axe at present is China’s Shanghai race, which hosts round four of the 2007 world championship on May 6.


Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt