Bulgaria to host MotoGP race in 2012

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A Bulgiarian round of the MotoGP world championship will be staged from the 2012 season onwards.

Dorna boss Carmelo Ezpeleta has signed a preliminary five-year deal with the Bulgarian Motorcycling Fedederation on Sofia yesterday (Thursday).

The new deal, which will take MotoGP to Bulgaria from 2012 to 2016, was signed in Sofia by Ezpeleta and the President of the Bulgarian Motorcycle Federation Bogdan Nikolov.

Following a press conference, an additional meeting was held between Ezpeleta and the Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev to further discuss the project.

Ezpeleta said: “This is the first step in bringing MotoGP to Bulgaria, which is an exciting project for us.

“The Bulgarian government demonstrated great interest in bringing a Grand Prix here and it will be an important development for us, having never staged a race here before.

“We are highly confident in Bulgaria’s ability to host and organise Grand Prix efficiently and safely.”

The meeting in Sofia also saw the announcement that Bulgarian free-to-air national broadcasters BNT will have exclusive live television rights to from 2009, which will see all MotoGP races broadcast live in Bulgaria.

A location for the circuit is yet to be decided, but a decision is expected in late March or early April.

According to Bulgarian officials involved in the project, reigning world champion Valentino Rossi will act as a consultant in the design of the track.

There is still no official news on the immediate future of the Hungarian GP, due to take place in September.

It has been strongly rumoured that the new Balantonring will not be ready in time and the 2009 world championship will be contested over just 17 rounds.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt