India and South Korea in talks to host MotoGP race

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MotoGP bosses are locked in talks with India and South Korea about hosting MotoGP races in the future.

Dorna boss Carmelo Ezpeleta visited the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida in early December about an inaugural Indian Grand Prix in 2013.

He also confirmed that Dorna representatives visited South Korea last week discussing the possibility of a future race at the Korea International Circuit, which is located around 250 miles from Seoul.

Talks with Indian and Korean officials are further proof that MotoGP is poised to enjoy more global appeal, with more flyaway races due to be added to the schedule.

The current 18-round championship sees 12 staged in Europe, with four in Spain.

Dorna already has agreements in place to stage races in Texas and Argentina in 2013 but with talks progressing about a race in India next year too, Ezpeleta confirmed to MCN that the championship won’t expand beyond the current 18-round format.

Ezpeleta confirmed that some races would be dropped off the schedule so that the championship could feature at least 50% of races outside of Europe.

Estoril, Jerez and Catalunya are the three most vulnerable given the state of the economic crisis in Portugal and Spain and Ezpeleta is also keen to reduce the number of races on the Iberian peninsula.

He told MCN: “We are speaking with India for 2013 and I was there in early December. We will have less on the Iberian peninsula. Spain and Portugal will most probably be three races in 2013. Perhaps not always the same three so we could alternate. 

“Now the demand for races outside Europe is a lot and secondly the economic situation of Spain and Portugal means that five races on the Iberian peninsula is creating problems for all of those races.”

As well as the interest from India and South Korea, Ezpeleta confirmed approaches from Chile and Brazil about joining the MotoGP calendar.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt