Silverstone switches paddock for British MotoGP round

Silverstone’s multi-million pound The Wing pit and paddock complex will not be used for this year’s British MotoGP round in early September.

After consulting with MotoGP management and taking on board feedback from fans, Silverstone has decided to move MotoGP back to the National Paddock.

In a statement released by the Northamptonshire track, it said bike racing fans preferred to get closer to the race action, while at the same time being able to experience the entertainment, retail stands and manufacturer displays. This move will concentrate all the paddocks, entertainment and prime viewing locations into one area, with the main aim of giving racing fans an even better experience.

The move has the full support of Dorna, as the championship requires an integrated paddock and support paddock, which Silverstone is unable to accommodate in The Wing alone.

Over the past two years, the circuit has had to operate two paddocks for MotoGP, split between The Wing and National complexes, which has proved logistically challenging for Dorna.

Richard Phillips, Managing Director of Silverstone Circuits Limited, said: “The move will certainly improve the fans’ overall experience of the MotoGP weekend; and that is Silverstone’s priority, to help the British fans show their support for not only Cal (Crutchlow), Bradley (Smith), Michael (Laverty) and all the Brit riders in Moto2 and 3, but the likes of (Valentino) Rossi, (Jorge) Lorenzo and (Marc)Marquez too. The paddocks will be less spread out and closer to all the off-track entertainment, creating an even better atmosphere.

It also means Copse will become the first corner, once again, which was always popular with riders and fans alike. Certainly, judging by the test results in Sepang and Valencia, this year is shaping up to be a great championship across all three Moto classes It is a shame we won’t be using the Wing Paddock for this year’s MotoGP but, until we have the funds to build a bridge or tunnel connecting the outside of the circuit with The Wing, the National Paddock is a more accessible facility for fans.

We are also in agreement with Dorna that it makes sense to host all of the paddocks in the same location. When you add Moto2, Moto3 and the various support classes, MotoGP’s paddock requirement is larger than that of F1. Previously these have been split over two sites, so moving them all together will be far more convenient for all involved.”

Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports, declared, “From Dorna’s point of view we understand the decision taken by Silverstone for the 2013 British Grand Prix, to be held at the beginning of September. Whilst working out of the prestigious Wing, which opened in 2011, allowed us to enjoy the comforts of a modern, first-class building, going back to the National Paddock will help concentrate our entire global organization in one place, which, logistically, is always highly beneficial. What is clear is that the Grand Prix will be one of the highlights on the calendar under the watchful eyes of thousands of fans”.

All spectators who have purchased ‘Reserved’ tickets for Abbey Grandstand, at the first corner, will be contacted and given the option to exchange their ticket for an alternative location.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt