Donington Park safety upgrades outlined for British MotoGP

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A full track resurface and new pit lane exit will be part of the winter upgrades that Donington Park will make ahead of the Leicestershire circuit returning to the MotoGP world championship schedule in 2015.

Javier Alonso, who is a member of Race Direction and Dorna’s Managing Director of Events, took part in a special site visit to Donington Park in September where he met officials about the work needing to be carried out ahead of next year’s British Grand Prix on August 30.

Donington Park is due to stage the showpiece event on the British motorcycle racing calendar for the first time since 2009, having been chosen to host the race after Silverstone’s five-year deal with Dorna expired.

The exclusive promotional rights for the British Grand Prix in 2015 are held by the new Circuit of Wales, which is not yet even under construction.

The Circuit of Wales is hoping to be ready to host the 2016 British Grand Prix, but it cut a deal with Donington Park for next season at least.

Donington Park will undertake redevelopment of the track between December and February and Alonso gave an indication of the alterations needed during a recent interview with MCN.

The Spaniard said: “The circuit is more or less OK. We knew from the beginning that if we have to go to Donington we had to resurface because the track is bumpy and we were aware of that from World Superbikes. We requested a pit lane exit similar to Jerez. So they have to build a small road on the left, because right now it is a little bit on the line into turn one where the riders enter the track from the pits. There will be a small road on the left close to the wall up to the first corner. Going down Craner Curves we are studying how we arrange that because on the outside the run-off area is a little bit small at the moment. We are discussing with them about moving the wall back and maybe putting some gravel in there. We have to find a compromise that works also for cars and not only for us. And now they have the opportunity to resurface we have asked them to take out the crest on the back straight where the Dunlop Bridge used to be. We are asking for that to be reduced because it can create a problem with the brake pads working loose like we have seen in the past at some tracks. It is not a big safety issue but because they are resurfacing they can look at that. And entering the Esses, we have asked for more gravel and a small tarmac road so those that miss the braking on the first Esses can rejoin the track after the second Essess. And we’ve asked for air fences in several places.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt