MotoGP: Donington: 'We're thinking long term about British GP'

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Donington bosses have said they are taking a ‘long term view’ after losing out on a deal to host the British Grand Prix to Silverstone.

Following the collapse of the Circuit of Wales, MotoGP bosses spent three months negotiating with both Silverstone and Donington to secure the future of the British Grand Prix.

Donington was the initial favourite to secure the deal, but with the level of work required to bring the Leicestershire circuit up to MotoGP standard from both a spectator and competitor perspective, getting all that done by next August was always a big ask.

As that became clear, things moved in Silverstone’s favour with circuit boss Stuart Pringle putting pen to paper with Dorna at this weekend’s Grand Prix finale in Valencia.

However, it would seem Donington bosses have not given up hope of MotoGP returning to the iconic British venue with Motorsport Vision’s Stuart Higgs pragmatic in response to losing the deal, instead turning their attention to 2021.  

“It’s still an event we are interested in considering for the future, we are very mindful that there has been tremendous support from the public for a potential British Grand Prix at Donington,” Higgs told MCN in Valencia.

“To get MotoGP into Donington would have been a massive infrastructure project with a fixed, very inflexible timeline and it would have to have been right for year one which isn’t a very long way away. To do that would have been to the detriment of the broader venue facility upgrades that we feel are more of a priority.

“We want to give a re-affirmation to everyone that MSV is going to work very hard to make Donington a great place to come for spectators, competitors and track day customers. Doing it this way allows us to invest in the broader public facilities, which are very pressing, and there are other things to do with the circuit infrastructure that will follow.

“If the deal was for 2019 and beyond that might have been a different proposition, but 2018 would probably have been too difficult to achieve. The last thing anybody wanted would be to have an event that we would have rushed to get stuff done and might have had to renege on the quality to get that work done and then you’ve almost screwed it from day one. We’re taking a long-term view and these things have a habit of coming around sooner rather than later.” 

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing