MotoGP: Portimão aiming to join calendar in 2019
World Superbike venue Algarve International Circuit has expressed an interest in hosting a round of the MotoGP world championship from 2019, aiming to bring a Portuguese Grand Prix back onto the calendar for the first time since 2012. The circuit has never hosted a round of MotoGP, but has held WSB rounds on and off since it was constructed in 2008.
Struggling since construction with debts and financial issues, the track was taken over last year by a state-run venture capital company, and speaking to local media, former World Supersport front-runner and member of track management Miguel Praia has confirmed to MCN that they’re now in a position to begin talks with MotoGP bosses Dorna.
The track will also be hoping to tie into the rising successes of Portuguese rider Miguel Oliveira, winner of the last two rounds of the 2017 Moto2 season with the Red Bull KTM Ajo squad. Showing huge potential in the second half of the season, the Austrian manufacturer has already hinted that the 22-year-old dentist could well be on a fast track to a MotoGP ride if his results continue to remain impressive.
The move would also be welcomed by many in the MotoGP paddock thanks to the nature of the Algarve track. Fast, flowing and with significant elevation changes, the 4.6km circuit is a favourite of many racers.
Speaking ahead of this year’s WSB round there in September, Michael van der Mark was one of a majority of riders to praise the track, admitting that it’s one of his favourite of the season.
"It is one of my favourite tracks. It's always a difficult track to setup the bike because it is such a unique circuit, and incorporates lots of different requirements over the lap, but that's also why I like it so much.”