MotoGP: Brno in doubt after government subsidy cuts?
The future of the Czech Grand Prix could be in doubt, after reports in local media that the regional government will not commit to fully subsidising the race for next year and beyond. Pledging only £1.3 million of the £2.1 million needed to help meet the hosting fee for holding the race, the circuit now faces a massive shortfall in funding despite having two years left on their contract.
Brno MotoGP "Utter dispair"
Speaking to Sport.cz after the South Moravia governor made his announcement via press release, executive director and chairman of the board of directors of Automotodrom Brno Ivana Ulmanová says they’ve been blindsided after expecting the full amount to be funded.
“I was thinking that there would be some kind of helpfulness. So, I have to say that it is utter despair, and those who have decided this way have hurt not only the finances of the Czech Republic, but also South Moravia and motorsport. Dorna have said that unfortunately, the Czech Republic is one of the worst partners they have, and that they are not even considering expanding the contract at this time, because the payment is unfortunately not what they imagined.”
The news comes at the worst possible moment for Brno, with fierce competition among a series of countries to take a spot on the calendar. It could well play into the hands of new track Finland, though, with Brno’s August date the perfect time for them if they are to enter the calendar in 2020.
It could also potentially shake up the 2020 MotoGP grid, with Czech rider Karel Abraham also potentially put at risk by the loss of a home round. That could be doubly affected by moving and shaking within Ducati's camp, with World Superbike championship leader Alvaro Bautista rumoured ot have a clause within his deal that would allow him back into MotoGP should he secure the production bike title in 2019.