No WSB at Brands Hatch in 2009: Jonathan Palmer reaction

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MSV Chief Executive Jonathan Palmer has spoken of his disappointment of losing a World Superbike slot for Brands Hatch in 2009, but has remained hopeful of a special one-off event to take place around August to substitute for the loss.

It was revealed in MCN two weeks ago that Brands Hatch could lose it’s World Superbike allocation after series owners FG Sport and the owners of Brands Hatch, MSV, failed to come to an agreement on a hosting fee.

And a provisional calendar has been released today by the FIM for World Superbikes 2009 with no mention of Brands Hatch.

MCN spoke to Jonathan Palmer shortly after the release to get an update on the situation with Brands Hatch and WSB.

“It’s disappointing not to have Brands Hatch on the provision al WSB calendar for next year,” said Palmer.

“With it being a provisional calendar we’re not sure if there is further scope for that to change, but we guess not – we have to assume there will be no World Superbikes at Brands Hatch next year.

“All circuits have to pay a substantial fee to have major events come to their track.

“FG Sport’s business is to make as much money as they can from the circuits – that’s there job.

“Our job is to pay as little as possible.

“In 2009 FG Sport expected us to pay twice as much as this year to have the event next year and we cannot see it being viable.

“We’ve had discussions over the last several months and weeks and we’ve offered to raise the fee but won’t go any higher – that fee is clearly not enough so there will not be a WSB event at Brands in 2009.

“I’m quite relaxed about it – at the end of the day if I wasn’t relaxed I would have done a deal.

“It’s a bit like buying a motorcycle – you have a set price you’re willing to offer, but if someone wants too much then you go no further with it.

“If we’d had matched the price FG Sport wanted we would have had to add an extra £15 to the cost of raceday tickets.

“In the current climate that’s just not acceptable for the fans.”

Brands Hatch has proved to be one of the biggest ticket sellers on the whole WSB calendar. Always held in the height of summer in August, it’s one date British motorcycling fans hold in high regard.

But Palmer says the British public shouldn’t be worried as the circuit will host a motorcycle event, expected to happen on the same weekend as the WSB round would have been running, that will fulfil bike racing fans’ entertainment needs.

“We’ve been well aware of the situation developing after the ongoing discussions,” added Palmer.

“We’ve planned a substitute event around the same time.

“We want to attract motorcycle fans on one of the biggest summer weekend’s for bike racing – a big highlight on the bike racing calendar.

“News on this event will be announced in the next few coming weeks. “

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Rob Hull

By Rob Hull