Donington Park loses British MotoGP

Published: Tuesday 10th February 2015 by The News Editor

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Donington Park has been forced to cancel this year’s British round of MotoGP due to the failure of Circuit of Wales (CoW) bosses to fulfil funding obligations.

Last year MotoGP rights holders Dorna signed a five-year agreement with CoW from 2015, despite the fact construction work had yet to commence on the troubled Ebbw Vale facility.

It resulted in CoW turning to Donington Park chiefs for assistance for this year, believing they would then be able to take up the running of the event.

CoW, however, continues to face numerous planning hurdles which have clearly had a knock-on effect with regard to the distribution of funds, resulting in delays paying Donington Park.

A statement from Donington Park Racing Ltd (DPRL) read: “The situation at 10th February 2015 is very clear.

“Despite DPRL’s best efforts, the time lost with CoW being unable to complete the funding arrangements has resulted in delays in almost all of the event’s critically-important operational plans, from track works to equipment hire.

“Therefore, in the judgement of the board of DPRL, this current position could jeopardise the safe and successful running of the 2015 British MotoGP at Donington to such an extent that both the commercial risks and the lack of time are now too great to allow Donington to proceed.

“Therefore, Donington Park must withdraw from any further participation.

“Consequently, the 2015 British round of the FIM MotoGP World Championship will not now be held at Donington Park on August 30th 2015.”

Christopher Tate, Donington Park managing director, has naturally expressed his bitter disappointment at the fact the race will not now take place at his circuit.

“The whole Donington team who have worked so hard here over the past six months to fulfil our part of the MotoGP planning are as disappointed as the many fans will be who wanted to see the event return to Donington Park,” said Tate.

“The position we are now in is, of course, frustrating and uncomfortable for all concerned.

“We have our overall business, our staff and their futures to consider, as well as our concerns for the fans.

“We have rebuilt so much of this facility and its global reputation in the years since 2010 under new ownership and management.

“We are not going to risk all that, nor risk affecting the quality of the MotoGP fans’ experience – looking after the fans is at the heart of what Donington does.

“It is this week, way past any normal deadlines, when we – in partnership with CoW – would have been committing to major expenditures.

“CoW have made it clear to us they are not now in a position to complete, so we have to withdraw and end the planned arrangement.”

Donington has confirmed all fans who purchased tickets will be given a full refund due to their monies being held in an escrow account.

It now remains to be seen whether CoW will turn to Silverstone, who held the event from 2010-2014, but like Donington they will require financial guarantees, and time may also be too short.

Published: Tuesday 10th February 2015 by The News Editor

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