It's only a matter of time until MotoGP follows in the tire tracks of Formula One and starts to abandon many of the races in its European cradle. The European economy is a mess, and it's impossible for Dorna to ignore huge global markets like the United States that are important to manufacturers and petro-fueled, cash-rich oligarchies eager to show off their nation through global sporting events.
MotoGP is heading to Austin, Texas, in 2013 and Argentina in 2014. Rumors continue to waft about a round in India. And British media reported last week that Yamaha Racing boss Lin Jarvis has asked Dorna to investigate the possibility of conducting two races per year at Sepang after impressive attendance gains were recorded last October at the Grand Prix of Malaysia.
More than 77,000 fans attended race day at Sepang, an increase of 10,000 over 2011. That was a bigger Sunday crowd than at traditional European venues such as Silverstone, Mugello and Valencia in 2012, and just a whisker behind Le Mans and Catalunya.
The Southeast Asian market is exploding for manufacturers, which also are concerned that half of the 18 events in 2013 are taking place in just three nations - Spain (4), the United States (3) and Italy (2).