This Pr just in from Dorna:
Memorandum of Understanding signed between Dorna Sports and Saudi Motorsport Company to host MotoGP™ in Saudi Arabia
MoU outlines parties’ shared intention to bring world’s leading two-wheeled Championship to the Kingdom
Monday, 05 September 2022
Dorna Sports and Saudi Motorsport Company (SMC) have confirmed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) outlining their shared intention to bring the world’s premier motorcycle racing series to the Kingdom.
The signing was conducted yesterday at the San Marino Grand Prix by HRH Prince Khalid Bin Sultan Al Abdullah Al-Faisal, Chairman of the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation and the Saudi Motorsport Company and by Mr Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna.
The FIM MotoGP™ World Championship is watched by more than 800 million people, broadcasting live to more than 200 countries around the world. The addition of Saudi Arabia to the MotoGP™ calendar on an annual basis will see the sport expanding further into the Middle East, with Qatar currently hosting the only round in the region.
The partnership initiative between SMC and Dorna will also see the establishment of a new talent development program for young Saudi riders, designed to increase awareness of and accessibility to the sport in the Kingdom. This Road to MotoGP™ Program will provide young racing talent in Saudi Arabia with pathway opportunities to compete at the highest levels of the sport, with a clear aim of developing Saudi MotoGP™ champions of the future. This aligns with Dorna’s ongoing commitment to young rider development all over the world, using its platforms and championships to launch new riders’ careers and develop pathways to racing in MotoGP™.
The proposed addition of MotoGP™ continues to showcase the Kingdom as the new home for the best international motorsports events [in the Middle East] and further complements SMC’s growing events portfolio as it looks to expand its two-wheel offerings. MotoGP™ in Saudi Arabia will be staged on a newly constructed, multi-purpose FIM and FIA homologated circuit.
Plans to bring MotoGP™ to Saudi Arabia follow the successful hosting of other major global motorsports series in the Kingdom over the past few years, including the Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix (since 2021), the Formula E Diriyah ePrix (since 2018), the world-renowned Dakar Rally (since 2020) and the revolutionary Extreme E series (since 2021).
HRH Prince Khalid Bin Sultan Al Abdullah Al-Faisal: “We are excited to confirm the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Dorna today which clearly outlines our shared goal of bringing MotoGP™ to Saudi Arabia. It makes perfect sense to add the world’s greatest motorcycle racing series to our growing list of world-class racing events. We look forward to working with Dorna to deliver on our shared commitment to bring the pinnacle of two-wheeled racing to Saudi Arabia and to continue to provide more opportunities and initiatives to enrich the lives of all our residents.”
Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports: “As the leading global championship for two-wheel circuit racing, we are thrilled at this opportunity for MotoGP™ to expand its reach within the Middle East by adding an annual Grand Prix in Saudi Arabia. The region is a key market for motorsport and the demand in the Kingdom for events of this kind is growing with research showing that 80% of Saudi fans wanting to see more in their country. In the past few years, Saudi Arabia has shown its ability to stage major global motorsports events to the highest standards. The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding codifies our shared intention to explore this opportunity further. We are confident that we will find an exciting and welcoming new home in the Kingdom and we look forward to further collaboration with the Saudi Motorsport Company to deliver on this joint ambition together.”