Brazil returns to MotoGP calendar in 2022 at all-new Rio Motorpark

Brazil returns to the MotoGP schedule for the first time since 2004 after the newly-announced Rio Motorpark was included on the 2022 MotoGP calendar

Rio Motorpark, Brazilian MotoGP, Brazil

The MotoGP World Championship will return to Brazil for the first time since 2004 after it was confirmed the all-new Rio Motorpark would be included on the 2022 MotoGP calendar.

The South American nation hosted MotoGP for a decade between 1995 and 2004 at the iconic Jacarepagua circuit in Rio de Janeiro.

However, after that venue – which also hosted Formula 1 before it returned to its current home in Interlagos, Sao Paulo - was repurposed for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, attention has recently turned to the construction of a brand-new venue in the region of Deodoro.

Ironically, Deodoro in the north west of the city was one of four areas used to construct venues for the Olympic Games, which will now see the Rio Motorpark be constructed alongside. Formula 1 is also believed to have an agreement in place to start racing there from 2022.

Interestingly, the Mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Marcelo Crivella, says the city itself isn’t ‘putting a penny into the project’ because the multi-million pound project has been invested in by Rio Motorsports.

“The news that we already have a first competition for Rio's new racetrack, MotoGP, confirmed for 2022, represents a great advance for our city,” he said.

“The construction of the Deodoro racetrack is a spectacular project, with an extraordinary investment that will generate 7,000 jobs and make Rio regain the leading role in major competitions. We will take development to a region of the city with many needs, which is the West Zone, and stimulate tourism. 

“All this without the City putting a penny into the project, since the whole investment will be the responsibility of the concessionaire.”

Brazil starts countdown to first MotoGP race in 18 years

For now, the 4.5km Rio Motorpark for now remains nothing more than artists’ impression with a virtual reality lap that shows how the seven left and six right-handed bends flow into one another. A lap time of 1m 38secs is predicted. 

A virtual lap of the Rio Motorpark reveals a circuit that bears all the hallmarks of its designer Hermann Tilke, who has been responsible for the vast majority of modern circuits used on both the F1 and MotoGP calendar.

From the outset, the Rio Motorpark seems to have closest resemblance to Istanbul Park, which hosted the Turkish MotoGP briefly between 2005 and 2007.

“I’m very proud to announce that MotoGP will be returning to race in Rio de Janeiro, one of the world’s truly iconic cities and in such an amazing country,” said Dorna’s Carmelo Ezpeleta.

“Brazil is an important market for motorcycles, motorcycle racing and motorsport, with a history to be proud of – and a future that I’m excited to see MotoGP play such a vital part as we return in 2022.”

The Brazilian MotoGP / Rio MotoGP in snippets

  • Brazil has only ever had two grand prix race winners over time; Alex Barros, who won seven grands prix (all in the premier class) and Adu Celso, winner of the 1973 350cc Spanish Grand Prix
  • Brazil first hosted a round of a Grand Prix motorcycle racing season in 1987 at Goiania (now renamed Autodromo Internacional Ayrton Senna) until 1989
  • Brazil returned to the schedule in 1992 with a first and only round held at Interlagos
  • After another brief hiatus, Brazil returned to the schedule again in 1995 at Jacarepagua (in a swap with Interlagos, which began hosting F1) under the Rio de Janeiro motorcycle Grand Prix moniker until 2004
  • Valentino Rossi has enjoyed most success in Rio over the years with six wins, four of which were in the premier class  
  • Luca Cadalora, Michael Doohan, Norifumi Abe and Makoto Tamada all have premier class wins in Rio
  • Jorge Lorenzo scored his first GP win in Rio whilst competing in the 2003 125cc class