MotoGP

Dorna: Phillip Island risks losing MotoGP

Well-loved Australian circuit sticks to its guns, but faces clash with Dorna

PHILLIP ISLAND risks losing their MotoGP round if Dorna's passive aggressive quotes are to be believed.

Carmelo Ezpeleta the CEO of MotoGP promoter Dorna has said that although next year's event will run its normal October date, further rounds must move to a date where the weather offers more hospitable conditions.

Speaking to the press, Ezpeleta said: "It was clear that to move for next year was very complicated. We have spoken to them and for next year the calendar will be as the provisional one already printed but for 2012 it will be at the beginning of the season. It must be at the beginning of the year because I think it is too risky later in the season."

Ezpeleta followed up with a quote that ought to shake the bones of Phillip Island's owners: "For 2012 it will be compulsory and the FIM will not homologate the circuit unless the race is at the beginning of the year. There can be no excuses in 2012."

However, Dorna won't get their way without a fight:  Andrew Westacott, Chief Exec of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation said: "There's a contract that Dorna have got that exists with us that says the race will be in September-October until 2016. Carmelo has been suggesting this for a while on and off but we've never had a delayed race, never had a cancelled race. The vagaries of the weather exist all around the place at various times of the year - It's not as easy as saying we'll just slot it in in March. Marshalls and emergency services would also be doing potentially World Superbikes (in February), MotoGP testing at Phillip Island and the Formula One event."

In 2010, Valentino Rossi complained about the conditions at Phillip Island and has stated that riders have long pushed for an easrly season slot for the Austrlian GP but have been told it's too close to the F1 GP in Melbourne in March: "It is very difficult because the conditions mean we are very close to the limit. The rain is okay but the main problem is the temperature. It is three or four years that we want Phillip Island at the beginning of the season. But they say the problem is Formula One. From our side we have pushed hard every year."

Dorna want the date changed. Rossi wants the date changed. The AGPC are holding firm. This one's going to run and run.

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