Hungary set for return to MotoGP calendar… again

A decade after plans to return MotoGP to the nation faltered in the global financial crists, Dorna reveals plans to add Hungary to 2022 MotoGP schedule

Hungary MotoGP Hungaroring

Dorna has announced it has signed a ‘memorandum of understanding’ with the Hungarian government over plans to host a MotoGP World Championship event from 2022 at a newly-built venue.

Hungary has previously played host to the GP World Championship at its sole permanent international racing circuit – the Hungaroring – in 1990 and again in 1992, while it has its own world champion in Gabor Talmacsi, who clinched the 2007 125GP title and competed in a handful of MotoGP races in 2009.

Talmacsi has been one of the leading figures behind this new project, which will see the Hungarian MotoGP event debut in 2022 at a new circuit that is set to be built in the east of the country.

It is the second time MotoGP has attempted to revive a Hungarian event after an event held at a new circuit on the shores of Lake Balaton – named the Balatonring – was added to the 2009 schedule. However, it never progressed beyond the planning stage, being replaced by the Motorland Aragon circuit which remains on the calendar to this day.

"I am very proud to be able to announce negotiations for another addition to the future MotoGP calendar and continue to see our sport grow and develop across the world,” said Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta. “A new race – and circuit – in Hungary is an exciting prospect for us all and brings MotoGP back to a country with a great tradition in racing in which we're excited to see MotoGP play a key role going forward."

MotoGP yet adds another new venue to expanding calendar

Hungary is the latest new addition to the MotoGP roster having already confirmed the return of Finland for 2020 – subject to homologation – and Brazil for 2021, while a race in the huge motorcycle market of Indonesia is also now supposedly at the construction phase.

Though Dorna has hinted there will be calendar increases going forward, these alone mean four new events are slated to join the calendar in the next couple of years, which means others will inevitably drop off.

Reading between the lines, the decision to announce this memorandum of understanding with Hungary signals that it is being lined up to effectively replace the Czech Republic MotoGP at Brno – the only race currently held in Central/Eastern Europe.#

Well-liked by riders and drawing some of the largest crowds on the whole calendar – even topping the attendance charts on some occasions – Brno nonetheless lacks investment and has struggled to make the numbers add up. Its place on the grid has been under threat on numerous occasions, but time seems to now be running out to save it.

Then again, this is early stages for a new event. Hungary didn’t cover itself in glory with its stillborn Balatonring project, even if you would assume Dorna has paid closer attention to due diligence this time.

Which other new venues are joining MotoGP calendar?

Meanwhile, we are still waiting for the KymiRing – which was given a rather damning thumbs down from riders during a test earlier in the year – to be signed off, while no ground has broken on Brazil’s much vaunted Rio Motorpark yet either.

As for Indonesia, there have been numerous attempts to get an event there off the ground only to run into a bundle of red tape – this latest endeavour, interestingly based on the holiday island of Lombok close to Bali, is showing signs of progress but many are resigned to believing it when they see it.