Valencia to make way for new MotoGP events in schedule shuffle

The traditional season finale venue in Valencia is staying on the MotoGP calendar but is only guaranteed to host three events between 2022 and 2026

Valencia MotoGP start

The Valencia round of the MotoGP World Championship has agreed a new five-year extension with Dorna but is only guaranteed to host ‘at least three grands prix between 2022 and 2026’.

The Spanish event – one of four on the current calendar – made its debut on the schedule in 1999 and established itself as the traditional season finale from 2002, playing host to a number of title showdowns in that time.

However, in the year the MotoGP schedule swells to 20 rounds for the first time, Valencia has agreed to alternate its round with other venues on the Iberian peninsula between 2022 and 2026.

Under the terms of the agreement, Valencia will be on the calendar in 2022 but is only guaranteed to be included twice more between 2023 and 2026. It will however retain its final round status.

“Dorna guarantees the Valencian community that, during these five years, there will be three grands prix at the track as a minimum," said Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports.

“As Valencia is the first in coming to this [rotation] agreement, it will be on the calendar in the first year that rotation begins, which is 2022.

“Valencia maintains the right to be the final Grand Prix on the calendar. I would like to be able to offer five more years with a guaranteed race but that is not possible. Nevertheless, I am proud to have once again come to an agreement with Valencia.”

The move could loosen Spain’s dominant presence on the MotoGP calendar with the likes of Jerez, Circuit de Catalunya and Motorland Aragon the potential Iberian venues Valencia could alternate with it. Alternatively, it could also make way for Portugal’s return to the schedule with the Portimao circuit keen on securing a spot on the calendar.

MotoGP calendar shake up the solution to new events

Dorna’s decision to grow the calendar to 20 events had already raised some eyebrows in the paddock even before it was revealed there were agreements in place to bring three more rounds onto the schedule over the next couple of years.

Though it is testament to the growing global popularity of MotoGP that it is attracting interest outside of Europe (and Spain), it is tricky to see where these new rounds – in Indonesia, Brazil [pictured] and Hungary – ultimately squeezed in.

Presuming Dorna is only willing to swell the calendar to 21 events at most, others would inevitably have to be culled. As it stands though, only one round - the Czech Republic MotoGP in Brno - is expected to be dropped after 2020.

As such, Dorna looks set to pursue the idea of alternating certain venues annually, though one wonders how popular this will be with certain promoters. Indeed, by saying Valencia is ‘the first’ to agree the new terms, Ezpeleta is intimating it won’t be the last to do so.

Those circuits with contracts coming up for renewal may be feeling a little nervy.

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