Malaysia inks 5-calendar year MotoGP extension

By | October 30, 2016

SEPANG: Malaysia’s Sepang circuit agreed on Saturday (Oct 29) to prolong its prosperous MotoGP event right up until at least 2021, in sharp distinction to rumblings that it may possibly drop its reduction-creating Components One particular race.

A 5-calendar year extension of Sepang’s contract with Dorna Athletics, MotoGP’s professional legal rights holder, was signed earlier on Saturday, officials reported.

The current contract expires this calendar year.

“I am content to advise that we have signed an extension for 5 several years ending in 2021,” Sepang Global Circuit chairman Azman Yahya (pictured above) told a press conference in advance of Sunday’s race.

“We will carry on with the MotoGP for the future 5 several years and we consider that we will see an even greater reaction from the Malaysian public.”

Sepang has hosted the Malaysia Motorcycling Grand Prix due to the fact the circuit opened in 1999. The keep track of expects a document 90,000 spectators for Sunday’s marketed-out grand prix, up from 85,000 final calendar year, officials have reported.

But keep track of CEO Razlan Razali reported earlier this 7 days Malaysia may possibly take a “short-term break” from F1 following its current race contract expires in 2018, citing ebbing ticket product sales and Television viewership.

“If there is no financial worth, why need to we carry on? We greater take a short-term break,” he told AFP.

Like MotoGP, the F1 race also has been held due to the fact 1999 at Sepang, which is identified for its tropical downpours and sauna-like circumstances. The Malaysian F1 is Asia’s next-oldest future to the Japanese Grand Prix, which dates back again to 1976.

Components One particular races are normally reduction-creating but continue to desirable to many cities mainly because of their prestige and exposure to international audiences.

But Razlan reported Sepang, which can accommodate one hundred twenty,000 enthusiasts, drew just forty five,000 to final month’s Malaysian F1 event and Television scores had been lousy.

Athletics Minister Khairy Jamaluddin reported level of competition from newer occasions exterior of Malaysia was having its toll. “I consider we need to end web hosting the F1. At least for a though. Charge as well high, returns minimal,” he reported on Twitter.

F1 is having difficulties all over the world, with official figures showing it has get rid of two hundred million Television viewers globally due to the fact 2008. US business Liberty Media introduced a takeover of F1 final month amid hopes that a new leadership and plans for higher US penetration will provide a lifeline.

Malaysia’s MotoGP, by distinction, is persistently preferred.

“It was not that difficult to persuade the government of Malaysia to carry on to support the Malaysia (bike) Grand Prix,” Razlan reported Saturday. “We realize document-breaking crowds just about every calendar year.”

Dorna Athletics CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta lauded the Malaysian MotoGP as an “incredible spectacle”. “I need to say that we are really proud to renew at least for these 5 several years,” he reported.

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