It’s a double dose of good news this morning for Silverstone, the self-claimed ‘Home of British Motor Racing circuit, as MotoGP commercial rights owner, Dorna Sports, has announced a one-year contract extension with its current host for the British MotoGP taking it to the end of 2021.
Not only that but after the embarrassing-but-necessary cancellation of the 2018 MotoGP caused by flooding and drainage issues, Silverstone has also confirmed another bout of resurfacing will go ahead in June, just weeks before the Formula One race in mid-July.
At a cost of a reported £5m, an alternative firm has been awarded the track work with ‘leading construction solutions company’, Tarmac Construction, who are working in conjunction with Jarno Zaffelli, Owner of Dromo, an Italian-based circuit design specialist company with FIM and FIA circuit development experience.
Complaints from Formula One drivers and MotoGP riders alike were plentiful after a resurfacing project over the 2017/18 winter lead to an initial smoother surface, which some claimed would see lap records broken. But by the time F1 arrived in July and MotoGP a month later, the track had not weathered well. Lewis Hamilton was among those criticising the bumps, likening the circuit to the Nordschleife. Aquaplaning caused by drainage problems during the practice and warm-up sessions during the British MotoGP weekend, including an unfortunate but nasty leg injury to Tito Rabat, resulted in the cancellation of a premier class race for the first time in 38 years.
The British MotoGP round has been based back at Silverstone since 2010 after a 23-year absence, yet even with all the ill-fated Circuit of Wales project threatening the longevity of the contract, Silverstone has repeatedly provided entertaining racing and in November 2018 earned a three-year deal until 2020. This morning’s announcement adds one more year to the current contract.
Silverstone Managing Director Stuart Pringle said: “Getting to this point has involved a lot of work by the staff at Silverstone but throughout it all we have been completely focused on making sure we make the right decisions to guarantee the future of our most important events with Formula One and MotoGP.
Pringle added, “We look forward to making the MotoGP™ weekend the best motorcycling event in the UK biking calendar.”
MotoGP™ CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta said: "The extension to the contract at Silverstone is a mark of the confidence we have in the circuit to host a successful MotoGP™ event over the next three years.
“Silverstone is one of the most historic of all the MotoGP™ venues and we have been working closely with Silverstone to ensure the race has a successful future. We will be assisting with any changes that need to be made regarding the track surface after the events of the 2018 MotoGP.”
The 2019 GoPro MotoGP at Silverstone takes place this year on the August Bank Holiday weekend of Friday, 23 to Sunday, 25 August.