Misano Italy set to host MotoGP in 2007.
An initial agreement has been reached for a new San Marino Grand Prix, to be held at a substantially modified version of the nearby Misano Adriatico circuit in Italy, from 2007 to 2011.
The provisional agreement for the "Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini" was announced by Carmelo Ezpeleta (CEO of Dorna Sports), Paride Andreoli (minister for tourism and sport in San Marino), Andrea Gnassi (tourism and sport delegate for the Province of Rimini), Mariano Spinarelli (president of Santamonica SpA) and Umberto Trevi (administrative selegate for Santamonica SpA).
"It is an important day for Dorna, because after several meetings, firstly with Minister Andreoli and then with the other parties, we have made the agreement which will allow us to propose to the FIM to insert the Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini on the official 2007 calendar, to take place at the Autodromo Santamonica di Misano," confirmed Ezpeleta. "With this move we have satisfied a strong demand, both on riders' and fans' behalf to have another MotoGP event in Italian territory."
It is not known if Misano, which already hosts a round of the Corona Extra Superbike World Championship (lower pictures), will now replace an existing MotoGP event - although the future of the Chinese Grand Prix at Shanghai and even the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang are rumoured to be in doubt. If no event is replaced, then the MotoGP calendar will expand to 18 events next season with the inclusion of Misano.
Meanwhile Trevi revealed that the Misano circuit will be substantially modified for the MotoGP race - to the extent that the 'new' track layout will run in the opposite direction to that currently used.
"Our company is firmly dedicated to bring the most important motorcycle event on the calendar back to the Autodromo di Misano for many years to come," declared Trevi. "Now there will be a great deal of effort needed to develop the event, with the participation of all institutions, who from this moment will need to solve all the issues concerned with the complex and multidimensional needs of MotoGP as regards the territory and its infrastructures.
"Santamonica Spa, thanks to the tireless collaboration from the Misano Adriatico Community, will start works immediately, which in time for the event will give us a 'new' circuit, with the track completely renovated and which will see racing in a clockwise direction, opposite to the current running of it.
"In thanking the Republic of San Marino, the Province of Rimini and Dorna, we must not forget the massive investment and extraordinary organisational processes that our company must undertake with the hope, or certainty that with the presence of a large number of fans from the 2007 event, it will be demonstrated how our land and our circuit are the perfect match between passion and emotion, and which will show the positive aspects of a public-private partnership in the strategic development of our community and the whole country."
The new grand prix will see a long-term economic investment from all three public and private parties involved in the project. Public investment will contribute to the acquisition of the event and to its promotion, whilst the private sector will supply the funds to perform the necessary track improvements and to sustain the massive organisational challenge such an event requires.
"It is a very important day for the Republic of San Marino, because today sees the culmination to a process which began four years ago with the first meetings between the Secretary of State for Tourism and Sport and Dorna," revealed minister for tourism and sport Andreoli. "We are delighted to be joined by two partners, the Province of Rimini and the Autodromo Santamonica, with whom a strong bond and constructive spirit has been formed, crucial to reaching our objective. The challenge begins now however, and that means working closely together to promote the event and at the same time offering a place which we call "The Land of Motorsport". For the Republic of San Marino it's a privilege to join the exclusive circle of countries who boast the three most important motorsports events: Formula 1, MotoGP and Superbike."
"Today is really a very important day. The MotoGP World Championship, along with Formula 1 is the biggest event in world motorsport," added Gnassi, Tourism and Sport delegate for the Province of Rimini. "The Riviera will be in view for the whole world to see. Our objective is to transform this enormous international event into a virtual tourist product linked to the passion of the motorcycling world. Alongside San Marino and the Autodromo Santamonica we have work hard to achieve this objective. Now we have to push hard to promote it and to commercialize it along with many other parties in the territory. Our area, with the sea, the hills and its natural vocation as the land of motorcyclists, is the perfect scenery for an event which will make the Riviera di Rimini one of the main protagonists."