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MotoGP commits to long-term extension with calendar mainstay Assen

Assen in the Netherlands will continue to host a MotoGP race for the next 10 years after local organiser St Circuit Drenthe reached a fresh agreement with Dorna Sports, the motorcycling championship’s commercial rights holder.

The city’s TT Circuit Assen racetrack will stage a round of the series each year until at least 2026 as part of the extended agreement. Assen is the only circuit to have hosted a MotoGP race each year since the series’ inception in 1949.

St Circuit Drenthe has plans to significantly upgrade the track in the coming years, which Dorna took into account when negotiating the extension.

“As you know, normally we renew for five years but in this case due to the investments the circuit is ready to make to improve, they need the consistency and we’ve made the (exception),” Carmelo Ezpeleta, chief executive of Dorna, said. “We’re extremely happy to do this; it’s an important announcement.”

Arjan Bos, president of the board at St Circuit Drenthe, added: “To us it’s important to have a longer duration in the contract, until 2026 is a long period but we want to invest in the next five, six, seven years almost €16m ($17.6m). We want to upgrade our stands, hospitality and safety."

Assen staged its 2016 race yesterday (Sunday) with Australia’s Jack Miller, of the Marc VDS Racing Team, securing his first-ever MotoGP victory.