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MotoGP seals latest race extension in key Spanish market

The MotoGP motorcycling championship has sealed a five-year extension to its race contract with the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, a deal that means it has tied down fresh agreements with three of its four Spanish venues in 2016.

The deal between Dorna Sports, the agency that operates and promotes MotoGP, and the Generalitat de Catalunya means the circuit will continue to host the Catalan Grand Prix until 2021.

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya has hosted a round of the MotoGP World Championship since 1992; firstly as the European Grand Prix from 1992 to 1995 and later as the Catalan Grand Prix from 1996 onwards.

Jordi Baiget, Minister of Business and Knowledge at the Generalitat de Catalunya, said: “To have renewed this contract is very significant for us, due to the economic movement and the jobs it will help to generate. The investment in the grand prix at the Circuit reinforces Montmeló as a hub of economic growth. It also establishes the area as a powerhouse for the automotive industry, something that has always been very important in the region.”

Carmelo Ezpeleta, chief executive of Dorna Sports, added: “It is an institution that has been tied to us since the beginning, in 1992, and its commitment to our sport and its dedication could not be clearer. The team that manages and drives the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and its modern facilities has long since consolidated it as one of the permanent fixtures in the MotoGP calendar which it now cannot do without.”

The Barcelona race deal comes after Dorna Sports in September sealed deals through to the end of the 2021 season with fellow Spanish venues MotorLand Aragon and Valencia’s Circuit Ricardo Tormo. Jerez also hosts an annual Spanish round on the MotoGP calendar.

The Barcelona, Aragon and Valencia agreements continue a busy year for Dorna, which has already locked down race extensions with organisers of events in Malaysia, the Czech Republic, Argentina, Australia, France, the Netherlands, Germany and Italy (San Marino).