It is a well known fact that Moto GP is looking for markets beyond Spain and Italy. It is of extreme importance of the survival of the sport in the tough economic conditions the traditional market is in since years now. Moreover, the dominance of Spain both in terms of riders and in terms of number of races in a year in Moto GP has been a point of discussion whenever the future of the sports has been in the news.
Now, as reported on motomatters.com, Moto GP looks all set to head to Austria from 2016. Red Bull co-founder Dieter Mateschitz and Dorna reached an agreement to host an Austrian round of the series at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg. The agreement is merely preliminary, and subject to the track gaining FIM homologating the track and granting it a license to stage a Moto GP race.
The Red Bull Ring – previously known as the A1 Ring, before being bought by Mateschitz – has been upgraded and this year hosted both a round of Formula 1 and a round of the Red Bull Air Race. It was also the scene of the last Austrian Grand Prix, held back in 1997. The race was dropped after that year due to poor spectator attendance.
Now, with increased visibility of the series, and especially increased involvement by Red Bull in Moto GP, stepping up sponsorship, the prospect is more attractive for both the organizers and Dorna. The inclusion of Austria from 2016 makes it almost certain that at least one Spanish round, and possibly Misano, could be dropped from the Moto GP schedule. Thailand looks a firm favourite to also host a round of Moto GP in 2016, and talks are continuing with Chile as well.