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David Miller: Has MotoGP reached its European limit?

MotoGP will not expand in Europe any further, it would appear, after the series’ mandarins rejected an offer by the Portimao circuit to stand-in if the new Finland circuit is not ready in time for its 2019 debut

Kymiring is scheduled to join the calendar the year after next and the speculative offer from the Autodromo Algarve got a knock back as it’s in mainland Europe and very close to Spain which already has four races at Jerez, Barcelona, Aragon and Valencia.

Never mind the fact that Portugal has a huge and rising star in Miguel Oliveira, the track is a proper rollercoaster not designed by the Tilke Homogenised Circuit Company and the facilities are at least as good as any current European venue.


The difficulty, it is suspected, is with the massive sanctioning fee - upwards of €5M – that Portimao would have to find in order to stage the race. And that problem lies with many other places in Europe wanting a slice of Ezpeleta’s action.

F1 is set to expand to 24 races in coming years and, while Dorna have said MotoGP will not follow suit, you would expect that statement to be conveniently skipped should a nation with volume motorcycle sales - something not currently being experienced in Europe - express an interest.

It won’t be long before Shanghai is added to the roster, South Korea has a perfectly good circuit, as does Bahrain (although some of the walls are a little too close for comfort) and Mexico City isn’t too bad either, with some work.

The upside of all this is more races to watch, the downside is they will be in the middle of the night. But that could also be regarded as an upside too, plus flyaway venues make for excellent holiday destinations. Well, most of them…

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