MotoGP could be making its way back to Brazil in the near future, a press release from the sport has hinted. The news comes ahead of the Catalan GP as MotoGP promoters Dorna and Rio Motorsports have signed a preliminary agreement to add the South American round to the MotoGP calendar. The details of the agreement are under wraps though but both the parties have shown keen interest in tapping the potential that the South American fan base has to offer. If the deal falls through, Brazil could be a part of the sport as early as the 2021 season and will be held in the capital city of Rio de Janeiro.
A major aspect of the agreement though will depend on the new race track that is under construction near Rio de Janeiro. The track once passes homologation, could be potentially added to the MotoGP calendar.
In as statement, Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports said, "We would be thrilled to see MotoGP return to Brazil and this memorandum of understanding is fantastic news for the Championship and South American fans. We have a truly global sport, paddock and grid and to add another country to our calendar - especially one such as Brazil - is always something to aspire to. It would be a pleasure for MotoGP to race in a country and continent known for its passion and incredible atmosphere."
Commenting on the agreement, Rio Motorsports COO, JR Pereira said, "People from Rio have always received MotoGP events with great enthusiasm. We are pleased with Dorna's serious interest in going back to Brazil and their trust in promoting the race at the racetrack we hope will be built in the city. Rio de Janeiro has a vocation to receive major motorsports events, with the same level of expertise shown with major sport and cultural events held in the city.
If the deal falls through, MotoGP will return to Brazil after a gap of almost 17 years in 2021. The previous races were held at the Jacarepagua race track between 1995 and 2004, but the track was dismantled to become an Olympic Park for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. The inclusion of a new track also falls in line with Dorna's expansion plans by adding more venues to the calendar in the coming seasons.
For manufacturers too, the South American market, much like India is a highly lucrative two-wheeler market that has lots of potential and versatility. Brazil is the leading two-wheeler market in the region. Bringing MotoGP to South America only makes for better capitalising on the potential audience there.
It's still early stages for the Brazil GP but we do expect to hear more about it in the coming months. The construction of the new track does seal the deal to nearly an extent, given no one would spend a fortune over building a track if there aren't any races planned. However, there have been instances like the Circuit of Wales that remind us to be cautious of what we here. That said, the Brazil GP will be something to watch out for. Meanwhile, MotoGP has already announced it will be adding Finland to the 2019 MotoGP calendar.