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Hungary plans to host MotoGP races from 2022

Minister of Innovation and Technology László Palkovics announced plans to host MotoGP races in Hungary from 2022, with governing party Fidesz Vice President Lajos Kósa hinting at the construction of a new circuit in Eastern Hungary, according to multiple local media reports.

MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi doing a wheelie. (Image: Hafiz Johari / Shutterstock.com)

The project was announced at a press conference held by Kósa, Palkovics, and 2007 Grand Prix motorcycle racing 125cc world champion Gábor Talmácsi, news portal Haon.hu reports.

"Negotiations have been in progress since last year, and we managed to achieve a breakthrough a few months ago," said Palkovics, adding that a memorandum of understanding has been signed with the company that owns MotoGPʼs commercial rights.

The minister noted that the government is set to decide next February whether they support bringing MotoGP to Hungary. The organization of a race will be presented as a part of a comprehensive motorsport strategy discussed by the government.

Debrecen tipped as new location

Haon.hu adds that the circuit will almost certainly be constructed in Eastern Hungary, near Debrecen. 

At the press conference, Kósa said, "First we have to investigate whether we could fulfill the requirements that come with organizing such a race... It needs to take place somewhere where motorways M3 and M35 are accessible easily, as a race like this would surely attract many people from Romania, Slovakia, and even Southern Poland."

Regarding county capitals Debrecen and Nyíregyháza, Kósa noted that the two cities are only 49 km apart and that they, together with their catchment area, would be able to provide sufficient services for a MotoGP race.

Ex-racer Talmácsi added that "Even during my active racing period, I felt like it would be nice to ride in a domestic environment. Today, MotoGP is the worldʼs fourth most-viewed sport, with a constantly expanding viewership, and it would be a huge step for Hungary to join the racing locations of Grand Prix motorcycle racing."

Two races and a failed project

According to a report by 24.hu, there was already an attempt at building a MotoGP circuit in Hungary a bit more than a decade ago.

The foundation stone of the Balatonring circuit, located near Sávoly (168 km southwest of Budapest), was laid in 2008 before the construction came to a halt due to banks pulling their support of Sedesa, the development company behind the project, in the wake of a corruption scandal.

Hungary hosted two MotoGP races so far, in 1990 and 1992. Both of them took place at Hungaroring, which is also known for hosting Formula 1 races.