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Austin Track Adds MotoGP

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Thursday, October 4 2012

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer

MotoGP, the world’s premier motorcycle racing world championship, will join the roster of events competing at Circuit of The Americas via a three-day schedule booked for April 19-21, 2013.

With the addition of MotoGP, the new circuit in Austin, Texas, will be the first North American venue to host both two-and four-wheeled world championship events in one year’s time. COTA will stage the inaugural Formula One United States Grand Prix on its 3.4-mile road-course on Nov. 16-18.

COTA management also announced it has secured a formal, multi-year agreement with the V8 Supercars Championship that will see the Australian-based touring car series make its North American debut at the Central Texas venue May 17-19, 2013.

Tickets for the MotoGP and V8 Supercars events at COTA will go on sale Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012. MotoGP tickets are priced from $133 to $199. Three-day V8 Supercars series general admission tickets are priced at $69, with three-day reserved seats ranging from $83 to $275. All tickets will be available for purchase through Ticketmaster. Patrons with Circuit of The Americas Personal Seat Licenses will receive price discounts on their MotoGP and V8 Supercars ticket purchases. For more information on tickets and pricing, visit www.circuitoftheamericas.com/tickets.

The pinnacle of all motorcycle world championships, MotoGP consists of 18 races in 13 countries on four continents carried by global television coverage. Nine nationalities of the world’s most skilled riders _ including Texans Colin Edwards and Ben Spies and 2006 MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden _ compete on cutting-edge, prototype motorcycles. The list of manufacturers includes Ducati, Yamaha and Honda, as well as new CRT regulation machines from FTR, Suter and Aprilia.

The series typically features three races, including Moto2 and Moto3 competitions, during each event for various classes of bikes based upon engine size.

“We are excited to be working with Circuit of The Americas to expand our programming in the United States and bring our series to an exceptional new grand prix facility in Texas,” said Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO for Dorna Sports, commercial rights-holder for MotoGP. “We see tremendous opportunities to market MotoGP and grow its fan base through this agreement and know Circuit of The Americas is the right promoter to help us achieve that goal.”

Established as a world championship by the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) in 1949, MotoGP is in its 63rd year. MotoGP has been administrated by commercial rights-holder Dorna Sports under supervision of the governing FIM since 1992. MotoGP’s history features grand prix events contested in every corner of the world. Italy, Japan, Great Britain, Spain, the United States and Australia are just some of the nations that have produced numerous race victories and world titles. Information about MotoGP can be accessed online at www.motogp.com.

MotoGP’s reach currently extends to more than 200 countries and territories receiving live or same-day delayed broadcasts of its events, with coverage delivered to more than 337 million households.

“MotoGP has a worldwide fan base with more than two million followers watching races in-person each year,” said Steve Sexton, COTA president. “We’re confident it will be a great addition to our programming and draw tens of thousands of people to Central Texas, creating yet another major event with significant economic impact for our region. We want to extend our thanks to the Austin Sports Commission for its help in securing yet another first-class event for our city and for helping us become the first U.S. racing venue to host two world championship motorsport events.”

Hayden said he is eager to try out COTA’s new circuit. “It’s great for riders and fans to have another MotoGP event in the United States, and Circuit of The Americas will give us a chance to expose more of our home-grown fan base to MotoGP in an up-close-and-personal way,” said Hayden, a resident of Kentucky who rides for the Ducati Factory Team. “I love competing at new, fresh tracks and am really looking forward to racing at the Austin circuit.”

Conroe resident Colin Edwards, who races for the NGM Mobile Forward Racing team and their CRT project, is looking forward to competing on a circuit just two hours from his home near Houston.

“Adding a race to the U.S. schedule makes a statement that MotoGP is working to expand its influence on American soil,” said Edwards, a former World Superbike Champion. “The best way to grow our sport is to add races, and with events on the East and West Coast _ and now one in Middle America _ it’s the perfect opportunity for more fans to see us in action. Plus, my family is really looking forward to jumping in a pickup truck and driving up to Austin to see me compete.”

The V8 Supercars Championship consists of 15 events contested across Australia, New Zealand and Abu Dhabi, with the United States joining the schedule in 2013. In 2011 the series was granted “international status” by the world governing Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), enabling V8 Supercars to race at up to six international destinations each year.

Series cars are based on modified versions of Australia’s two most popular passenger vehicles, the Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore from General Motors. Automakers Nissan and Mercedes also have announced plans to provide vehicles for the series in 2013. Race formats include sprint and middle-distance endurance races with length often depending upon the venue.

“V8 Supercars brings to us an extremely exciting series that’s a great addition to our motorsport lineup,” Sexton said. “The series features competition from a wonderfully colorful collection of teams and drivers, who enhance their on-track action with great personalities and storylines.”

David Malone, V8 Supercars CEO, said COTA will offer teams “one of the most challenging road-courses ever designed. We’re delighted to showcase Australia’s premier motorsport category at a first-class venue and in a national marketplace with a healthy appetite for top-notch auto racing and family friendly entertainment.”

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Thursday, October 4 2012
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