MotoGP is heading to Saudi Arabia, the race series’ second destination in the Middle East. The agreement was signed earlier on September 5, 2022. Dorna announced on Monday that they have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Saudi Motorsport Company (SMC) to hold a race in the Middle-Eastern country, another race in the region after Qatar.
MotoGP has been going to the Middle East to race since 2004, in Qatar. The MOU will mark the second location in the region that hosts a Grand Prix race. It’s no secret that the country is capable of building a world-class circuit and hosting world-class events since MotoGP isn’t the first top-tier league to be held in the country. Formula 1, Formula E, Dakar, and Extreme E already have events scheduled under the country’s motorsports program.
A newly-built multi-purpose circuit has yet to be approved by the International Motorcycling Federation and the International Automobile Federation. The Grand Prix still has no definite date as well.
Also part of the agreement is a motorsports development program for young Saudi riders which is in keeping with the Road to MotoGP framework.
HRH Prince Khalid Bin Sultan Al Abdullah Al-Faisal: "We are excited to confirm the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with DORNA today which clearly outlines our shared goal of bringing MotoGP™ to Saudi Arabia. It makes perfect sense to add the world’s greatest motorcycle racing series to our growing list of world-class racing events. We look forward to working with DORNA to deliver on our shared commitment to bring the pinnacle of two-wheeled racing to Saudi Arabia and to continue to provide more opportunities and initiatives to enrich the lives of all our residents."
Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports: "As the leading global championship for two-wheel circuit racing, we are thrilled at this opportunity for MotoGP™ to expand its reach within the Middle East by adding an annual Grand Prix in Saudi Arabia. The region is a key market for motorsport and the demand in the Kingdom for events of this kind is growing with research showing that 80% of Saudi fans wanting to see more in their country. In the past few years, Saudi Arabia has shown its ability to stage major global motorsports events to the highest standards. The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding codifies our shared intention to explore this opportunity further. We are confident that we will find an exciting and welcoming new home in the Kingdom and we look forward to further collaboration with the Saudi Motorsport Company to deliver on this joint ambition together."