MotoGP promoter Dorna Sports has announced a preliminary agreement to bring a Hungarian Grand Prix to the calendar from 2022.
The announcement comes nine years after the country’s previous attempt to hold a MotoGP race collapsed.
The series was meant to make its first visit to Hungary since 1992 in 2010 at the proposed new Balatonring circuit in Savoly, but was forced to abandon that plan when the circuit – which was never completed – hit money problems during the financial crisis of ’08.
MotoGP ended up filling the vacant slot with a round at Aragon in Spain, which has remained a permanent fixture since.
Rumours of reviving the race at Formula 1 venue the Hungaroring – which was the site of the previous two Hungarian GPs – circulated in recent years, but ultimately came to nothing.
Now, as part of its ever-growing calendar, Dorna has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Hungarian Government to stage a race at a new circuit as long as the race promoter’s contract is signed by the end of February next year.
Laszlo Palkovics, Minister for Innovation and Technology said: “I am very happy to announce MotoGP is set to return to Hungary.
“Soon, a strategy for the development of Hungarian motorsports will be submitted to the government; this strategy will include numerous objectives and measures, and – in addition to success in the sport and its impact on tourism – it is also needed because the industry has a dominant impact on the success of the Hungarian economy.
“The key areas of intervention are the development of Hungaroring and the domestic sports infrastructure, in which a new circuit and MotoGP event will play a key role.”
No details of the new circuit have been given, only that it will “likely [be] in the east of the country”.
Hungary has had little presence on the grand prix racing grid in the last decade, while Gabor Talmacsi (pictured above) remains its only world champion thanks to his 2007 125cc title.
It is unclear how Hungary’s addition to the calendar, should it happen, would affect the schedule going forward.
Dorna has already suggested that there will be 22 races by 2022, an increase of three on the current calendar.
MotoGP is set to expand over the next few years with the return of racing in Finland (2020), Indonesia (’21) and Brazil (’22), while Portugal – last visited in 2012 – has also been rumoured as a potential destination.
The future of several events, including the Argentinian GP, remains uncertain.
The current tally of four Spanish races at Jerez, Catalunya, Aragon and Valencia expected to change in favour of an alternating Spanish GP venue to accommodate the calendar growth.
Last month Dorna revealed cuts to the amount of testing held during a season as another measure to help accomodate the added number of races.
The traditional post-race test after the season-closing Valencia GP will be dropped from next year and in 2021 there will be only one pre-season test.