“The announcement of the MotoGP race is the culmination of 12 years of work, which allows us to reap the rewards of everything we have done. We have been through a series of difficulties, with good and bad times, but today we are happy,” said Parkalgar CEO, Paulo Pinheiro, at a press conference.
The last race of the MotoGP world championship will take place at the AIA between 20 and 22 November, Dorna, promoter of the event, announced that the Portuguese circuit would be part of the official calendar.
The news comes after the Portuguese Grand Prix of Formula 1, from 23 to 25 October, had been officially confirmed only weeks ago.
Paulo Pinheiro promised to work “hard” to ensure that the vote of confidence given by Liberty (Formula 1) and Dorna, can be renewed next year.
“Our entire team – which also includes Turismo de Portugal, Turismo do Algarve, local councils and other entities - will have to put on a great race so that it is impossible to say no to Portimão. Our goal is to have F1 and MotoGP. And normally, when we want something, we get it”, he added.
In a normal situation, not seen this year due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, a Formula 1 race costs at least $40 million and a Moto GP race costs at least $10 million. Paulo Pinheiro acknowledged that these are high values, but recalled that the Algarve race track and the country have positive attributes that could allow negotiations “concerning conditions that other countries don’t have”, namely the quality of the track as recognised by the riders, the climate, the response to Covid-19 and the “institutional strength” of Portuguese leaders in international federations.
“All of this gives us a weight that other countries do not have. We have been doing our homework and, as a consequence, we are now finally reaping the rewards. We have to respond to the challenge with a good organisational level, to grasp it with both hands and work, work, work”, he added.
For the Mayor of Portimão, the combination of Formula 1 and Moto GP races is the “perfect storm”.
“This is a perfect storm, we have all the elements here and this has only been achieved with a lot of work”, said Isilda Gomes.
The president of the International Motorcycling Federation, Jorge Viegas, stressed that, for 2021, the MotoGP race is not, for now, included in the calendar.