×

We've got news for you.

Register on SowetanLIVE at no cost to receive newsletters, read exclusive articles & more.
Register now

Saudi Arabia is keen to host a future MotoGP race

Saudi Arabia wants to add MotoGP to the list of world championship motorsport events it hosts, said sports minister Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki al Faisal.
Saudi Arabia wants to add MotoGP to the list of world championship motorsport events it hosts, said sports minister Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki al Faisal.
Image: Neville Hopwood/Getty Images

Saudi Arabia wants to add MotoGP to the list of world championship motorsport events it hosts, the country's sports minister Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki al Faisal said on Tuesday.

Speaking in a Q&A ahead of this weekend's Saudi Formula One Grand Prix in Jeddah, he said the kingdom was the home of motorsport in the region with all-electric Formula E championship, Dakar Rally and Extreme E.

"We host three FIA World Championship events and are looking at more in the future," he said.

"There is an ambition to expand and develop the motorsport we host and one we are considering is MotoGP.

"I know it will require a different type of racetrack to Jeddah, one which has a special specification for bikes, but with our new motorsport and entertainment city under construction in Qiddiya, it is something that will be considered for the future."

MotoGP has raced in Qatar since 2004, and the floodlit night grand prix race is the only Middle Eastern round on the calendar.

Saudi Arabia made its Formula One debut last December as part of a 15-year deal.

It is expected to move eventually to Qiddiya, about an hour’s drive from the capital Riyadh, once a permanent circuit has been built.

The prince said ticket sales for this year's race were strong, with much greater demand from international fans.

"Like many promoters we have seen the impact of the ‘Max Factor’ and we’ve had a lot of interest from Dutch fans who want to purchase tickets and support their hero Max Verstappen wherever he races in the world," he said.

Red Bull's Verstappen won last year's title after a season-long battle with Mercedes' seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton. Verstappen retired from last Sunday's opener in Bahrain. 


Would you like to comment on this article? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

Commenting is subject to our house rules.