Hiroshi Yasukawa Appointed CEO Advisor of Dorna Sports

motogp_logoHiroshi Yasukawa has been appointed by Dorna Sports as an advisor to company CEO, Carmelo Ezpeleta. Yasukawa will bring a wealth of motorsport experience to the MotoGP rights holder and will provide his insight on the further development of the sport.

A Bridgestone stalwart with a career that has already spanned four decades in motorsport, Yasukawa has most recently been the Director of Bridgestone Motorsport, a post he held from 1997 to 2011 and one in which he oversaw the worldwide racing activities of the Japanese tyre manufacturer.

Hiroshi Yasukawa:

“It’s a great honour to continue my career in this fantastic environment thanks to Dorna. Our relationship was always great throughout the time that I was working with Bridgestone, and I think I can help the continued development of the Championship. MotoGP has great potential lying ahead, and in the coming years we’ll have to tackle new challenges and bring into existence the most appropriate changes to make the MotoGP World Championship even more thrilling and spectacular.”

Carmelo Ezpeleta:

“I’m very proud that we can now count on the experience of Hiroshi Yasukawa who has had close ties with the sport for many years. He is an important and respected man who can bring a lot to the FIM MotoGP World Championship as we continue looking for ways to improve it. We’re pleased with the fact that MotoGP will continue to benefit from his knowledge.”

[Press Release Courtesy of MotoGP]

MotoGP Heading to Texas in 2013

texas_motogpThe MotoGP will be coming to Texas in 2013, and it will keep coming back for the following ten years. Dorna Sports has just signed a ten year contract that will bring the premier motorcycle racing series to Austin, Texas, starting in 2013.

The Circuit of the Americas, a brand new circuit in Austin, Texas, will host all three categories of MotoGP racing. The MotoGP, Moto2, and the new Moto3 series will all be heading to Texas.

“We are delighted to be adding the Circuit of the Americas™ to the MotoGP calendar,” said Mr. Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports. “It’s an honor to expand our Championship to Texas, which has a rich history of producing World Championship riders.”

The 10 year deal was struck up by Dorna Sports, 3 Four Texas MGP, and Full Throttle Productions. The Circuit of the Americas track in Austin has not been completed yet, but it should be ready by the end of 2012.

“We have had a wonderful and special relationship with Kevin (Schwantz) for 20 years and often talked about a mutual dream of increasing the popularity of MotoGP in the U.S. and raising our already successful worldwide profile,” Ezpeleta continued. “Now, with what Tavo Hellmund ( the Managing Partner for Full Throttle Productions) is doing in Austin, we have realised that situation and are looking forward to this new venture together. The ten-year agreement is a sign of our confidence and commitment to the future success of MotoGP racing in Austin.”

The Circuit of the Americas track isn’t completed yet, but it already had a busy schedule. Not only will the MotoGP be racing at the Texas circuit for 10 consecutive years, but so will Formula 1 racing.

“For me this is a dream come true, that the MotoGP World Championship will be in my home state of Texas,” said Kevin Schwantz, Manager of 3 Four Texas MGP. “I am such a believer in the sport and know how popular motorcycling is in Texas. I am sure that this will be a resounding long term success.”

The final player in the deal, Mr. Hellmund of Full Throttle Productions, was also ecstatic that the MotoGP would be coming to Texas.

“We are extremely pleased to add the best motorcycle World Championship to our annual schedule,” said Hellmund. “This is a fantastic opportunity for the State of Texas and this region and I believe it is the first time in American Motorsports history that both the car and motorbike World Championships are held at the same facility annually. We are very proud of becoming the United States international facility for motorsports.

“Kevin and I have been close friends for a long time and I enjoy a great relationship with Carmelo. I respect so much what Dorna and the FIM have done for MotoGP globally. It’s going to be great for the State, the product is fantastic and you never know, we may even have a reigning Texan in Ben Spies as World Champion for our first event… that would be icing on the cake.”

The MotoGP will be heading to the states for two rounds during the 2011 season, the first time at the Mazda Raceway in Laguna Seca, and the second time at Indianapolis. The MotoGP will continue to come to the Mazda Raceway until at least 2014. The MotoGP’s contract with Indianapolis ends this year, but if Dorna is truly pushing to get American fans more involved with the MotoGP, it’s possible that we see three American races in 2013.

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

Bridgestone Signs New 3-Year Deal With MotoGP

bridgestone_tiresBridgestone, the official tire supplier of the MotoGP, has just signed a new deal with Dorna Sports that will keep it in its position for the next three years.

Bridgestone will be the official tire supplier until at least 2014, and will help the MotoGP as it transitions to a 1000cc championship series. Under the new deal, Bridgestone will continue to provide tires and technical support to each rider on the premier class grid.

“I am both proud and excited that we are able to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to MotoGP by extending our participation as Official Tyre Supplier to the premier class with a new three-year deal,” said Mikio Masunaga, Vice-President and Member of the Board, Bridgestone Corporation. “Bridgestone has a very rich heritage in the leading motorsport categories across the world, and MotoGP represents a significant part of this history.”

Bridgestone has been the official tire supplier since 2009, but has been involved in the MotoGP for much longer than that. 70 GP victories, 179 podiums, and four MotoGP championships have been won with the help of Bridgestone tires.

“I am very pleased that we can continue to work closely with Bridgestone for another three years after this season, and I would like to thank them for their continued commitment to MotoGP,” said Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports. “Bridgestone has a great track record in all forms of motorsport, in particular MotoGP, and has done a great job since they were appointed the championship’s first ever Official Tire Supplier, so we all know they are up to the task this season and over the following three years.

“Their ongoing commitment at this early point is important in allowing us to plan for the future, especially for the teams as they are already underway with their development plans for next year and the new 1000cc era, and I believe it also demonstrates the value of MotoGP as a business platform.”

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

MotoGP Gives Japan Option Not to Host MotoGP Race

motegiIn the wake of tragedy, the MotoGP has come out to state its support of Japan. The MotoGP has given the organizers of the Japan Grand Prix the opportunity to decide whether or not they will host the third round of the MotoGP season.

Japan has just been devastated by a 8.9 magnitude earthquake, followed by a massive tsunami. Japan is supposed to host the third round of the 2011 MotoGP season, but the MotoGP understands that this may not be possible.

“Japan is a very important country to this championship,” said CEO of Dorna Sports, Carmelo Ezpeleta. “We are with them during these painful moments.”

Japan is supposed to host a race on April 24th at Motegi.

“No decision will be made until it is seen how events evolve during this week,” Ezpeleta said. “We are putting the interests of Japan above what was to be the third round of the season.”

Hiroshi Aoyama is the only Japanese rider in the MotoGP championship, but many riders on the MotoGP grid ride Japanese bikes.

“I have had the opportunity to speak with those at the Motegi Circuit,” Ezpeleta continued. “Fortunately, none who work there were injured. It remains to be seen how those involved deal with this terrible event. For our part, we are there for whatever they need. MotoGP will do what Japan asks us.”

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

BMW and Dorna Extend Partnership to 2016

bmw_official_carSince 1999, BMW has been the official car of the MotoGP. BMW and Dorna Sports have just agreed on a deal that will extend this partnership until 2016. BMW presented the official cars of the 2011 season to Dorna Sports this morning at a presentation in Munich. Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta and President of BMW M Division Dr. Kay Segler were both present for the presentation.

“I’m thrilled to be able to announce this renewal between Dorna and BMW, which is a worldwide symbol of quality and performance in the same manner as MotoGP and which reinforces the status of the World Championship as a globally referenced and highly respected brand,” said Dorna CEO Ezpeleta.

“BMW’s presence is already extremely well established in MotoGP, having been a central part of the daily routine of the World Championship at each Grand Prix. The importance of BMW to MotoGP has been regularly highlighted by its role in key areas of the World Championship, and the fact that both Dorna and MotoGP can rely on BMW for the foreseeable future is of huge benefit to the safety and quality of our sport.”

BMW will provide a total of six Safety Cars, two Safety Bikes, and nine VIP Village Shuttles at all European MotoGP rounds as the official car of the MotoGP. For the overseas rounds, BMW will be sending the two main safety cars and a safety bike.

BMW’s fleet of safety cars will be led by the new BMW 1 Series M Coupe and the X6 M. BMW will also be providing a hybrid car as part of the Race Direction fleet.

BMW will also continue to give the prestigious BMW M Award. The BMW M Award is awarded to the best-performing rider in qualification in the premier class. Last year, Jorge Lorenzo took home the award, which happened to be a BMW M3 Sedan. This year, the winner will receive a BMW 1 Series Coupe.

BMW will see a lot of exposure this year in the MotoGP. Now only will they get recognition for being the official car of the MotoGP, but they will also have a large presence in the MotoGP paddock, the VIP village, at tents in public areas, and with track side advertising.

Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com