Moscow raceway targets MotoGP standard

By IANS/RIA Novosti,

Moscow: Russia’s first international-standard racetrack will be extended and modified in a project to make the circuit suitable for hosting a MotoGP round, circuit manager Ekaterina Beltsevich said Wednesday.

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The track, which hosted its first race meeting last month, is certified B by the International Motorcyling Federation (FIM), but an upgrade to category A would allow the circuit to host MotoGP, motorbike racing’s premier category.

“We’re preparing to improve and expand our track, extend it to 5.5 kilometres, that means adding another 1.5 kilometres,” Beltsevich said.

“We have plans to get the very highest category and to build a hotel.”

Paul Duparc, the FIM coordinator of road racing, told R-Sport that he had not seen Beltsevich’s comments but that the only reason for upgrading to category A would be to host MotoGP.

“The information you gave me shows that the organisers want to host MotoGP in the near future,” he said.

The Moscow Raceway hosts its first motorbike races this weekend with the arrival of the Superbike World Championship.

Beltsevich also said that prolific Formula One track designer Hermann Tilke’s company would handle the expansion after designing the original circuit.

At the circuit’s opening last month, four-time F1 world champion Alain Prost and Russian F1 driver Vitaly Petrov said that the track lacked places to overtake.

“There are some places where it’s quite nice, but overtaking is not easy,” Prost told R-Sport after driving the track, adding that the situation was “a shame”.

Beltsevich acknowledged the criticism Thursday and promised that the expansion would
see some of the slower turns modified, but stressed that the criticism was not universal.

The track is certified 1T by the FIA, allowing it to host F1 testing but not races, which require the top-level category 1 ranking.