MXGP to new Middle East home in Kuwait?
Last weekend the MotoGP series began for the fifteenth consecutive year at the Losail International circuit in Qatar. While the MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3 bikes thundered around the asphalt the strong breeze rolled tumbleweed across the abandoned MXGP track just outside of Turn 1.
MXGP launched at Losail and the custom-made floodlit facility for five years between 2013 and 2017 and for the duration of the contract between the QMMF and Grand Prix promoters Youthstream. The event was one of the most visually spectacular on the calendar and was popular with the teams and riders but suffered from meagre attendances and an allegedly change of direction within the QMMF; new personnel decided not to renew the deal.
At the time of the 2017 season-opening press conference at Losail, Youthstream claimed they had other possibilities to stage a Grand Prix in the region and now it seems that MXGP could be close to a return to the Middle East. Track Design consultant Greg Atkins, a former Youthstream employee and creator of courses such as the well-received Neuquen in Argentina as well as the sandy layout at Assen, had been working on the motocross site within the new F1-spec Kuwait Motor Town created by Herman Tilke and at a cost of 163 million dollars. The vast complex can host a number of motorsport disciplines and was initially planned for opening this month. The motocross course is apparently finished save for installation of an irrigation system and boasts some inventive landscaping.
Kuwait Motor Town does not yet have any international contract for an FIM sanctioned event and MXGP could be the very first. “Kuwait expressed its interest to organize a MXGP in future but nothing is confirmed yet,” confirmed Youthstream VP David Luongo exclusively. “They are building a fantastic complex close to Kuwait City.”