Saudi Sports Minister: We seek to host the MotoGP World Championships
He said that Formula 1 ticket sales are very high
Wednesday – 20 Sha’ban 1443 AH – 23 March 2022 AD Issue No. [
Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal (Middle East)
Riyadh: «Middle East»
Saudi Sports Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal said yesterday (Tuesday) that the kingdom wants to add a MotoGP World Championship race to the list of prominent motorsport events it already hosts.
In response to journalists’ questions on the sidelines of the Saudi Grand Prix “Formula 1” scheduled in Jeddah next week, the Minister of Sports said that the Kingdom has already become a stronghold of motorsports in the region through the Formula E World Championship for electric cars, the Dakar Rally and other events.
“We are now hosting three FIA World Championships and we are looking forward to the future… There is an ambition to expand and develop the motorsports we host, and one of them is the thought of hosting a MotoGP Tour at the appropriate time,” he added.
He continued, “I know it will require a different type of racetrack than Jeddah to fit the special specifications of the motorcycles, but with the new entertainment city currently under construction in Qiddiya, this is something that will be considered for the future.”
The MotoGP World Championship has been held in Qatar since 2004 and the Night Grand Prix is the only Middle Eastern Tour on the schedule.
Saudi Arabia debuted in Formula 1 last December as part of a long-term agreement for 15 years.
The race is expected to eventually move to Qiddiya, about an hour’s drive from the capital, Riyadh, once a permanent circuit is established there.
The Saudi sports minister said ticket sales for this year’s race were strong, with much greater demand from international fans.
“Like many promoters, we have seen the huge impact of Max Verstappen,” he said. There is a lot of interest from Dutch fans who want to buy tickets and support their champion in every race around the world.”
Verstappen, a Red Bull driver, won the title last year after a fierce battle with Mercedes driver and seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton.
Verstappen qualified for second place in the opening race of the new season in Bahrain last Sunday and competed for the lead. He was second when his car had technical problems and he withdrew from the race.