MOTOGP: Austin Future Cloudy
The expected cancellation of the Formula 1 event at the Circuit of the Americas will likely have a domino effect on the track's ability to host MotoGP as well.
Over the past day cascading layers of information have painted an increasingly bleak picture of the future of the 2012 Formula 1 USGP scheduled to take place at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
The latest news coming out of the situation has F1 supreme Bernie Ecclestone admitting that the race is on the verge of being officially cancelled as construction has halted at the facility, Tavo Hellmund's Full Throttle Productions no longer holds a contract to run the race (and at the moment, no one does), and the vital $25 million cash injection from the Texas Major Events Trust Fund is no longer guaranteed.
While the spotlight is on the F1 race, the 10-year contract for the MotoGP World Championship slated to kick off in 2013 must also be considered in dire jeopardy as Circuit of the Americas officials have confirmed that the track's construction will not resume without a Formula 1 race contract in place.
The loss of the race would be a bitter disappointment to the two-wheeled series that is looking to expand its American presence. The location was considered ideal as Texas has strong ties to the sport with one of its most popular ever champions, Kevin Schwantz (also a key figure in organizing the race), hailing from the state, not to mention current MotoGP stars Ben Spies and Colin Edwards.
That said, MotoGP is relatively well insulated should the race fall through. Following the April announcement of the addition of Austin to the schedule, it was widely speculated that the Red Bull Indianapolis GP, one of two existing American rounds along with the Red Bull USGP at Laguna Seca (which already had a deal in place to continuing hosting through 2014), would be cut to make room for Austin.
However, the Indy race was also re-upped through 2014 this past September, guaranteeing that the United States will continue to be well represented on the MotoGP calendar no matter what happens with the Circuit of the Americas.