MotoGP boss backs Ebbw Vale's Circuit of Wales
THE head of MotoGP is backing plans to bring a world-class racing complex to Ebbw Vale.
Carmelo Ezpeleta says he is excited about the proposed £250 million plans to build the UK’s first custom-built motor sport track in Rassau and hopes to bring a MotoGP Grand Prix to the site in 2015 if planners pass the scheme.
Such events attract around 70,000 people and typically boost the local economy by around £2.5 million per event, he said.
The Dorna Sport chief executive said the development, which would bring around 9,000 jobs would help regenerate the area as well as introduce motor sport to a young audience through the planned young riders academy.
He said: "It’s fantastic. I think this is a very, very important programme for MotoGP and for motorsport in general. It is good for the area and good for the people and the people behind it will have our help and whatever they need for the programme. We have been working with them and we will continue with that. We are more than happy with this programme."
Elite Superbike riders Chaz Davies and Leon Haslam have been using the experience they have gleaned racing all over the world to help architects develop the track to make it exciting for riders and fans.
Mr Davies, of Powys, said the facility would rival the likes of Silverstone and Donington Park Circuit, because it will be purpose built to the very best specifications, rather than being created from something which already exists.
Mr Haslam believes it will allow riders like himself, who normally train abroad a chance to train in the UK, and would help encourage a new generation to take up the sport.
Plans include a 3.5 mile main racetrack, an international kart track, an indoor dirt track, which could also be used for other sports like horse trials, as well as motorcross tracks.
The scheme also includes a technology park to develop equipment, a race academy for young elite riders and hotels.
Chris Herring of the Heads of the Valleys Development Company behind the plans said the project would make a lasting impact on Ebbw Vale and the surrounding South Wales area and said 90 per cent of the feedback they had received was positive.
A planning application is expected imminently.