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Hungary will get Moto GP circuit by 2009

Starting in September 2009, Hungary will become the second Eastern European country after the Czech Republic to host a motorcycling Grand Prix.

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Hungary plans to build a motorcycling circuit that will host MotoGP competitions from 2009 onwards, National Development and Economy Minister Gordon Bajnai announced Wednesday in Budapest.

"Hungary is going to host a Grand Prix event of the MotoGP championship at the Balatonring for at least five years, starting in September 2009," Bajnai said.

The racetrack, located near Savoly, 180 kilometres from Budapest near the Lake Balaton holiday area, will be built by Spanish investment group Sedesa at a cost of 80 million euros (126 million dollars) and will create work for 800 people, he added.

Planned for an audience of 110,000 to 140,000 people, the 4,650-metre (2.8-mile) long Balatonring will begin construction in September and host the first GP run in September 2009.

Bajnai said the government would help finance the project but refused to disclose the exact amount of money it would contribute.

Motorsport has become increasingly popular in Hungary, with home talent Gabor Talmacsi winning the 2007 MotoGP 125cc world championship.

Talmacsi, who was present at Wednesday's press conference also said he had helped planned the track.

The circuit will be operated by Balatonring Zrt, 30 percent of which is controlled by the Hungarian Tourism board and the remaining 70 percent by Spain's Worldwide Circuit Management S.L. (WCM), MotoGP officials said.

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