Brno councillors opt out as 2021 MotoGP host

Prague (AFP) –

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Czech city Brno decided Tuesday that it was not prepared to host the Czech MotoGP Grand Prix next year because of financial restraints.

The city, which has hosted a race since 1987 said it cannot afford needed track repairs worth an estimated 100 million Czech crowns (3.8 million euros, $4.6 million) without help from MotoGP organisers Dorna Sports and the Czech state.

It says Dorna is reluctant to cut the 9 million euro fee for hosting the race, while the Czech government will not raise its contribution at a time when its budget has been hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dorna left Brno off its provisional MotoGP calendar for 2021, published in early November.

"The councillors agreed that the MotoGP race would not take place in Brno in 2021 with respect to the circumstances and the failure to include the event in the... calendar," the Brno city hall said on its website.

Dorna and the International Motorcycling Federation had called on the city to repair the track following complaints from riders after this year's race in August.

The city also said it would host the 2022-2026 Grand Prix only if Dorna cuts the fee and the Czech government "considerably increases its financial participation in the races".