Grand prix racing returns to Portugal for the first time since 2012.
The final round of the 2020 MotoGP World Championship will head to the undulating Portimao circuit in Portugal this 20-22 November, set to make its debut on the grand prix calendar.
Featured as a reserve track since 2017, the unique ‘Autodromo Internacional do Algarve’ will welcome Portugal back on the schedule for the first time in since 2012.
“I am very proud that MotoGP will return to my country eight years after the last grand prix, which took place at the Circuito do Estoril,” stated FIM President Jorge Viegas. “I would like to warmly thank Dorna, the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve and the Motorcycling Federation of Portugal for having managed to meet the necessary conditions for the organisation of the finale of the championship to take place in Portugal.”
Autodromo Internacional do Algarve CEO Paulo Pinheiro added: “It is a great achievement for our team to finally have MotoGP at our racetrack! MotoGP is the pinnacle of two-wheeled motorsport and we are so excited to have it.
“It has been a long process with Dorna, we had an agreement in place since 2017, and finally all the hard work paid off. On top of this to have Miguel Oliveira on the MotoGP grid, being able to fight for the podium will be an amazing add on for this race, and hopefully the championship will be decided here.
“We are working to have the fans in our race, and we will start with a capacity of 30.000 fans for the race weekend and then we will decide with Dorna and the sanitary authorities the following stages. We can’t express how happy we are to have this race.”
Dorna Sports CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta said that the Portimao circuit is due to be resurfaced following last weekend’s round of the Superbike World Championship, which will add to the intrigue ahead of the 2020 title-decider in Portugal toward the end of this year.
“It’s big news for us,” Ezpeleta said. “We signed an agreement in 2017 with Portimao to be the reserve circuit for any kinds of cancellations and we’ve been in contact with them all this time. We’ve been to Portimao with Superbike and we think it’s an amazing possibility for us.
“Also in the agreement is that the track will be resurfaced after the Superbike round. When we explained this to the riders they were excited, because they’ve seen the track on TV, but we’ve never been there.
“Portugal has a long history in our sport and there have been some historic battles in Estoril. It’s something very good for us to have the possibility to go back to Portugal, especially with Miguel Oliveira participating as it’s great to have a Portuguese rider able to compete in his own country. We are extremely happy to be racing in Portimao at the end of the year.”