Dorna, the company that promotes the MotoGP World Championship, has threatened to remove the Portuguese Grand Prix from the race calendar, if the situation of the gravel of the escape routes at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve (AIA), in Portimão, is not changed.
In an interview with the German magazine Speedweek, Spaniard Carmelo Ezpeleta said that, “unless the state of the gravel layers completely changes, there will be no MotoGP race [in the Algarve] next year”.
At issue is the size of the stones used in the gravel that fills the outlets of the Algarve circuit and which serves to reduce the speed of vehicles that leave the track or drivers that fall.
However, the size of the stones has provoked criticism from MotoGP riders since 2022, considering that they are too big and that they cause injuries to riders who fall.
“With the current situation, which has claimed many victims, Portimão will not have a place on the calendar in 2024. We have enough requests from other countries and circuits. I made that very clear to the Portuguese [organisers]”, said Ezpeleta to Speedweek.
According to the German publication, Dorna demanded that the situation be repaired before the Superbike World Championship race (September 29th to October 01st).
Carmelo Ezpeleta stated that if the “gravel traps are not repaired in accordance with the regulations”, the AIA will not receive Grade A homologation in 2024, which allows it to host MotoGP events.
“Thus, they cannot be included in the calendar”, he underlined.