The Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, in Portimão, will host a MotoGP championship race, between the 22nd and 24th of March, it was announced today.
The MotoGP Grand Prix of Portugal will, according to the race organizers, be the second stage of the 2024 championship. This will be the fifth time that this race has been held at the Algarve race track – the AIA has been part of the line-up since 2020 – and the sixth in Portugal.
The presentation of the event was attended by Miguel Oliveira, the only Portuguese to have won a MotoGP Grand Prix of Portugal, who stated that «it is an unprecedented motivation» to be presenting a new race in Portimão «for several reasons».
«The first and most obvious is because he is the only Portuguese in the category and, until now, the only one in the championship. This fills me with pride and motivation, when I come here to the Algarve, I do my races here. This way I have extra motivation to do it», said the Portuguese driver.
«We are talking about the biggest sporting event in Portugal, the one that has the most economic impact and the most media impact and the event that allows us, throughout the year, to have all the other events that we host», illustrated Paulo Pinheiro, executive director of Parkalgar, the company that manages the race track.
In the provisional MotoGP calendar, which was already known, the trip to the Algarve was already planned, but with the exception that it still needed to be contracted.
«It was a very difficult process in terms of hiring, a great challenge ahead of us and it was only in the last 24 hours that we were able to have all the guarantees to carry out the test», revealed Paulo Pinheiro.
«We know how difficult it is to bring a test of this size. We also already know from engineer Paulo Pinheiro what it involves. That's why I want to take this opportunity to congratulate you and, obviously, thank you once again for having the opportunity to show what the best two-wheeled sport is here in the Algarve», added Miguel Oliveira.
André Gomes, president of the Algarve Tourism Region, also highlighted the importance of this event coming to the region, especially during the low tourism season.
«The Algarve also lives a lot from events and not just from the beach and summer. And, naturally, it cannot put aside an event that has almost 80 million in economic return for the region, Portimão and neighboring municipalities», he further said.
For André Gomes, «the realization of this event, as well as all other events, all other sporting events that take place here at the Autódromo and that come because of these main events, is extremely important.
Isilda Gomes, president of the Chamber of Portimão, the municipality to which the AIA belongs, also took the opportunity to highlight the importance of this event for the Algarve.
«The Tourism Region has an obligation to work to boost this event, because this event can bring more publicity to the Algarve than perhaps many millions invested in advertising», he stressed, adding also the «obligation» of the mayors to «help the territory to be better and bigger”.
The presentation was also attended by José Apolinário, president of the Algarve Regional Coordination and Development Commission, José Carlos Rolo, president of the Chamber of Albufeira, and Paulo Alves, mayor of Monchique.
Photos: Mariana Sedge | Sul Informação