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F1 owners announce £3.5bn deal for MotoGP and consider new ‘Super Grand Prix’

Formula One’s owners Liberty Media have officially acquired the commercial rights for MotoGP in a deal worth as much as £3.5billion. Negotiations have been ongoing for weeks and an announcement by president and chief executive Greg Maffei confirmed one of the biggest corporate deals in motorsport history on Monday.

Bridgepoint, a London-listed private equity group, has owned MotoGP through various funds for 18 years and received a sizable return on their investment.

“We are thrilled to expand our portfolio of leading live sports and entertainment assets with the acquisition of MotoGP,” Maffei said. “MotoGP is a global league with a loyal, enthusiastic fan base, captivating racing and a highly cash flow generative financial profile.

“Carmelo (Ezpeleta, Dorna CEO) and his management team have built a great sporting spectacle that we can expand to a wider global audience. The business has significant upside, and we intend to grow the sport for MotoGP fans, teams, commercial partners and our shareholders.”

The deal still has some EU objections to overcome concerning monopolies, but Liberty state that they have paid £3.5bn billion with the MotoGP assets being added to the existing Formula One stock on Nasdaq.

They also suggest the deal will be completed by the end of this year “subject to the receipt of clearances and approvals by competition and foreign investment law authorities in various jurisdictions.”

Both F1 and MotoGP being under the same stewardship opens up doors for shared financial synergy and crossover events. The possibility exists for a ‘Super Grand Prix’ that would incorporate both F1 and MotoGP.

Italian newspaper Corriere della Serra claim that such an option is being considered, which would see both motorsports take place on the same circuit in the same weekend.

F1 and MotoGP currently share five circuits in Qatar, Barcelona, Austria, Britain, and Austin. The future Madrid circuit is also designed for both F1 and MotoGP. However, not all tracks are designed to logistically accommodate such a large-scale number of competitors, staff, vehicles and equipment. But those that can, may stage a groundbreaking ‘Super GP’.

A spokesperson explained to GrandPrix247: “While there are several race tracks on the calendar that are shared by both F1 and MotoGP, the majority do not and will need to be adapted for both disciplines running on the same days.

“The likes of COTA, Silverstone, Red Bull Ring, Barcelona and Lusail are already on the calendar and will be plug-and-play.

“Others will need work on to cater for MotoGP and F1 on the same weekend, with the street circuits such as Monaco, Baku, Miami, Las Vegas, Montreal, and Singapore providing our project with unique challenges.”

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