Future Of The Portuguese Moto GP On The Algarve Could Be In Jeopardy

Image of bikes racing in the Portuguese MotoGP.

Image of bikes racing in the Portuguese MotoGP. Credit: Box Repsol/Creative Commons Attribution 2.0

Fears over the future of the Portuguese Moto GP were raised this Friday, June 23, when it was revealed that sufficient funding has not been raised.

The prestigious racing event has been staged since 2020 at Portimao’s Algarve International Racetrack but the organisers have still not secured the necessary government funding.

Jorge Viegas, the president of the International Motorcycling Federation (FIM), speaking during an interview last week on SportTV, commented: ‘There’s always a signature or a meeting that is missing’.

He warned that the clock was ticking for this massive sports event, lamenting Portugal’s infamous bureaucracy procedures. “The government has always supported MotoGP in Portugal, but at the moment it is delaying the confirmation of its support for next year. These things must be programmed with time”, he explained.

Longer-lasting agreements could be one solution

The FIM boss said he believed that signing longer-lasting agreements was one solution to help resolve the situation in the future. Such investment to secure the race annually in Portugal was well worth it, he insisted.

“I would like the Portuguese government to guarantee its support for at least three years. There are many racetracks with five- or 10-year contracts”, Viegas pointed out.

“I believe that the MotoGP is a fantastic investment. What the Algarve region and the country gain with it is much more than what is paid to the developer”, he continued. With a sport that is in such high demand, it is possible that another country with the right funds could move in and then Portugal would lose out he warned.

MotoGP brings in huge revenue for local businesses

The revenue generated by the Moto GP – as was the case with the F1 events at the same circuit – is immense for local business owners on the Algarve.

Speaking with Rádio Renascença, José Pinto, the president of ‘Associação Portimonense do Comércio’, the local business association, told them: “The importance of the MotoGP is huge, and larger than business owners may even think it is for their businesses because we notice a large difference in the number of people walking around”.

He continued: “Even if people do not buy something at my store, they will buy something at the store of my neighbour, who will have more spending power and may even be able to buy things from me more easily”.

An estimated €60 million was generated this March as a result of the Moto GP according to the Algarve International Racetrack’s CEO, Paulo Pinheiro. As a result, the hotel sector of the Algarve saw its best-ever March, he pointed out.

“There is no pending decision regarding any potential financial support”, said a statement from the Ministry of Economy and the Sea supplied to Rádio Renascença, referring to the 2024 MotoGP.

It added: “For financial support for events, there is a specific program called ‘Portugal Events,’ managed by Turismo de Portugal, to which all interested promoters who meet the respective eligibility criteria can submit their applications, subject to technical evaluation and decision”, as reported by portugalresident.com.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com