The Austrian Red Bull Ring – formerly known as the A1 Ring and before that the Osterreichring – looks likely to be hosting a Moto GP event in 2016. That’ll be the first time GP bikes have been at the circuit since 1997, when Mick Doohan won on one of Honda’s fearsome 500 cc two-strokes.
The track itself was also pretty fearsome; terrifyingly fast and seriously dangerous, which is why both car and bike grand prix racing stopped using the place. The track has been seriously reconfigured twice since then, now about two-thirds the original length. It’s considered safe enough that Formula One cars and the DTM series (German touring cars) have both returned.
As you might expect from the current name, the track is now owned by energy drink company Red Bull. Company co-founder Dieter Mateschitz is of course a huge racing fan and Red Bull spends millions every year supporting all sorts of racing activities. Inspection and homologation for Moto GP have yet to be done, but should be pretty straighforward given its current situation.
Other potential new Moto GP race sites include tracks in Thailand and Chile, both also on the horizon for World Superbikes. With these additions, it seems unlikely that Spain will continue to host four Moto GP races, and perhaps Italy with two might lose one as well.