MotoGP race in Finland in 2019 – if track owners find the money

The KymiRing racetrack in Iiti will host a Finnish MotoGP race in 2019, it was announced on Wednesday. The contract with MotoGP promoters guarantees a Finnish race every year until 2024 - as long as the owners of the half-built track find the funding and finish construction in time.

KymiRing racetrack under construction in June 2017. File photo. Image: Pasi Tapanainen / Yle

MotoGP is set to return to Finland after a 37-year gap after the owners of the KymiRing project signed a deal with the promoters of the premier world motorcycle racing event.

The deal is for KymiRing to host the first event in 2019, with the contract running for five years. The last time the global motorcycle racing elite raced in Finland was in Imatra in 1982.

It was announced in conjunction with a visit to the site of the KymiRing track, which remains a construction site two years ahead of the planned first MotoGP race. The project still has gaps in its funding, despite hefty government funding.

The total project cost is estimated at 25 million euros. The government has promised a total of 11.5 million euros, with some 2.4 million euros already paid.The rest of the state funding is contingent on the total costs being covered by other investors.

In addition, the municipality of Kouvola has provided a two million euro loan, but organisers still need private financing.

“You sometimes need a little bit of luck along the way,” said Kari O. Sohlberg, chair of the KymiRing board. “We have had a bit of bad luck. For example this loan from Kouvola council is still subject to an appeals process.”

Sohlberg told Yle that KymiRing is pursuing private financing via several avenues, but he does not want to reveal them just yet in case they fall through.

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