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Sepang circuit not closing shop after 2018: Razlan

KUALA LUMPUR: The Sepang International Circuit (SIC) will not be closing shop although it would no longer host Formula One races after 2018.

Its chief executive officer Datuk Razlan Razali said the government’s decision not to renew the contract with Formula One Management (FOM) would not effect the usage of the circuit as there were enormous responses to organise various events, including non-motorsports activities.

“There is no such thing as closing shop if F1 is not organised after 2018 as almost 90 per cent of our track is being used for various activities every year.

“The Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix will be our main event after 2018 as the event itself has managed to lure a large turnout every year but we are always looking for room to improve as we have signed a contract extension (with MotoGP rights holder, Dorna Sports) until 2021,” he told Bernama, recently.

He said the ticket sales for the 2017 Malaysia MotoGP is expected to be announced in the middle of January next year.

Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz was reported as saying that the country would stop hosting the F1 race after its contract ends in 2018, due to poor financial returns.

He said the government spends RM300 million yearly for the F1 race, but the financial returns were less than the amount spent.

On another note, Razlan revealed that SIC would collaborate with Boon Siew Honda Racing Team to produce more young riders to succeed existing riders.

He said seven young riders who were selected from the Asian Talent Cup Championship would undergo an intensive training under the Boon Siew Honda Team in coming January, where only the best riders would be given a chance to compete either in the FIM CEV Repsol Motorcycle Championship or Moto3 World Championship from 2018 onwards.

“We did not have capable riders to compete in the higher class championship, next year and therefore, we must develop them from now. Hopefully, this partnership will enable us to lure a lot of good talent to compete in the higher class competition,” Razlan added.


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