As the MotoGP craze sweeps the globe, China is next in line to play host to a championship leg after motorsport officials signed a seven-year race agreement on Monday.

As the MotoGP craze sweeps the globe, China is next in line to play host to a championship leg after motorsport officials signed a seven-year race agreement on Monday.

An official signing ceremony was held on Monday between the MotoGP commercial and television rights holder, Dorna Sports, and the Shanghai International Circuit. The deal will run from 2005 to 2011.

The agreement also confirmed next season's visit to the Shanghai circuit for the sport's first Chinese Grand Prix, which will take place on May 1.

"This joint venture between ourselves and the Shanghai International Circuit is crucial to the expansion of our sport, and shows just how far MotoGP has come in recent years, as it progresses into the most populated country on the planet," said Carmelo Ezpeleta, chief executive of Dorna Sports.

"The SIC is an outstanding facility, with all the necessary amenities expected from a twenty-first century circuit, and with the capacity to welcome around 250 000 spectators, we are sure to see some incredible racing here over the next few years," Ezpeleta added.

China is fast being targeted as a venue for international motorsport events after Shanghai hosted its first F1 grand prix in September this year.