MotoGP hopes for 'normality' in 2021

MotoGP hopes for 'normality' in 2021

Provisional calendar includes Thailand Grand Prix in Buri Ram in October

Riders take part in the 2019 Thailand Grand Prix at the Chang International Circuit in Buri Ram in October last year. (Post File Photo)
Riders take part in the 2019 Thailand Grand Prix at the Chang International Circuit in Buri Ram in October last year. (Post File Photo)

The 2021 MotoGP season will feature 20 races, including the Thailand Grand Prix in October in Buri Ram, according to a provisional calendar, with organisers hoping for a “return to normality” after a coronavirus-hit year.

The motorcycle racing season scheduled to start, as usual, in Qatar on March 8 and finish in Valencia, Spain on Nov 14.

Most of the races scheduled in 2020 had to be cancelled as the pandemic swept the globe and severely curbed international travel. The Thailand Grand Prix, at the Chang International Circuit in Buri Ram, was originally scheduled to take place on March 22 but was postponed to Oct 4. But in August, organisers decided to scrap the race altogether.

Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of MotoGP organisers Dorna Sports, said on Friday: “We will try to return to normality (in 2021). We talked to all the promoters and made the normal calendar because it’s important to block the days and to know exactly on which days there will be the Grands Prix.

“We hope we can do it. Obviously there are many things we don’t know yet. That’s why we’ve included three reserve Grands Prix to be allocated wherever it’s possible and also taking into consideration the weather considerations of each place.”

Two of the reserve dates are in Europe — Portimao in Portugal and St Petersburg in Russia — and the third is in Mandalika in Indonesia. The provisional calendar is as follows:

  • March 28: Qatar (Losail, night course)
  • April 11: Argentina (Termas de Rio Hondo)
  • April 18: United States (Austin)
  • May 2: Spain (Jerez)
  • May 16: France (Le Mans)
  • May 30: Italy (Mugello)
  • June 6: Catalunya (Barcelona)
  • June 20: Germany (Sachsenring)
  • June 27: Netherlands (Assen)
  • July 11: Finland (KymiRing)
  • Aug 15: Austria (Spielberg)
  • Aug 29: Great Britain (Silverstone)
  • Sept 12: Aragon (Alcaniz, Spain)
  • Sept 19: San Marino (Misano)
  • Oct 3: Japan (Motegi)
  • Oct 10: Thailand (Buri Ram)
  • Oct 24: Australia (Phillip Island)
  • Oct 31: Malaysia (Sepang)
  • Nov 14: Valencia (Ricardo Tormo circuit, Spain)

The date and location of one event has yet to be announced, but it is likely to be held between July 11 and Aug 15.

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