The 2021 Moto GP season is set to begin with back-to-back races in Qatar followed by the Portuguese Grand Prix in April as part of COVID-19-enforced changes to the calendar. For those unaware, MotoGP issued a 20-race calendar for 2021 late last year, though delays and postponements were expected as the COVID-19’s effects started to begin worsening.
Earlier this month the GP announced it had to cancel the Sepang pre-season test set for February after a state of emergency was declared in Malaysia due to the virus.
A meeting between teams and MotoGP was held last week, with changes of the dates being discussed by the teams. One such proposal was to bring the Qatar GP forward to the 21 March date to bring it closer to the end of pre-season testing. However, MotoGP has announced the season will get underway as planned on 28 March with the Qatar GP, followed by the Doha GP.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the US and Argentine GPs have been postponed from their April slots to the last quarter of the year, but currently have no new dates. No other date changes have been announced at this time, though the vacant TBD slot in August vacated by the cancelled Czech GP no longer appears on the calendar and Russia’s Igora Drive is not listed as a reserved circuit anymore.
A statement from MotoGP was as follows: “The FIM, IRTA (teams’ association) and Dorna Sports can now reveal an updated calendar for the 2021 FIM MotoGP World Championship as the beginning of another exciting season of racing appear on the horizon, with testing action set to get underway in just over a month.
“The season-opening Grand Prix in Qatar remains confirmed for the 26 to 28 March and it will now be followed by a second event, the Grand Prix of Doha, at the same Losail International Circuit the following weekend, from the 2 to 4 April.
“The Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portugal will then host the third round of the Championship from the 16 to 18 April before the paddock heads to the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto as previously planned.
“The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and resulting lockdowns and complications sadly oblige the postponement of both the Argentina GP and the Americas GP until the last quarter of 2021. “Any further updates or changes will be provided as soon as available.”
|16 May||Le Mans|
|15 August||Red Bull Ring|
|24 October||Phillip Island|
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