The 2020 calendar has been decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the original 20-round plan being dropped in favor of a 14-round calendar with a focus on Europe that started in Jerez in July.
The 2021 calendar starts later than in previous years on March 28th with a night race in Qatar, followed by a double race in Argentina and America from April 11th to 18th. The European season kicks off with the Spanish Grand Prix on May 2nd, followed by the French, Italian, Catalan, German and Dutch GPs according to the 2020 schedule.
MotoGP’s return to Finland – which should take place this year before the pandemic breaks out – is slated for July 11th, but is subject to FIM homologation of the Kymi ring.
The Finnish GP is set to end the first half of the season, although it is unclear when the races will resume after the summer break.
The beginning of August typically used for the Czech GP in Brno between the Finnish and Austrian GP on August 15th currently has no date or venue, although Brno has a deal for 2021.
Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna, stated that Brno’s current absence is due to the need to renew the route after complaints this year, but the changes in the South Moravian government have not confirmed that this work will continue.
The British GP at Silverstone will return on August 29, with the Aragon GP postponed to September 12, followed by the San Marino GP at Misano the following week.
The first of the Pacific Flyaway laps is scheduled for October 3rd at the Japanese GP, and the Thai GP the week after.
Instead of the traditional year-end triple header, the Pacific laps will be grouped into two double header laps, rounded off by the Australian and Malaysian GPs on October 24th and 31st.
The championship ends in Valencia on November 14th.
Due to the unknown nature of the virus, the schedule remains highly tentative as MotoGP is putting three race locations on its reserve list.
The Portuguese GP venue Algarve is one, while the Mandalika International Street Circuit under construction in Indonesia is another and Igora Drive in Russia is the third.
If the Czech GP does not take place, one of these three routes will be used instead – the Indonesian venue still has to be homologated by the FIM.
It appears that Igora Drive has the permission to host MotoGP, with Ezpeleta confirming that FIM security officer Franco Uncini has inspected the venue.
MotoGP has also announced preliminary pre-season testing dates, with the first three-day excursion in Sepang, Malaysia, May 19-14-16. February. The final test will take place in Qatar from March 10th to March 12th.
Preliminary MotoGP Calendar 2021:
March 28 – Qatar
April 11 – Argentina
April 18 – America
May 2 – Spain
May 16 – France
May 30 – Italy
June 6 – Catalonia
June 20 – Germany
June 27 – Netherlands
July 11 – Finland **
TBD – TBC
August 15 – Austria
August 29 – Great Britain
September 12 – Aragon
September 19 – Misano
October 3 – Japan
October 10 – Thailand
October 24 – Australia
October 31 – Malaysia
November 14th – Valencia
Portugal – Algarve International Racetracks
Indonesia – Mandalika International Street Circuit **
Russia – Igora Driver Circuit
Shakedown test: February 14-16
Sepang test: February 19-21
Qatar test: March 10-12
** subject to homologation