Malaysia will not host MotoGP’s first hit out for 2021
The FIM, IRTA and Dorna Sports have announced the cancellation of both the Shakedown Test and the Official Sepang Test.
The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdowns and complications have obliged the cancellation of both events, which were set to take place at Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia in February.
The Qatar Test, currently set to take place at Losail International Circuit from the 10th to the 12th of March, remains confirmed but as always in this pandemic, could be subject to change.
Provisional 2021 FIM MotoGP World Championship calendar
- March 28 – Qatar, Losail (night race)
- April 11 – Argentina, Termas de Rio Hondo
- April 18 – Americas, COTA
- 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 (subject to homologation)
- August 15 – Austria, Red Bull Ring
- August 29 – Great Britain, Silverstone
- September 12 – Aragon, Motorland Aragon
- September 19 – Sam Marino, Misano
- October 3 – Japan, Motegi
- October 10 – Thailand, Chang International Circuit
- October 24 – Australia, Phillip Island
- October 31 – Malaysia, Sepang
- November 14 – Valencia, Circuit Ricardo Tormo
Carmelo Ezpelete – Dorna Sports CEO
“We try to return to normality, 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’ll start in Qatar as usual, and finish in Valencia as usual for another year. And in the middle there will be 18 Grands Prix together with the first and the last. 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.
“The most important thing for me and the message I want to give is that we will try and maintain the days with a Grand Prix on those days.
“As you know, there is no Brno on the calendar yet. We’ve been talking to them for many years and always the requirement for FIM homologation is to have some works done to the circuit, especially re-surfacing, which is compulsory since the last GP. During the Safety Commission we decided it was compulsory. Unfortunately due to the changes, the South Moravian government have not been able to confirm this necessity to resurface and do the works needed for the Grand Prix. So we decided to not put it on the calendar and wait to see if they can achieve that; if not we will put reserve Grands Prix in that period. Not exactly there, because it depends if we have Brno or not.
“The first idea is that Brno has been on the calendar a long time and it’s an important Grand Prix, but it’s also important that the safety issues, especially resurfacing, is compulsory. If we don’t have confirmation we can’t include it on the calendar. We will see exactly, but we have two reserves in Europe, Portimão and Russia, and Mandalika in Indonesia. It depends where the gap is and we’ll decide if it’s necessary or not to include the Grands Prix on the calendar.
“Franco Uncini went to Igora Drive to look at it, it’s a really fantastic venue. We are looking at the possibility for it to be on the calendar. Today we have 20 GPs on the calendar and it’s not possible, but in case any of those are not possible, we will try to allocate Igora Drive as second reserve after Portimão.
“This year we tried to compromise between the possibilities and the short time we’ve had given when the pandemic allowed us to re-start. In Europe it’s not possible to race later than we are doing. We are here in Valencia and the weather is so-so – I hope it will be even better in Portimão! Unfortunately we couldn’t travel outside Europe so we did the maximum we could, during this period from July until now. Including Qatar, we have had 15 Grands Prix and we’re very proud; everyone in Dorna, the FIM, IRTA, the teams… we are extremely happy with the result we’ve obtained working together in this difficult year.”