After an agonizing Spring of rescheduled and canceled rounds, the 2020 MotoGP calendar has gotten a reboot. The 2020 MotoGP World Championship Series has 13 confirmed dates in Europe, with the possibility of adding as many as four flyaway rounds at the end of the calendar.
Doubleheaders rule the 13 European rounds. There will be racing on consecutive weekends at Circuito de Jerez in July, Red Bull Ring – Spielberg in August, Misano World Circuit in September, Motorland Aragon in October, and Valencia in November. Single rounds will be held in Brun in August, Barcelona-Catalunya in September, and Le Mans in October.
Should the flyaway rounds happen, they will be solo races at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Termas de Rio Hondo in Argentina, Chang International Circuit in Thailand, and Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia. The final date to confirm the flyaway races is July 31, and the last possible day of racing will be December 13.
Don’t book your travel plans yet, however. It is unclear which venues will run without fans, and which tracks will allow spectators.
“It has been hard work from our side and from the side of the promoters, finally we obtained these possibilities,” Dorna Sports CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta said. “Once we had the protocol approved, then we are able to propose this calendar. In principle, we have some circuits where we will repeat races one week after another because this is easy for movement and to maintain the protocol, although there are others where we will have just one race.”
“We thought when we ran into the problem of the pandemic, we realized we can do 13 races,” Ezpeleta explained, “and then if it’s possible to go outside Europe, it will be interesting. All the races outside of Europe are pending, and we don’t know exactly. If there are no races outside Europe, then the championship will finish like every year in Valencia. If not, it depends which races are able to do it, but Malaysia is one possibility. We need to wait because, as we’ve commented before, to do the races outside Europe, it’s necessary to do it with spectators. We are waiting to see the development of health measures in other countries, in the States, Argentina, Malaysia, and Thailand, and then we will see what is possible to include in the calendar.”
The teams and riders have begun to weigh in on the new schedule.
“I think everyone is feeling a great emotion after seeing the updated 2020 calendar,” Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP’s Valentino Rossi said. “It’s a bit of a relief for all in the team and also for the fans. The lockdown was a serious and strange situation, but it worked, and I think that in the end, it makes us all appreciate the racing even more. I missed riding my M1 a lot. It will be interesting to see where we stand because it’s been a while since the last test. For sure, we will try the maximum to be there at the front again and give the fans a reason to tune in and cheer us on.”
“We are delighted with the work we have done in recent weeks with the other manufacturers involved in the championship, together with FIM, Dorna Sports, and IRTA to find solutions that would allow us to return to racing in such a complicated situation,” Ducati Corse General Manager Luigi Dall’ Igna said. “Despite the many difficulties and restrictions that we will have to accept, I think it is very positive news to finally have a calendar that still allows us to race in 2020, albeit in reduced form. During these months of lockdown, we have done all that it was possible to be ready for the start of the championship. The calendar is hectic. It will require a great effort from everyone–not only from the riders but also from all our engineers and mechanics.”
“The announcement of the new official calendar allows us to prepare for the return to action with a precise date in mind,” Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso said. “I trained a lot during this period, but it was not easy to do so without knowing if and when we could start racing again. It will be a challenging season; everyone will have to manage a new situation. It has never happened before to have two races on following weekends at the same track, and we will have to be prepared for this aspect not only physically but also mentally. Besides, having so many races in a short time leaves no room for mistakes, and therefore it will be crucial to know how to handle well the situation. I can’t wait to get back in the saddle of my Desmosedici GP, meet the team again, and finally get back into action.”
There will be a strict health protocol set to start the season, though Ezpeleta acknowledges that it is a fluid situation. “If the situation improves later, there could be some changes,” Ezpeleta allowed, “but always in agreement with the authorities. But today, it’s the protocol we have presented to everyone, from the teams to the FIM, it’s the protocol we will use from the beginning of the Championship.”
“We have been preparing for the start of the 2020 MotoGP season for weeks now at the Yamaha Motor Racing headquarters,” Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team Director Massimo Meregalli revealed, “so we are ready to go, following all the required new health and safety regulations. We’ll have a smaller crew and will be working with the mandatory personal protective equipment, including face masks and face shields. The races will also be strange without the fans present at the track. We will certainly miss them, but I think we can all agree that it’s great that we will finally be able to watch the riders in action again!
The Enel MotoE World Cup has not been forgotten. There will be two rounds in Jerez, two in Misano, and one in Le Mans. Misano 2 and Le Mans will be two-race weekends.
2020 MotoGP Schedule
❯ March 8: Qatar GP, Losail International Circuit, Qatar (Moto2 and Moto3 only)
- July 19: Spanish GP, Circuito de Jerez – Ángel Nieto, Spain
- July 26: Andalusia GP, Circuito de Jerez – Ángel Nieto, Spain
- August 9: Czech GP, Automotodrom Brno, Czech Republic
- August 16: Austrian GP, Red Bull Ring – Spielberg, Austria
- August 23: Styria GP, Red Bull Ring – Spielberg, Austria
- September 13: San Marino GP, Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, San Marino
- September 20: Emilia Romagna GP, Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, San Marino
- September 27: Catalunya GP, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain
- October 11: Le Mans GP, Circuit de la Sarthe, France
- October 18: Aragón GP, MotorLand Aragón, Spain
- October 25: Teruel GP, MotorLand Aragón, Spain
- November 8: European GP, Circuit Ricardo Tormo, Spain
- November 15: Comunitat Valencian GP, Circuit Ricardo Tormo, Spain
Race Dates To Be Determined by July 31
- GP of the Americas, Circuit of the Americas, United States
- Argentina GP, Termas de Rio Hondo, Argentina
- Thai GP, Chang International Circuit, Thailand
- Malaysian GP, Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia