What You Need To Know About The 2021 MotoGP Schedule

Illustration for article titled What You Need To Know About The 2021 MotoGP Schedule
Photo: Mirco Lazzari (Getty Images)

The provisional 2021 MotoGP schedule has been released, and it’s looking good. The 20-race season has largely been sorted out, with 19 events, one left to be determined, and three reserve venues. Let’s break down what we can expect.

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A Later Start

The MotoGP season normally starts within the first two weeks of March, but 2021 will bring something different. The Grand Prix of Qatar will be coming on the 28th of March. The intention here is to provide a little wiggle room. We know that the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t really gone anywhere, so the hope is that the extra time will be more of a buffer to ensure the paddock will be safe.

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Now, if the pandemic is still raging on that far into next year, an extra week or two likely won’t matter all that much, but the sentiment is in a good place.

Finland Is In, Brno Is Out

Finland was scheduled to appear on the MotoGP calendar for the first time this season, but it was cancelled because of—you guessed it—COVID-19. The intention is to host the race in 2021.

That said, the Kymi Ring is still subject to FIM homologation, which basically means that it hasn’t been approved as safe and fit to race by The Powers That Be. Should the event be struck off the calendar, it would be replaced by one of three reserve venues.

The Finnish Grand Prix will mark the end of the first half of the season. Right now, the next race on the schedule—and its date—is undetermined. That slot usually houses the Czech Grand Prix, but drivers had a lot of complaints about Brno this year. It won’t return to the MotoGP schedule unless it’s resurfaced.

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Brno still technically has a deal for 2021, but the Grand Prix won’t go forward until the resurfacing happens. As of right now, though, there are no confirmed plans to begin that process.

We’re still a year out from that event, so it’s likely Brno will appear on the schedule. If it remains struck from the calendar, it will be replaced by a race at one of the series’ reserve venues.

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Two Pacific Clusters

Normally, the Pacific swing for MotoGP is knocked out in a three-week-long push with races each weekend. For 2021, though, there are two groups of two races. Japan and Thailand will host races back-to-back. Then, Australia and Malaysia will host events back-to-back.

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The series will then end At Valencia on November 14.

What About The Reserve Venues?

MotoGP has listed three reserve venues that will host a race in the event that some races are cancelled due to COVID-19 or, in the case of Finland, a lack of appropriate homologation.

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Algarve International Circuits in Portgual and Igora Driver Circuit in Russia are both certified to host MotoGP events. The Mandalika International Street Circuit in Indonesia, though, is still subject to homologation.

Provisional Schedule:

28 March - Qatar
11 April - Argentina
18 April - America
2 May - Spain
16 May - France
30 May - Italy
6 June - Catalunya
20 June - Germany
27 June - Netherlands
11 July - Finland
TBD - TBC
15 August - Austria
29 August - Britain
12 September - Aragon
19 September - Misano
3 October - Japan
10 October - Thailand
24 October - Australia
31 October - Malaysia
14 November - Valencia

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Reserve Venues:

  • Portugal - Algarve International Circuits
  • Indonesia - Mandalika International Street Circuit
  • Russia - Igora Driver Circuit

Weekends at Jalopnik. Managing editor at A Girl's Guide to Cars. Lead IndyCar writer and assistant editor at Frontstretch. Novelist. Motorsport fanatic.

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