2020 MotoGP Calendar Update - Argentina, Thailand, Malaysia Canceled, Portimao Added?

The COVID-19 pandemic has once again reshaped the 2020 MotoGP calendar, though this change had long been expected. Today, Dorna and the FIM announced that the three races outside Europe still on the calendar - in Argentina, Malaysia, and Thailand - have all been canceled. Taking their place at the end of the season is one extra race, officially unspecified as yet.

Though the FIM have said officially that the final circuit is to be announced on August 10th, after the next round of MotoGP at Brno, reports are circulating that the race is set to be held at Portimao in Portugal. This does not come as a surprise, given that the Portuguese track has been a reserve on the calendar for some time. Prior to the pandemic, Dorna had been considering putting Portimao into the rotation of five tracks on the Iberian peninsula which would share out three races each year between them.

Below is the revised and updated calendar:

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Andalucia Moto2 & Moto3 Review - Neil Morrison On Bastianini's Brilliance, The Sky VR46 Celebration Fails, And Moto3 Stars is delighted to feature the work of Neil Morrison, Paddock Pass Podcast host, Moto2/Moto3 commentator, and the finest writer in the Grand Prix paddock. Neil will be contributing a review of the goings on in the Moto2 and Moto3 paddocks this season.

As always Moto2/3 delivered plenty of talking points at the Andalusian Grand Prix. Sunday’s results threw up a host of surprises and blew both championships wide open. Here, we take a look through some of the big talking points from both classes.

Bestia’s bolt from the blue

Few gave Enea Bastianini a hope in a hell at the beginning of Sunday’s 23-lap Moto2 race. The Italian had caught everyone off guard by qualifying third. But free practice showings (17th in FP1, 8th in FP2, 16th in FP3) didn’t point to the Italian coming up with a solution to stop the Sky Racing VR46 team-mates over race distance.

But what do we know? The 23-year old got the holeshot, led every lap and coolly resisted Luca Marini’s midrace advances to collect his maiden Moto2 triumph. From ninth place, 19 seconds off the winner a week before, ‘La Bestia’ trimmed a colossal 18 seconds off his race time from Jerez 1 to 2. The secret, he said, was returning his base setting to what he used at race one in Qatar, where he finished third.

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2020 Andalucia Moto2 FP3 Result: More Airtime For Martin

With temperatures rising throughout the final practice session for the intermediate class, improvements on the timesheets came early on, but there were a few personal bests in the final shootout as well. Jorge Martin set up camp at the top of the combined standings on his third lap and did not budge for the remainder of FP3. Sam Lowes came close to the lead, only one hundredth of a second behind the Spaniard, the duo one step ahead of Lorenzo Baldassarri and Edgar Pons.

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2020 Andalucia Moto2 FP2 Result: Marini Back In the Limelight

With the same race track, same harsh conditions and same names showing the way at the top of the timesheets in the intermediate class, FP2 offered some more time in the limelight to the SKY Racing Team. Luca Marini established himself as the fastest man of the afternoon early in the session and went unchallenged as rivals focused on race pace. Teammate Marco Bezzecchi had his back, at least until the final eight minutes, when his pretty solid session was cut short by a crash at turn 1, which prompted fire extinguishers to make an appearance.

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2020 Andalucia Moto2 FP1 Result: Bezzecchi Keeps Sky On Top

Jerez was back to its baking hot self by the time the intermediate class hit the track and the familiar conditions saw familiar names at the top of the timesheets for FP1. Marco Bezzecchi led the way for the Sky squad all throughout the session and despite some red sectors here and there towards the end of practice, many riders failed to improve on their early times. Tetsuta Nagashima prepares his championship defence from second in FP1, four hundredths of a second ahead of Jorge Navarro.

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Jerez MotoGP Things I Missed: Numb Hands, A Possible Second Place, And The Support Classes

An awful lot happened at Jerez on Sunday, when the 2020 MotoGP season resumed/started. So much so that it didn't all fit into the subscriber notes published in the very, very wee hours of Monday morning. You can go back there to read about the delicate balance between risk and reward which riders face in 2020, Marc Márquez' astonishing ride and terrible fall, wrecking his upper arm and his title defense, how Márquez' crash exposes Honda's precarious situation without the reigning champion, Fabio Quartararo's fantastic win, and how Yamaha have turned around their MotoGP project since the nadir of 2018, Dovizioso's first MotoGP podium at Jerez and the strength of the Ducati, how the championship has been blown wide open, as well as how the KTM is now a genuinely competitive racing motorcycle. But here are a few more things to think about.

First, an update on Marc Márquez. After a preliminary examination in hospital, with the swelling of the initial trauma surrounding Márquez' broken humerus starting to reduce, doctors are optimistic that Márquez has not suffered damage to the radial nerve in his right arm. That would greatly improve his chances of a speedy recovery, a pin or plate enough to hold the bone in his upper arm together. Dr Mir, overseeing Márquez' care, told the media that Márquez could be ready to race in Brno.

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