2021 MotoGP Calendar Update: Thailand Canceled, Replacement Round To Be Decided

The Covid-19 pandemic continues to remind us that it is a global, not a local, phenomenon. As cases continue to rise in Thailand, and the vaccination program is only being rolled out slowly, the organizers of the Thai GP have been forced to cancel the 2021 MotoGP round at Buriram.

It is believed that a replacement round is being planned, but finding a venue is proving difficult, for much the same reason the race was canceled. There have been rumors of a second round at Sepang, but also of hosting two races in Austin, at the Circuit of the Americas. Much of this is speculation, with little confirmation, given the ever-shifting nature of the pandemic. Holding two races at the same track is the most likely course of action, however: minimizing travel increases the chances of a race actually being held.

The current 2021 MotoGP calendar appears below, though it is certain to change:

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2021 MotoGP Calender Changed Again: Phillip Island Canceled, Portimão Returns For Second Race

The ongoing fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic continues to reshuffle the 2021 MotoGP calendar. This morning came news that the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island has been canceled for 2021, with an extra round at Portimao added before Valencia to take its place.

The news had been widely anticipated, as Australia continues to maintain a strict border policy, making staging international sporting events almost impossible. The dropping of Phillip Island means that the Sepang race has been moved a week earlier, to October 24th, and an additional round added at Algarve International Circuit in Portimão on November 7th, a week before the final round in Valencia.

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Assen Moto2 & Moto3 Review: Neil Morrison On Raul Fernandez' Future, Augusto Fernandez' Revival, And Pedro Acosta's Hospital Bed Ride

TT Circuit Assen produced two excellent contests in the Moto2 and 3 classes. Yet the biggest story of the weekend related to the future of one certain star…

Fernandez – will he stay or go?

Never mind Maverick Viñales. Raul Fernandez was the talk of the paddock once again after news from reliable outlets confirmed he will join current team-mate Remy Gardner in Tech 3 KTM next year in MotoGP.

Not just that; Fernandez produced another performance that demonstrated this year’s title fight will be far from a one-horse race. A day on from becoming the first rider to score four pole positions in their rookie Moto2 campaign since a certain Marc Marquez in 2011, the 20-year old produced a fightback that would have gained even the eight-time champion’s approval.

Here he displayed the composure to recover from a second lap mistake at turn seven that saw him drop to ninth. All appeared lost for the Spaniard as the Marc VDS Kalex team-mates of Sam Lowes and Augusto Fernandez, and championship leader Remy Gardner made up an exciting three-way fight for the lead, 1.7s ahead. Then Fernandez went to work. He made short work of four riders ahead to join the leaders on lap 13. And not one of them had an answer for him as he pulled clear in the closing laps to win by just over a second.

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2021 Assen Moto3 FP3 Result: Foggia Faster, Suzuki Still Fastest

After rain surprised the field on Friday afternoon, the lightweight class started Saturday on a dry track and with a mission to challenge the top 14 positions. Despite the improved conditions, improvements were slow on the combined timesheets and it meant that Tatsuki Suzuki remained the fastest rider overall with the time he set on Friday. However, it was Dennis Foggia who was fastest in the morning session, the Italian improving his top time early on and keeping his name at the top of FP3 throughout.

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2021 Assen Moto3 FP2 Result: Suzuki Fastest As Rain Showers Disrupt Session

Tatsuki Suzuki has topped the second session of free practice for the Moto3 class at Assen. Despite a big crash at De Bult, the Japanese rider ended the session as fastest, with a late sprinkling of rain halting any chance of other riders besting Suzuki's time.

Darryn Binder ended the session in second, less than a tenth off the time of Suzuki, while Dennis Foggia was third quickest, a third of a second slower than the South African. Andrea Migno ended the session in fourth, while Jaume Masia was fifth fastest.


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Sachsenring Moto2 & Moto3 Review: Neil Morrison On Remy Gardner's Remarkable Turnaround, Aki Ajo On Pedro Acosta, And Ineffectual Penalties

There was plenty of drama in both Moto2 and Moto3 at the German Grand Prix, with the respective leaders in each class cementing their championship leads.

Gardner: better rider, more stable person

The more this year goes on, the more Remy Gardner appears like a champion in waiting. The 23-year old was the class of the Moto2 field once again in Germany, translating his relentless free practice speed to the race, where he rushed past teammate and pole sitter Raul Fernandez and immediately put the Spaniard under pressure.

No one else got a sniff. The pair were 0.8s ahead of third by the close of lap one, 2.9s at the end of lap three, and Gardner’s lead was extended to 4.9s on lap five when Fernandez crashed out – margins that are not normal for a track as short as the Sachsenring, especially in a class as tight as Moto2.

It capped a brilliant three-week period for the 23-year old, in which he became the first Australian in history to win three consecutive races in grand prix’s intermediate category, and confirmed a deal to climb to MotoGP with Hervé Poncharal’s Tech 3 KTM squad.

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