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.

It seems unlikely (though not impossible) that this will be the final calendar change of the season. International travel remains precarious, and national restrictions are being lifted and reintroduced in various countries around the world as the Delta variant outbreak gathers pace, outpacing the rate of vaccination, temporarily at least.

The revised 2021 MotoGP Calendar appears below:

Date Grand prix Circuit
28 March Qatar* Losail International Circuit
4 April Qatar* Losail International Circuit
18 April Portugal Algarve International Circuit
02 May Spain Circuito de Jerez – Ángel Nieto
16 May France Le Mans
30 May Italy Autodromo del Mugello
06 June Catalunya Barcelona - Catalunya
20 June Netherlands TT Circuit Assen
27 June Germany Sachsenring
8 August Styria Red Bull Ring-Spielberg
15 August Austria Red Bull Ring-Spielberg
29 August Great Britain Silverstone
12 September Aragón MotorLand Aragón
19 September San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli
03 October Americas Circuit of the Americas
17 October Thailand Chang International Circuit
24 October Malaysia Sepang International Circuit
7 November Algarve Algarve International Circuit
14 November Comunitat Valenciana Comunitat Valenciana-Ricardo Tormo

 

Postponed Grands Prix to be rescheduled subject to the pandemic:
Grand prix Circuit
República Argentina Termas de Río Hondo
Reserve Grand Prix Venues:
Indonesia** Mandalika International Street Circuit

* Evening Race
** Subject to Homologation

There will be a maximum of 20 events in the 2021 season. All dates, events and the attendance of spectators are subject to the evolution of the pandemic and the approval of the corresponding Governments and authorities.

The press release from the FIM appears below:


Australian GP cancelled, Algarve GP added and Malaysian GP brought forward one week

The FIM, IRTA and Dorna Sports regret to announce the cancellation of the Red Bull Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and resulting travel complications and logistical restrictions mean it has not been possible to confirm the viability of the event at this time, and it will therefore not feature on the 2021 calendar. The FIM MotoGP™ World Championship looks forward to returning to race in front of the Australian fans at the spectacular Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit in 2022. The 2021 Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix has therefore been brought forward and will take place a week earlier than previously scheduled, from the 22nd to the 24th of October – the weekend immediately following the rescheduled OR Grand Prix of Thailand.

In addition, the FIM, IRTA and Dorna Sports are delighted to confirm the addition of the Grande Premio do Algarve to the 2021 FIM MotoGP™ World Championship calendar. MotoGP™ will return to Portimão from the 5th to the 7th of November, the week preceding the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana, as the iconic Autodromo do Algarve welcomes MotoGP™ back for a second Grand Prix this season.

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Comments

AGREED!!! HATE Valencia. SO many more interesting tracks that could be on the calendar instead of (yet another) Spanish track. Now - don't get me wrong - nothing wrong with Spanish tracks - I love Jerez, I really like Aragon, even Barcelona is pretty awesome. But Valencia? Get rid of it, I agree. I'd say - bring back Spa-Francochamps to the MotoGP world championship! Now THAT'S a proper track! Portimao is a good one, close enough to Spain too if that's important to Dorna (a Spanish run entity). Portimao should stay on the calendar for sure! I can't think of other tracks off the top of my head that would be better than Valencia, but I'm sure there's plenty!

 

Happy break Ted. Thanks for food for thought (we need it). Valencia doesn't offend here, just doesn't excite either.

Spa Francochamps is a GEM! Just throw a few Euros at some safety/runoff? Please.

What do you think of COTA? Puzzle you? How can so many good ingredients add up to such a shoddy whole? Especially with the pedigree of designers? Oof. 

Yeah Valencia must feel like a go-kart track on a MotoGp bike.

Spa is getting some work done. EWC the motorcycle endurance championship is planning to race at Spa Francorchamps. With an extra r. Ask JanBros what is happening there.

COTA? Mate don't know all the history of the project. Seems like the ground is part of the problem with bumps. Would assume there was a geo-physical investigation and report before the track was built. Did they try to do it on the cheap? I hope to visit Austin & COTA and check it out for myself. Not this year.

While expected, sad to accept no P.I. - 

In case the media flurry around Vinales/Blue divorce obscured our view, perhaps we could use a little appreciation of what we have coming up after the break to cheer us up. What can we look forward to? I can start. 

Wildcards and replacement rides look to be bringing Pedrosa back to racing, on this KTM. Cal may be back soon too, on a Yamaha. Dani's talking will be done on track, but we will get to enjoy Crutchlow's banter (esp re this Yamaha vs the Honda). Imagine tipping their finish places. 

Marc comes back more fit and recovered. On the worst bike on the grid. We are fortunate to have an overdog rider not on a top bike as fans. Lucky to have this kid ok and here riding. Getting to watch him claw his way back to the front. Really interesting and dramatic process full of fears and fireworks. What can he do now?

Our points leader is a fresh faced Frenchman. He is far outperforming Blue peers. The bike is not smoothly dialed in, in a recovery period. At only the halfway point, several riders are in striking distance. 

Back in 4th is wee Suzuki and Mir. Steadily there, but a bit overtaken by a few bikes. We know they finish the season well. The bike needs little. Is it coming? I think so, but it isn't sure. My belief is that Mir is on the gas w lots of points still on the table. 

The Red stable's horserace is a Ducati Cup of it's own to appreciate. Especially seeing 8 of them on order. Zarco is in the chase, Bagnaia and Miller in tow. The bike doesn't leave riders lost at bogey tracks. It is turning! And rocket blasting. The scourge of the field to pass. Will one of these three emerge now from the fire? Such different riders. Difficult to call. Fun show. 

Which Vinales we see round to round remains a guess. But make no mistake about Miguel Oliveira and the KTM. We have just witnessed something special. It looks to have plenty coming. Orange is on an impressive march. Oliveira is no fluke. I think that is the back of our Championship contenders, and it is good. Enjoyable chase!

Of course the next few packs offer much. The Aprilia is really on showcase. Against the Honda often. Who is joining us on that 2nd Black seat?! How high can Aleix get it? The podium is dangling there, the bike is making those hardest last gains to join the front. Brilliant. And more intrigue on tap now.

Appreciating periodic strong rides from the likes of Binder and Nakagami. Their future takes shape in front of us. Pol struggling aboard the gravel dog is even an interesting dig into shadows. 

Questions remain and answers coming re another handful of riders. Morbidelli recovery, Rins steeling himself, etc. No shortage of interest.

After break we have what could be our last experience of back to back races at one track. This showcases team bike sorting work, and rider adaptation. Fun! And that track is Red Bull Ring. Fully open to crowds. Last year's horrific near miss brings safety fence change, and a brilliant track remains. Ducati does well, as do Suzuki and KTM. Fun that our title leader has a challenge beginning 2021 Pt 2. Pressure on Yamaha to bring him a sorted bike. 

We get treated with a second Portimao Round. Fancy a re taste? I do! Baffled by consideration of a street race in Indonesia. April 1st? Real? Possible? Good idea? Strange.

Lastly, silly season got interesting given how few seats are shuffling. We still get to hear of a few and there is intrigue. Right?

Much to appreciate. v Apical, enjoy the heck out of a P.I. track day! It would be a life highlight here, even if I ate a seagull. Cheers.

:)

I've pondered that gull. Based on the numerous times I've ridden and spectated at PI I would of expected a cape baron goose to be the bird most likely to beak butt a rider. If it had a rather different outcome would have resulted!!

Nineteen rounds is enough. Marc Marquez is racing & winning so it counts as a real championship.

Yes it is a shame that Australia's moribund goverment didn't do things differently over the last 18 months.

This did make the mainstream news, on the telly & everything. After Formula yawn. Publicity is publicity.

No Argentina round either.

What's up with Mandalika & Kimiring? Will they ever be homologated?

Bloody glad I went to SBK at P.I. in Feb 2020! Pleased we took the patriarch to the Gp in 2019 and all.

My next trip to Phillip island may be for a track day or two. Fingers crossed.

Edit; looks like the Kimring is up and running. There was a national race meeting last weekend. Thanks Tumi. Track days at the end of July 1st August.

to hear that Yamaha and Mav are parting ways immediately, like KTM and Zarco, and Dovi will take over his bike. I keep listening ... crickets ...

Today I received a marketing email from Ducati, promoting their new phone app. Personalized for the user of course. The big image in the message is of a phone screen, with the ducati app filling it, saying "Hello Andrea."

Must have been in development for a year or two... 

I will miss PI. And I agree, can't think of a better circuit for a track day. Or week!

The Prime Minister Morrison is dead to me. He is to blame for us being in this position with our level of vaccinations which is the major cause of the gods not coming. Me bowing to Rossi riding around the Island will have to happen virtually now.

Or you have a government in England who about to throw caution to the wind, allow huge numbers into Wembley to watch the footy and wonder why the infection rates go through the roof. Whilst BSB fans are really angry that the numbers to Oulton Park/Knockhill are severly limited.

So I had a beachside pad in Cowes booked, with fancy-shmancy breakfast booked just down the road. The Saturday will be my 40th, but instead of sitting track side all day I'll have to figure out a different plan of attack.

Absolutely spewing.