The announcement of the official 2011 MotoGP calendar - albeit the provisional one - has been a long time coming. Normally, the provisional calendar is settled at the Brno round of MotoGP, but the series' desire not to clash with Formula One means that the Grand Prix Commission has had to wait for the FIA to release the F1 calendar before finalizing their own. With the F1 calendar now provisionally released, the MotoGP calendar is expected to be released this weekend at the Aragon round.
An early version of the calendar has already surfaced among race travel trip organizers. As their businesses depend upon knowing the following year's schedule as early as possible, MotoGP travel companies are among the very first to know. Our friends over at Pole Position Travel pointed us to a provisional calendar which has appeared on the website of another organization selling MotoGP tickets.
Obviously, this schedule has appeared before any official announcement has been made, and so it cannot be regarded as the finalized schedule, but given what we already know about the 2011 schedule - that it will be largely unchanged with respect to this year - the race dates look fairly realistic. As predicted, the season opener at Qatar moves up to March 20th, three weeks earlier than this year, to prevent the World Superbike series having the entire pre-season to themselves. The biggest change to the schedule is Estoril's seemingly annual migration from one end of the calendar to the other, moving to the middle of March for 2011. Elsewhere, Motegi moves back to April, which would have happened in 2010 were it not for an Icelandic volcano. The only direct clash with a Formula One date is on May 22, when the Le Mans MotoGP race is staged at the same time as the Barcelona F1 Grand Prix. Other date clashes happen in different time zones, meaning that the races themselves will be in different time slots and will not clash.
Below is the provisional calendar as we believe it will be next season, but an official version should be available after this weekend:
|March 20||Qatar||Losail *|
|May 22||France||Le Mans|
|June 19||Great Britain||Silverstone|
|June 25||Netherlands||Assen **|
|July 24||United States||Laguna Seca ***|
|August 14||Czech Republic||Brno|
|September 4||San Marino||Misano|
|October 16||Australia||Phillip Island|
|November 06||Valencia Ricardo Tormo||Valencia|
* Night race
** Saturday race
*** MotoGP class only