2011 Provisional MotoGP Calendar Officially Released

MotoGP fans around the world - and to an even greater extent, everyone involved in MotoGP - have been waiting for a calendar for the 2011 season for a long time now. The problem has been that MotoGP has an informal agreement with Formula One to avoid scheduling conflicts between the two series, and thereby force TV companies to choose between one or the other. 

In practice, this means that Formula One dictates the MotoGP calendar, and this is exactly what appears to have happened to the provisional 2011 MotoGP calendar. An early version was leaked two weeks ago, a version that looked to be fairly reliable, but rescheduling by Formula One - shuffling some of the 20 races which it has on its calendar - meant that too many MotoGP races would conflict with F1 events.

As a result, the FIM has finally managed to produce a provisional version of the 2011 MotoGP calendar, which has seen a surprising amount of reshuffling of events happen. The season starts in Qatar on March 20th, as previously announced, and the season night race is expected to be spread over four days instead of the usual three, to allow the race to be run earlier at night, avoiding the drastic temperature drops that can happen between 11pm and midnight in the desert. It also means the season starts some three weeks earlier than in 2010, seizing back some of the ground MotoGP had ceded to the World Superbike series.

After Qatar, the changes begin in earnest. The Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez has been moved forward four weeks to take place in early April, and the race at Estoril moved up two weeks to fill the void created by the moving of Jerez. The Le Mans MotoGP round is also moved up a week, taking place a week earlier than previously planned and taking the place of Estoril. Barcelona and Mugello swap places, with the Catalunya GP moving to early June while Mugello takes place in the first week of July. The British round at Silverstone is moved back a week, easing the mad dash to the ferry which we saw this year to get to Assen for the Dutch TT.

MotoGP will once again return to the splendid isolation of the Motorland Aragon circuit, giving Spain four GPs for one more year. While the final change in the calendar is the moving of the Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang, which will now take place a week after Phillip Island, rather than a week before. The season ends, as ever, at Valencia, on November 6th.

The 2011 MotoGP schedule is almost identical to the calendar for this year, with just some reshuffling of dates. But this is likely to be the last year of what has become a very familiar schedule, with major changes expected in 2012. The new 1000cc formula is also likely to see a host of new tracks appear on the calendar, including Abu Dhabi, and probably the new circuit currently being built in Greater Noida, close to Delhi, India. The schedule is also likely to be revised to minimize the amount of flying involved, and group the non-European rounds closer together, with Laguna Seca and a second US round (either Indianapolis or Austin, Texas) being run without a European round in between.

2011 MotoGP calendar

Date Grand Prix Circuit
March 20th Qatar* Losail
April 3rd Spain Jerez
April 24th Japan Motegi
May 1st Portugal Estoril
May 15th France Le Mans
June 5th Catalunya Barcelona
June 12th Great Britain Silverstone
June 25th Netherlands** Assen
July 3rd Italy Mugello
July 17th Germany Sachsenring
July 24th United States*** Laguna Seca
August 14th Czech Republic Brno
August 28th Indianapolis Indianapolis
September 4th San Marino & Riviera di Rimini Misano
September 18th Aragon MotorLand Aragon
October 16th Australia Phillip Island
October 23rd Malaysia Sepang
November 6th Valencia Valencia

 

 

* Evening race
** Saturday race 
*** Only MotoGP class

 

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Comments

Is there any news on the winter test schedule?..and Jerez and Philip Island being included?

Two days after Valencia, two three-day tests at Sepang, and a night test at Qatar. Jerez and Phillip Island were rejected by the factories as too expensive, and the weather at both places during the winter tests was too different from the conditions during the race weekends made the data gathered less useful. 

Thanks for that..

Factories reject this, irrelevent data that..surely this will have to change next winter leading into 2012 and the new bikes?

This is a good schedule for us fans. A long season without too many weeks in between races.

Can't wait.

Great news to see this fine circuit confirmed for 2011. I would be pleased to see the 4 Spanish rounds as they are continue into 2012 and beyond.
Another addition I would love see is Portimao.So what if it's 6 races in that area of the world.It just throws up great racing,great atmosphere and climate.

Gotta disagree with you on that one. Portimao is nice but I think Jerez, Valencia, and Estoril are all incredible tracks. Wouldn't swap Porimao for any of those. But I do agree with you both that Aragon is an awesome track. Definitely glad to see it back next season. Forget the Hungarian GP!

Even if the F1 race doesn't happen this year, is the Korean track an FIM option? What about Sentul in Indonesia?

As they did in last years first Provisional calendar the Isle of Man TT and the Silverstone GP overlap and will need to be changed unless they want to kill both events.