2013 MotoGP Provisional Calendar Leaked: 3 US Rounds, 4 Spanish Rounds, 2 Italian Rounds, And Late March Start

The provisional MotoGP calendar has taken a little longer than normal to appear. An initial calendar had been expected at Brno in late August, but no calendar was forthcoming at the Czech Grand Prix. The next rumored date for the calendar to be released was the weekend of the Misano round of MotoGP, but once the paddock assembled at Misano, it became apparent it would emerge a few days later - MotoMatters.com was told by an IRTA representative that the calendar would be announced on Tuesday or Wednesday this week. On Tuesday, the Austin Statesman newspaper reported that the calendar would be out on Friday, but the excessive enthusiasm of Loris Capirossi saw the former racer and current MotoGP safety advisor leak the 2013 calendar on his Twitter page on Thursday night.

The calendar is largely the same as 2012, with one or two minor variations, and a couple of major question marks hanging over the early rounds. The championship kicks off in Qatar on March 31st, MotoGP having learned from starting late last year, when both the World Superbikes and Formula One seaons were already well underway. The opening weekend will almost certainly be a four-day race event once again, especially as moving the race to late March increases the risk of the dew which settles on the track late in the evening making the surface treacherous around race time. Qatar always faces this difficulty: because the race is both the first race of the season and a night race, there is a constant struggle to find a weekend early enough in the year, yet without the risk the evening dew poses for the riders.

With Estoril now dropped from the calendar, the series will instead cross the Atlantic for the Argentinian and Texas Grand Prix. Both races are listed as to be confirmed, both for different reasons. The race in Argentina is under political threat, both from the Spanish goverment and from the Spanish oil giant Repsol, due to the forced nationalization of Repsol's Argentinian subsdiary Repsol YPF. While this situation is not yet under control - and while work is still to be completed on the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit - then the Argentina race remains very much in doubt. There are legal issues surrounding the Austin race as well, with the dispute continuing between Kevin Schwantz' company 3FourTexasMGP and the ownership of the Circuit of the Americas, the track in Austin which is to host the race. The race is almost certain to go ahead, but an ugly and protracted legal battle looms over the rights to organize the race. The lawyers are likely to do well out of this.

The series then moves to Europe, for what many regard as the traditional opening of the MotoGP season, the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez. The race is marked as subject to contract, with the situation surrounding the race still not clear. The city council of Jerez is very keen to see the race go ahead, but the regional authority for Andalucia is unsure they can afford to finance the race. A season without a race at Jerez is, for the moment, unthinkable.

After the inevitable sojourn at Le Mans, the series then heads to Italy for the Mugello round of MotoGP. After a gap of two years, the race is to return to the first weekend in June, a far better date for Mugello than early July. Crowd numbers have fallen since the dates were swapped, and though part of that is probably due to the economic crisis engulfing Europe, and having Valentino Rossi underperforming on the Ducati, another part is also due to the fact that the heat in July means the Italians prefer to spend their weekends at the beach rather than at the racetrack.

The Barcelona round follows, the race returning to the slot after Mugello once again, while the Dutch TT in Assen takes place on the last Saturday in June, as it has historically always done. Two weeks later, the series heads to Germany for the race at the Sachsenring, before flying west for the second of the three US rounds, the US Grand Prix at Laguna Seca. After a four week break, the final US round of MotoGP takes place at Indianapolis, the Indy round remaining on the calendar, as it is popular with fans, if not always with the riders.

The Indy round of MotoGP is the first of two three-race back-to-back weekends. From Indianapolis, the teams fly to Brno for the Czech Grand Prix a week later. Seven days after that, the three Grand Prix classes race at Silverstone, the British GP having been moved at the request of the circuit in an attempt to space out the three world championship races (Formula One, World Superbikes and MotoGP) hosted at the track. The paddock then heads to Misano two weeks later, and Aragon another fourteen days after that. 

The second of the three-race back-to-backs follows, with the three flyaways in the Asian-Pacific region once again behind held on consecutive weekends. The order is altered for 2013, the series kicking off in Malaysia, then heading to Phillip Island in Australia, before ending the eastern tour at Motegi in Japan. The series then ends as usual at Valencia, which will the be followed a day later for the kickoff of the 2014 season with the traditional two-day test.

Though the calendar shown is a version which has been leaked, there is no doubting the authenticity of it. The first three weekends match the provisional test calendar which MotoMatters.com was shown at Misano. That does not mean that this calendar is set in stone, however: the schedule is subject to be changed as soon as the Formula One calendar appears. The draft 2013 F1 calendar is expected some time after the FIA World Motor Sports Council meets on September 28th, though given the proximity to that event, it seems safe to assume that MotoGP and WSBK have already held consultations on their respective calendars, to attempt to minimize clashes between the two series. Anyone wishing to book accommodation for race next year should ensure they are able to cancel it without charge, at least for a few more months until the calendar is finalized.

On Friday, the FIM issued a press release confirming the calendar leaked on Thursday by Loris Capirossi.

Below is the provisional MotoGP calendar for 2013:

Date Grand Prix Circuit
31 March Qatar* Losail, Qatar
14 April TBC TBC (Argentina)
21 April TBC TBC (Austin, Texas)
5 May Spain (STC) Jerez
19 May France Le Mans
2 June Italy Mugello
16 June Catalunya Barcelona
29 June Netherlands** Assen
14 July Germany Sachsenring
21 July USA*** Laguna Seca
18 August Indianapolis Indianapolis
25 August Czech Republic Brno
01 September Great Britain Silverstone
15 September San Marino & Riviera di Rimini Misano Marco Simoncelli
29 September Aragon Motorland Aragon
13 October Malaysia Sepang
20 October Australia Phillip Island
27 October Japan Motegi
10 November Valencia Ricardo Tormo Valencia

* Evening Race
** Saturday Race
*** MotoGP Race Only
TBC - To Be Confirmed
STC - Subject To Contract

Order of TBC rounds uncertain. Paddock rumors suggest that the first of the two races will be in Argentina, with Texas following, but this is far from certain.

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David, I hope your "almost certain to go ahead" assessment of prospects for the Texas round prove to be justified. Legal entanglements in the US tend to drag on...

These 'people' seem to enjoy crossing their 'partners' and neighbors.

Stories like this seem rather common: http://www.kvue.com/news/Elroy-resident-says-COTA-wants-him-to-pay-23000...

Supposedly many of the locals are right pissed at the Schwantz fiasco and have sworn to boycott the race. I know I won't be attending.

I wouldn't mind seeing the whole MotoGP/COTA 'partnership' blow up in their face.

Geonerd, your post is a knee-jerk reaction without regard to what is right or wrong or what the real facts may be. From the news article you linked, which may be accurate or perhaps not accurate, it seems adjoining landowners have a title dispute. There is nothing there indicating COTA is in the wrong, IMO. Indeed, there is a pretty strong implication the water line crosses COTA property without a right of way. And regarding the COTA/Schwantz dispute, I doubt you know more than the rest of us about the complex web of contracts that may or may not exist. Internet talk is cheap, and the big guy is always skewered...

Forget the legalities. Focusing on them misses the point.

Kevin Schwantz, a Texan, is perhaps the most popular, most loved U.S. GP racer of all time. There is not a single black mark against his public reputation in 25 years of being on the international motorcycle roadracing scene.

And someone is going to start to try to build an audience for a GP - in Texas, no less - with the state's native son and world-beater suing them, saying he's been screwed out of his money and defrauded?

It's a PR nightmare.

Even if Kevin technically doesn't have a contract, it still doesn't help the COTA people in the arena of public opinion. In that case, he's a good ol' Texan who got screwed over by lawyers and Europeans. And it's in the arena of public opinion that this race succeeds or fails.

No, I don't know any more than the average fan. What I do know is that COTA seem to accumulate bad relationships.

Consider this scenario: You've just purchased a plot of land. While digging around you discover that the neighbor's water line happens to under one corner of your property. It's been there forever and is causing no harm. (You make it sound like the neighbor trespassed and installed it yesterday. Huh??) Now, maybe you want to build something at this location. What do you do? Do you go talk to the neighbor and work something out, or do you tear the shit out of the utility and send the poor fool a fat bill?

I didn't have much sympathy for Tavo (him being Bernie's buddy and all that...) and no, I'm not at privy of the circumstances regarding the Schwantz punchup. What I DO see is a pattern of conflict and arrogant behavior on the part of the COTA owners. Now throw in a few dozen anecdotal stories about these people being genuine peckerheads... That's enough for me!

money-man behind COTA.

He was despised in Minnesota where he owned the Vikings because of his attempts to pressure taxpayers into building him an expensive stadium, he's been in legal battles in south Colorado where he's trying to get excusive use of Forest Service land to build a ski resort, he was sued by the Navaho Nation to block a casino he wanted to build on tribal lands.

The one common thread... he's always in court and he's always trying to gain control of someone elses property or money (often the taxpayers) without paying for it.

I generally attend the U.S. rounds but will not be attending this one. Curious to know how much this jerk sucked out of the Texas tax payer.

Everyone seems to have a penchant for wanting to help themselves to the money we earn.