The 2013 Argentinian round of MotoGP has been canceled, as we forecast it would be yesterday. Today, Dorna issued a statement on the cancellation, and the FIM issued a new 18-race calendar without Argentina on it.
As explained yesterday, the decision to cancel the round has been forced upon Dorna by the Spanish government, which is recommending that Repsol staff should not travel to Argentina, after the Argentinian government nationalized Repsol YPF, the Argentine subsidiary of the Spanish oil giant. With Repsol behind several different riders and teams in the championship, going without Repsol-backed riders would have left the starting grid decimated.
Though Argentina is off the calendar for 2013, Dorna have expressed the intention to go to South America as soon as possible. The Termas de Rio Hondo circuit has a three-year deal to host the Argentinian Grand Prix, and if the political dispute between Argentina and Repsol has been settled, then the race will be back on the calendar in 2014. The 2014 MotoGP calendar should be a more international affair, with a race in Southeast Asia also likely to feature on the schedule.
With Argentina canceled, the calendar is now back to just 18 races. No circuit will be drafted in to replace Argentina, the round being dropped altogether. As we reported yesterday, the Qatar round has been moved back a week to April 7th to reduce the gap between the first two races on the calendar to two weeks instead of three. The dropping of Argentina and the rescheduling of Qatar leaves only Jerez still subject to contract, though that race is almost certain to go ahead as scheduled. The new race schedule now no longer carries the designation "provisional", and is unlikely to change any further. The latest MotoGP calendar is show below, and the most recent version is always available on our 2013 MotoGP calendar page.
Below is the press release from Dorna, explaining the decision to cancel the Argentinian round:
Explanation about the non-inclusion of the Gran Premio de la República Argentina on the 2013 MotoGP™ calendar
The Gran Premio de la República Argentina, which was set to take place at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit early next year, has not been included on the 2013 calendar.
On June 20th 2012, the Spanish government recommended that teams and riders sponsored by Repsol should not travel to the República Argentina due to safety reasons. Therefore, the celebration of the 2013 Gran Premio de la República Argentina remained under suspension until such recommendation would be kept in force.
The deadline for Dorna Sports, commercial rights holder of the MotoGP™ World Championship, to officially propose the 2013 MotoGP calendar to FIM was November 18th.
On November 20th, the Spanish government notified through email sent to Dorna Sports the withdrawal of the above referred recommendation, when the time for the calendar presentation had already expired and therefore, there was no possibility to include a new MotoGP event.
Anyhow, Dorna Sports commits itself to include Gran Premio de la República Argentina on the 2014 calendar and onwards, to be approved by FIM subject to the homologation of the track which presumably shall take place within the first quarter of 2013.
Dorna Sports recognizes the Gran Premio de la República Argentina Promoter´s efforts regarding the satisfactorily termination of the construction works and the organization and promotion preliminary activities.
2013 MotoGP Calendar
|7 April||Qatar*||Losail, Qatar|
|21 April||Americas||Austin, Texas|
|19 May||France||Le Mans|
|21 July||USA***||Laguna Seca|
|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|
|20 October||Australia||Phillip Island|
|10 November||Valencia||Ricardo Tormo Valencia|
* Evening Race
** Saturday Race
*** MotoGP Race Only