The FIM today released a provisional calendar for MotoGP in 2016, featuring much that was expected and a few surprises. The calendar will once again have 18 races, with Indianapolis dropped and Austria taking its place. The biggest change in the calendar is the moving of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, which vacates its late August slot for the middle of July.
That move, and the scheduling of Austria and Brno back to back, will not be popular with the circuits. The British MotoGP round comes just three weeks after the F1 race at Silverstone, due to be held at the end of June. Silverstone will fear that having the two biggest events of the year in the space of a month will mean that they cannibalize attendance, with spectators choosing to attend either F1 or MotoGP. When there were two months between the two races, the chances of fans attending both were greater.
As for Brno and Austria, the Brno circuit feared that having Austria a week before their race would see German fans choosing to go to Austria rather than Brno, with an impact on attendance. So far, though, Dorna has prevailed in discussions.
The loss of Indianapolis is a consequence of the sanctioning fee demanded by Dorna. So far, Dorna have subsidized the round at Indy, the amount they were being paid not sufficient to cover the cost of transporting the bikes and teams to and from the US. Dorna had wanted to raise the fee to cover the full costs, IMS were unwilling to pay that amount to stage the race.
Below is the press release announcing the calendar:
FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix
2016 provisional Calendar, 11 September
|20 March||Qatar*||Losail International Circuit|
|03 April||República Argentina||Termas de Río Hondo|
|10 April||Americas||Circuit of The Americas|
|24 April||Spain||Circuito de Jerez**|
|08 May||France||Le Mans|
|22 May||Italy||Autodromo del Mugello|
|05 June||Catalunya||Barcelona - Catalunya|
|26 June||Netherlands||TT Circuit Assen|
|17 July||Great Britain||Silverstone Circuit|
|14 August||Austria||Red Bull Ring - Spielberg|
|21 August||Czech Republic||Automotodrom Brno**|
|11 September||San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini||Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli|
|25 September||Aragón||MotorLand Aragón|
|09 October||Malaysia||Sepang International Circuit|
|16 October||Japan||Twin Ring Motegi|
|23 October||Australia||Phillip Island|
|06 November||Comunitat Valenciana||Comunitat Valenciana - Ricardo Tormo|
* Evening Race
** Subject to contract