Provisional 2016 MotoGP Calendar Released: Austria In, Indy Out, Silverstone Moved

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  

Date Grand Prix Venue
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
10 July Germany Sachsenring
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  



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Anyone else noticed that each GP gets their country named individually (Great Britain, Germany, Japan etc) whereas the Spanish rounds are named by city/region? It really is time to drop at least two of the Spanish rounds and spread the love a bit!

Even in the currently shitty economic mess that Spain is in, there is not a Spanish round that attracts less than 100,000 spectators. Given that, as far as I know, only Assen Mugello and Brno habitually exceed that sort of attendance, it would be very difficult to reduce the number of Spanish rounds.

Couldn't you also say that one of the contributing factors for the popularity in Spain is the fact there are more races there? On top of that, I don't believe that each event has many unique visitors with a good proportion going to all four. Going somewhere like China, India or back to Brazil would be great for the sport.

"Couldn't you also say that one of the contributing factors for the popularity in Spain is the fact there are more races there?"

At one point in time the US had 3 rounds and they struggled to get 50K ppl to attend. The Spanish are simply rabid about their motorcycles. As for unique visitors the circuits don't care if 1 person is willing to pay 4 times or 4 different people are willing to pay.

But yes getting a race in a different part of the world would be GREAT

I've attended Indy since it's inception and enjoyed it every year. Too bad it's gone; I don't get to see GP live any longer. Austin is simply too far away for me to travel to. It's a shame; my dad and I have enjoyed going every year. It was a great tradition every year; thanks Dorna.

Please excuse my philosophical rant, but...

If MotoGP is a worldwide competition, why are some parts of the world favored with sweetheart deals while other parts have to pay more to have a race? Conceptually, it bothers me that freight costs are loaded on some continents but not on others. If the total annual freight cost to contest a worldwide championship is X euros, then every race wanting to be part of that championship should cover X/18.

Given the challenges facing COTA, I hope Dorna does not wind up regretting the decision to price itself out of Indy. With a consistent track record of good attendance (above the MotoGP average), I fear that Dorna has made a shortsighted decision. the sole United States race will be held in a state that wants to secede from that union. Great.

At least we still have Qatar [cough].

I'm pretty bummed as Austin means 3x further distance to travel than Indy. However, I am willing to accept a trade.....bring WBSK to......Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. Top notch facilities and a spectacular motorcycle museum on-site taboot!

IMO, if more international journos would see this place they'd be talking it up.

COTA is the finest track we have in the United States. The MotoGP race should be held there. American interest in the sport doesn't warrant two rounds and Indianapolis is a track inside and oval which doesn't fit with the rest of the tracks on the calendar.

Maybe the finest track for F1 in the states, but show me a good MotoGP race at COTA. Oh wait, you can't. They have all been snoozers. At least the Indy race the past couple of years have been more exciting.

Who cares if it's inside an oval? You say that every time Indy comes up. Have you seen the size of the oval? The infield section is as long as Laguna is in total - that doesn't even count the front straight. And there's still room for spectators, vendors, and half a frigging golf course.

Regarding the Austin round here in the US, some or many of the financial incentives that the state of Texas and the Austin convention & visitors bureau have been providing to COTA are coming under increased scrutiny. That MotoGP event may not be viable financially, if those payments get significantly reduced. Imagine a situation where that event cannot afford the Dorna fees, and then there are zero US rounds.

Dorna should have found a way to work with Indy, which is an established, stable venue. The future there is very solid, whereas the future at COTA is dependent on state and regional governments continuing to prop up the track.

COTA itself is not viable. Building a new track to host EffWun was always going to be a financial disaster, even with state money, obscene ticket/vendor/parking/etc. prices, etc. And the harder they squeeze (and thus piss off) the race fans, the worse the long term financial situation becomes.

I live in Ontario, Canada. I've been to all of the races at Indy. Now its gone. On top of that i can't watch it on TV (or the internet - that's another story).

So I'm left with almost no connection to my favorite sport. 1st world problem, i know, but still stinks.

Keep up the good work DE, I'm counting on you.

It is way too corporate for my liking. While the facility is breathtaking, I do not enjoy having my bags searched and having my beef jerky and water confiscated as contraband as though I am some dead beat. While Austin nightlife is great and their restaurants are rally amazing and high end, the way the track staff treats attendees is too much of a turnoff and I won't be going back. (though I do want to support a state that wants to secede from this nation!)

Been to numerous Indy events and while I will miss hearing the bikes roar down the enclosed straight, I think the racing is sub-par and the riders don't seem to like it.

Hopefully the new owners of Miller can make it a viable destination and bring MGP back to the west.

I am still not over Laguna. I loved that event.

Agree 100% with culture at COTA. Nice facilities but lacks the character of Indy or Laguna. Been that way since day 1 with the whole Kevin Schwantz fiasco.

MotoGP at Miller would be awesome. I attended some great WSBK events there. But the crowds and money might be too thin to attract Dorna there sadly.

...and as soon as possible. Go right ahead, guys. Please. Don't let the door hit you...

No outside drinks or snacks? Amazing. Were they confiscating cameras as well? I don't know what I would have done without having my pockets filled with water and goodies at Indy - eating and drinking there could be a challenge.

I think the racing at Indy's been pretty enjoyable the last two years - hadn't a number of riders warmed up to the track?

Is Miller still a complete dustbowl (not to been confused with the sandbox that is Qatar)? Everybody speaks highly of it, but I keep waiting for Mad Max to make an appearance every time I see it on TV.

Yeah, Laguna was pretty bitchin'.

"I think the racing at Indy's been pretty enjoyable the last two years - hadn't a number of riders warmed up to the track?"

Perhaps MM because he can't lose on American soil but as for the rest of the field....I have never heard, read or watched a single rider express excitement to get to race the wonderful Indy track.

The conventional wisdom was that DORNA would drop Indy in order to add a race in an expanding market, like India, Indonesia, etc.. Instead they replace Indy with yet another European round, Austria. And there are still 4 rounds in Spain.

And another thing, Indy got ragged on, but I don't know why. In comparison, COTA is a crap track with way too many straights into 1st gear turns, and the entire twisty section around the tower/stadium is also first gear. And the front straight uphill climb to a plateau hairpin is just plain stupid. Just because it is new and in the USA does not mean it is a good motorcycle racetrack.

Living in the northeast US, and having ridden to Indy 7 of the 8 years, I will neither ride or fly to Austin. If I were to fly there, I might as well fly over to Holland and see a real track like Assen. Rant off.

The Red Bull Ring is a whopping 200 miles (323 km) from Brno. Seriously they need 2 races that close together a week apart? If I owned Brno I'd be pissed too. But if I wanna see a GP race I need to go 1100 miles now to do so. Dorna is geographically retarded.

Me and my wife have been to as many GPS as possible and desperately want to see Vale at misano next year. Are the races that aren't labeled as subject to contract 100% set in stone as we would be gutted to end up booking flights and hotels then find the race moved.

BTW went to CotA this year and had an epic time in texas but the racing wasn't a patch on valencia, Argentina or our home race of Silverstone

COTA. Another cookie cutter track like are being built everywhere.

What happened to tracks like the old Hockenheimring, Spa and the Salzburgring? They get replaced with all this Tilke designed garbage. Tracks feel the same no matter where they get planted.

The US round should be given to Road America. Classic track, racing thru the forests with real elevation changes. A much more proper track than COTA or Indy, even though I'll miss the easy trip to Indy. Indy was cool in spite of the track layout itself.

I'll be looking at a return to European soil to watch Vale next year.

about Road America. Put that on my list with Barber!

>>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.

I remember reading that Qatar's fee for being gauranteed the opening round was enough to cover transport for the season? Or is it just word play that the fee amount is the same as transport costs but does not go towards paying them?


The best track in the USA may be Road America, unfortunately most people have never heard of it. Biggest problem with the US and Canada is the countries are so big geographically and the percent of the population that is interested in racing of any kind is small. Not only are the races in Europe closer together they are well attended because a larger percentage of people enjoy racing. Case in point, F1 star Louis Hamilton comes over to the USA and dates celebrities all the time and most people ask whose that guy she's with! In Europe we're told Hamilton, Rossi, Lorenzo, et al are just as popular as soccer, Oops! I mean football, stars like Beckham, Messi, Rooney, Renaldo etc. Many people here in the USA don't know who any racers are and think racing is not a sport! But they'll pay hundreds of $$$ to go sit in the cold weather of Green Bay, WI and watch Aaron Rodgers throw a football around for $22,000,000 a year!
Sorry, I'm done!

I couldn't have said it better. People complaining about having to travel so far to see a race or too many races in Europe/Spain are about as logical as people in the UK complaining that they only get one preseason American Football game a year when flying to the UK from NY is about the same amount of time as flying to LA from NY so they deserve a team, cause NY already has two teams.

Seriously USA is such a vast country with a huge population where overwhelmingly no one cares about MotoGP let alone Formula 1 (arguably a larger international motorsport). We care thats why we are on this site, but go to your local sports news caster and ask him/her who Nicky Hayden is and 9/10 times he/she will give you a blank stare. Ask any Spaniard who Mark Marques is and 10/10 times he/she will have at least SOME idea about who he is.

you're right on point, MotoGP in the USA shouldn't be competing between Indy or COTA or Laguna. It is more likely competing with NFL, NBA, and MLB. That's like pitting a tiger against a housecat. MotoGP for all it's glory doesn't stand a chance to the marketing budgets of the american "big 3". Spain and other european countries care enough to follow and spend their $$ so they get more attention from Dorna. We have to rebuild the fan base here to a level that can support more events. That seems to be the whole story of moto racing in america.

There seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding of what Dorna does.

They are a sports marketing company. They make their revenue by selling TV distribution rights to events. As I understand it - Dorna don't get involved in ticket sales. That is the province of the promoter and the circuit.

Ticket sales are only relevant to Dorna in as much as they generate revenue for the event promoter, to cover the fee for Dorna bringing the event to their circuit.

The reason for two races in the US was to try to raise interest in the sport, to increase the value of the TV distribution rights in the US. It seems to have not worked as hoped.

They are purely driven by market forces and profit - as is every successful business.

Blaming them for pulling the Indy race makes as much sense as blaming Coca Cola, because your local shop doesn't sell your sugary beverage of choice. If a profitable amount of people want it, and are prepared to pay for it, then they will deliver.

If not, they will go somewhere else.

I know a lot of MotoGP fans, and a lot of petrolheads generally, but I don't know anyone who would go to both the MotoGP and F1 rounds. Sure, there must be some, but I don't think it's economically significant for Silverstone to worry about.

I would have thought it's less to do with fans and more to do with the 'floating voter', who will attend a big sporting event because it's just that.

I don't know how many of them there are but I'll put dough on the fact that that's the group that Silverstone are concerned about.

Won't be a problem once Circuit of Wales is up and running ...... especially with all those flying pigs we'll all be able to gawp at!!

Looks like Austin and Argentina have swapped places too. Cota had been the second round of the season for the last three years.