The FIM have released another provisional calendar for the MotoGP series, in response to yet another shake up of the F1 calendar by Bernie Ecclestone. With F1 and MotoGP having an informal agreement not to have their dates clash, and with MotoGP losing out in terms of TV audience whenever they do, the MotoGP calendar released in September had too many conflicts with F1.
As a result of those clashes, four races have now been moved to different dates. The German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring has been shifted back a week to 17th July. Silverstone, scheduled to be held on the 17th, has been moved to the 4th September. The Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang has been moved from the start to the end of the Asia-Pacific triple header, and will now be run on 20th October. That shift means that the Valencia race has been pushed back a week, to 13th November.
The shifts in the calendar are all due to clashes. When F1 moved its Silverstone race to 10th July, having the Sachsenring on that date and MotoGP at Silverstone a week after F1 became untenable. Several dates were proposed for Silverstone, with 19th June the favorite for a long time, but in the end, the race was moved back to the beginning of September. That allowed the Sachsenring to be pushed back a week to avoid the F1 clash, but puts Silverstone up against F1 at Monza. The most likely scenario there is that the MotoGP race will be run at 3pm local time, which is after the F1 race at Monza has finished.
Sepang was the other date which was moved, to avoid a clash with F1 at Suzuka. Having two races in the same time zone made scheduling difficult, and so having Sepang after Phillip Island instead of before Motegi made it easier. That means that Valencia had to be pushed back, to give the riders a chance to recover in time for the season finale.
The revised calendar does leave the schedule with some big gaps, and a fair few back-to-back races. There is a three-week hiatus between Barcelona and Assen, then another three weeks between Assen and Germany, before a four-week summer break. August and September see two double headers, with Brno the week after Austria, then Misano a week after Silverstone. Another three week break follows after that, with the flyaway triple header to follow.
It is worth noting that the calendar is still marked as provisional. Two races - Jerez and Brno - are still subject to contract, with continual wrangling over the financing of those events. The irony of the two best-attended MotoGP races having the most problems raising the sanctioning fee is worthy of note.
Below is the press release with the new calendar for next year:
FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix
2016 provisional Calendar, updated 02 November (Changes in bold)
|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|
|14 August||Austria||Red Bull Ring - Spielberg|
|21 August||Czech Republic||Automotodrom Brno**|
|04 September||Great Britain||Silverstone Circuit|
|11 September||San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini||Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli|
|25 September||Aragón||MotorLand Aragón|
|16 October||Japan||Twin Ring Motegi|
|23 October||Australia||Phillip Island|
|13 November||Comunitat Valenciana||Comunitat Valenciana - Ricardo Tormo|
* Evening Race
** Subject to contract