Dorna today unveiled the provisional MotoGP calendar for 2019, confirming much of what we already knew. The schedule will consist of 19 races, as the circuit in Mexico City will not be ready to host a MotoGP race next year, and the Kymiring in Finland is also still under construction. Both races are provisionally expected to be on the 2020 calendar.
The calendar is broadly similar to this year's schedule, with a few tweaks. The season kicks off at Qatar on 10th March, earlier than usual and a week before F1, which normally starts before MotoGP. Three weekends later, the series is racing in Argentina at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit, and two weeks after that, the whole circus heads north for the US round in Austin.
Another extra weekend off means the season gets off to a slow start, the circus heading back to Europe for the first Spanish round at Jerez on 5th May. Le Mans, Mugello, Barcelona, and Assen all follow at two-week intervals, with the final race before the summer break being at the Sachsenring, a week after Assen. No surprise that MotoGP should stay at the Sachsenring, the event being hugely popular, and the circuit working on a deal to take over as promoter of the event, replacing the ADAC in that role.
The reason for Germany being a week earlier is to be give the riders a summer break, the series now having 3 weekends off before returning at Brno. The Czech round and the Austrian round remain back-to-back, before the series heads north again to the UK for the British round. The British GP is scheduled for Silverstone, the circuit having made a commitment to hosting the series, but whether that will remain the case as the fall out from this year's canceled race settles is open to question. Dorna will demand the track is resurfaced, or at the very least that the circuit fixes the draining problems at the track.
One significant change to the calendar is that the Misano round has been moved back a week to 15th September, to avoid a clash with the F1 round at Monza, due to happen on 8th September. This puts the Misano and Aragon rounds back-to-back, a logistical challenge given the 1500km which separates the two circuits.
The flyaways happen in the same order as this year, with the paddock heading to Thailand, then a break for a week, then Motegi, Phillip Island, and Sepang all back-to-back, Sepang starting in November for the first time. The circus ends up at Valencia, as usual, on 17th November.
The 2019 provisional calendar:
|10 March||Qatar*||Losail International Circuit|
|31 March||República Argentina||Termas de Río Hondo|
|14 April||Americas||Circuit of The Americas|
|05 May||Spain||Circuito de Jerez|
|19 May||France||Le Mans|
|02 June||Italy||Autodromo del Mugello|
|16 June||Catalunya||Barcelona - Catalunya|
|30 June||Netherlands||TT Circuit Assen|
|04 August||Czech Republic||Automotodrom Brno|
|11 August||Austria||Red Bull Ring - Spielberg|
|25 August||Great Britain||Silverstone Circuit|
|15 September||San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini||Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli|
|22 September||Aragón||MotorLand Aragón|
|06 October||Thailand||Chang International Circuit|
|20 October||Japan||Twin Ring Motegi|
|27 October||Australia||Phillip Island|
|03 November||Malaysia||Sepang International Circuit|
|17 November||Comunitat Valenciana||Comunitat Valenciana - Ricardo Tormo|
* Night race