2020 Provisional Calendar - 20 Races, Finland Added, More Back To Back Races

The FIM have issued a provisional calendar for the 2020 MotoGP season, which sees the series expand to 20 races, and lays the basis for expansion to 22 races. The biggest changes are the addition of the Kymiring in Finland in July, and the moving of the Thailand round of MotoGP in Buriram from October to 22nd March.

The racing season kicks off as ever in Qatar, the MotoGP race being moved to the first week of March. From Qatar, the series heads east to Thailand, the MotoGP race taking the slot of the WorldSBK race at Buriram. Attendance for the WorldSBK round had fallen since MotoGP went to Thailand, and so the WorldSBK round is being dropped, with another overseas round to be held in its place.

From Thailand, the paddock heads east once again to cross the International Date Line and head to Austin, the US round moving up to become the third race of the year, ahead of Argentina. The Argentina Grand Prix takes place two weeks after Austin. 

After the overseas rounds, the MotoGP circus heads to Europe, for the traditional start of the season in Jerez, followed by Le Mans and Mugello. The first seven races of the year are all nicely spaced two weeks apart, but after Mugello, a series of back-to-back races ensue.

The Barcelona round takes place the week after Mugello, and then two weeks later, the series heads north to the Sachsenring, which takes place the week before Assen, instead of after it. The move has enabled the Finnish GP at the Kymiring to be slotted in as the last race before the summer break.

The riders will be pleased to hear that there will be a proper summer break, with three free weekends between Finland and Brno, the Czech Grand Prix taking place on 9th August. But it is a hard return, Brno and Austria being back-to-back in August. The British Grand Prix returns at the end of August, and will be held on the August Bank Holiday, as usual, the Misano round taking place two weeks after that.

There is then a longer break between Misano and Aragon, the Aragon race being pushed back a week to take place in early October. The series then heads overseas for the Australasian triple header, with Motegi, Phillip Island, and then Sepang being held on consecutive weekends, as usual. There had been talk of splitting the flyaways up into two blocks of two races, but the decision to move Thailand to March prevented that plan.

The series ends as always in Valencia, in the middle of November. 

Testing will commence in Sepang, and there will be a Qatar test as well. The teams and Dorna had tried to get the Qatar test dropped, but the factories had objected, feeling that they needed two tests to prepare the new season. This is a battle which will be repeated after 2021, when Dorna want to expand the calendar to 22 races, for which there is a list of candidates wanting to join. Indonesia, Vietnam, and possibly a new track in Brazil could be added to the calendar.

The expansion to 20 races is unpopular inside the paddock. The racers are split on whether it is a good thing, with especially the older riders feeling there are too many races. Team and factory staff - engineers, mechanics, etc - are almost universally unhappy, as more races mean more time away from home and family.

Below is the provisional calendar for 2020, including the pre-season tests:

Date Event/Grand Prix Circuit
7-9th February Sepang MotoGP Test Sepang International Circuit
19-21st February Jerez Moto2/Moto3 test Circuito de Jerez – Ángel Nieto
22-24th February Qatar MotoGP Test Losail International Circuit
28/29 Feb/1st March Qatar Moto2/3 Test Losail International Circuit
8th March Qatar* Losail International Circuit
22nd March Thailand Chang International Circuit
5th April Americas Circuit of the Americas
19th April Republica Argentina Termas de Rio Hondo
3rd May Spain Circuito de Jerez – Ángel Nieto
17th May France Le Mans
31st May Italy Autodromo del Mugello
7th June Catalunya Barcelona - Catalunya
21st June Germany Sachsenring
28th June Netherlands TT Circuit Assen
12th July Finland** KymiRing
9th August Czech Republic*** Automotodrom Brno
16th August Austria Red Bull Ring-Spielberg
30th August Great Britain Silverstone
13th September San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli
4th October Aragón MotorLand Aragón
18th October Japan Twin Ring Motegi
25th October Australia Philip Island
1st November Malaysia Sepang International Circuit
15th November Comunitat Valenciana Comunitat Valenciana-Ricardo Tormo

* Evening
** Subject to FIM Homologation
*** Subject to the Contract
 

 

Source: 

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Comments

With the universal comments from the riders about the bumps, I'm surprised that COA is still on the calendar; however, maybe the bumps will be even worse for F1 drivers in early November and this will prompt the move to another track.

The US has few tracks that can accomidate MotoGP, with Indy being the only one that comes to mind

Total votes: 7

I would trade 3 of those Spanish races and CoTA to get Laguna Seca back. Or to go to Road Atlanta. Too many races IMO. 

Total votes: 14

The more races we have, the less important each individual event becomes. Twenty is, in my opinion, four too many.

Total votes: 13

not the absolute limit?  I love MotoGP more than most things, but I also love mountain biking and cycling in general and especially watching the UCI world cup.  With so many GP races, i have hardly any time to watch the world cup, let alone MotoAmerica or BSB which i dearly love too (sorry WSBK). 

But that's just me; I feel for the teams and the circus in general.  For people with families that is terribly difficult I imagine. 

Total votes: 11

The move to more 20 and then 22 (I guess) MotoGP races reminds me of what has transpired for the mainstream American Sports (football, baseball, basketball and hockey.) Apologies to soccer, tennis, volleyball, et al fans...  Those are sports too, of course.

The aforementioned mainstream sports "survived" continued expansion primarily because they use large teams (so primary participants can be easily substitited for) and, even when they are volatile and contact-oriented (sports), it's only for a limited period (and even then, those large team sizes come into play.  Brief plays/frequent whistles help, too.) These teams do not travel the distances MotoGP teams (and reporters, nod to David, Zara, et al) travel nor are they solo gladiators on unfliching surfaces competing under almost all conditions. Add the mechnical nature of the beasts they compete on, and I question why MotoGP riders are not listed in the top 10 world athletes, annually.

This smacks of greed (at least to me) and not $ flowing to the riders, their support team and the manufacturers.  Repeated exposure works (so the more eyeballs watching live and on television likely translates into more bike and accessory sales: Once I saw MM winning, I started paying attention to the Honda Sportbikes at my local dealer. But that's me.)

Total votes: 9

Rossi's last season will be 2020 imo.  Too many races.  Too dangerous a sport to punish the riders like this.  And with this many races a crash with or without injury could end someone's championship aspirations.  Even as a fan, it's too much.  Greed being more important than safety.  More races also means the factories should get more engines per season.  22 races in 2021 is ludicrous.  If you held a race ever 2 weeks, 22 races would be almost the entire calendar year.  It's too much.  For the mechanics, teams, riders, factory engineers, it's just not that kind of sport.  The same thing is occurring with the NFL with the league wanting to expand the season to include 2 more games.  Like MotoGP, a very dangerous sport with hefty health implications to overscheduling.  To me a money over health decison.  One rider being overworked could spell death. 

I also agree that COTA is questionable given the surface quality and bumps.  The past 2 years the riders have complained incessantly.  I have read nothing of the tarmac being addressed.  State funding is also a big news item with the circuit failing to file some human trafficking clause preventing them from getting 25 million USD, which the circuit states could cost them the F1 race.  The circuit is in trouble financially and with the track surface. 

Total votes: 13

If they’re going to have this many races they should allow mid-season engine updates. We’ve seen too many seasons where a team has no chance because their pre-season testing didn’t reveal their shortcomings. Adding even more races while stuck with a dud engine spec is going to make the season less worth watching (even though we all know damn well we won’t miss a single second!). 

Get ride of COTA. Nobody likes it. Silverstone has proven that repaving properly works, so if those poor, destitute Texans can’t afford to fix their track, someone else in the USA should be given the opportunity. 

Total votes: 19

More racing? I like it!

Track picks are not optimal. But good stuff. (One less test too, right? Its ok)

Mooooore

Total votes: 8

This year the championship was pretty much decided by race 10. 9 races to play out the string, plenty of excitement, I won't miss a second, but there's no drama at the top. I would hate to think a rider would have the title in hand before the halfway point of the season but it looks as if we could be headed there. Too much is too much and 20 is too much even for me, following it for 41 years and never seeing a better era. (Not favorite era, that would be '78-'93.) As a rich man said pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. Don't be hogs, Dorna. 

Total votes: 8

The season was over once they got back to Europe.  I called it at LeMans.  Marquez 1 or 2 every race but Austin.  It’s been game over for a long time now.  

Total votes: 7

Rossi is done. 2015 showed he can't handle the current 3 flyaways without losing his mind. His best shot at another title is to do it ala Hayden 2006, finish well without domination and have a bit of luck. That won't happen with this many races, cream will rise to the top no matter how many DNFs they have. And this: "with this many races a crash with or without injury could end someone's championship aspirations" is nonsense. If anything, we have seen with the current longer season, Marquez (and possibly anyone) can come back from a large deficit. Even bad injuries causing the loss of 2 or more races could be overcome. MotoGP might consider going NASCAR style, and allow a substitute rider to get points for an injured rider by riding his bike. They could also consider re-jiggering the points schedule (25 for 1st, 20 for 2nd, etc). The possibilities are endless, but it doesn't bode well for old men.

Total votes: 12

From a purely seflish point of view 20 is great. A race every two weeks is spot on as i love watching MotoGP but you cant help but feel for the teams. Thats alot of air miles!

 

Total votes: 7

20 races X 3 (Fri, Sat, Sun) + 6 ? (test days) = 66 days on the bikes

44 days on flights min getting to and from races / test = 110 days on the road

factor in crossing the international date line and duration of some flights and just staying healthy will become its own contest

Total votes: 1