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Assen WorldSBK Round Postponed To August - Further Changes On The Horizon

The COVID-19 outbreak has caused further delay in the WorldSBK calendar. Today, it was announced that the Dutch round of WorldSBK, due to be held at Assen on the weekend of April 19th, has been postponed, and put back to August.

The postponement of the Assen round became inevitable on Monday night, after the Dutch government extended its ban on public events until June 1st, and tightened restrictions on travel and gatherings.

Preparations for the change had been going on for some time, as the TT Circuit in Assen has a full calendar of events, with some kind of activity taking place on most days of the year. The new spot slots the WorldSBK race in between two other major events, the Gamma Racing Day, from 7th-9th August, and the Assen DTM round, from 4th-6th September.

The postponement of Assen is unlikely to be the last change to the WorldSBK calendar. The calendar has now been labeled as provisional by the FIM and Dorna, a wise move given the current state of the coronavirus crisis. The rounds in Italy and Spain are also likely to be postponed and rescheduled, given the current state of affairs in those countries. Another calendar revision is expected later this week.

The new calendar and press release accompanying it appears below:


MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship/FIM Supersport and Supersport 300 World Championships
UPDATE: 2020 Provisional calendar, 24th March 2020

With an ongoing international impact from the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the following change has been made to the upcoming Assen round of the 2020 Motul FIM Superbike World Championship calendar.

The FIM, Circuit Officials & Dorna WSBK Organization informs that, due to unforeseen circumstances, the Pirelli Dutch Round will be rescheduled.

Rescheduled:

  • Pirelli Dutch Round (previously 17th – 19th April) rescheduled for 21st – 23rd August.

FIM and Dorna WSBK Organization are continuously working with Circuits and Government Officials following up the situation in each country and will inform accordingly if there are further changes to the 2020 Calendar.

Further updates to follow soon.

Date Country Circuit WorldSBK WorldSSP WorldSSP300
28 Feb – 1 March Australia Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit X X  
13 – 15 March Qatar Losail International Circuit* X X  
8 - 10 May Italy Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari di Imola X X X
22 - 24 May Spain MotorLand Aragón X X X
12 - 14 June Italy Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” X X X
3 - 5 July United Kingdom Donington Park X X X
31 July - 2 August Germany Motorsport Arena Oschersleben X X X
21 - 23 August The Netherlands TT Circuit Assen X X X
4 - 6 September Portugal Autódromo Internacional do Algarve X X X
18 - 20 September Spain Circuit de Barcelona - Catalunya X X X
2 - 4 October France Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours X X X
9 – 11 October Argentina Circuito San Juan Villicum X X  
23 - 25 October Spain Circuito de Jerez - Ángel Nieto X X X

*Postponed

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Engine And Aerodynamics Homologation Backdated To Qatar

As we reported yesterday, based on reports by Italian website GPOne.com, engine and aerodynamics development is to be frozen. But it appears that the story was wrong in at least one respect: engine homologation will not be taken from this week, but be backdated to Qatar.

What this means in practice is that the factories will have to submit engine designs for homologation as they were intending to use them at Qatar. Honda had already done this, having submitted engines for homologation at the season opener at Qatar, at which the MotoGP class was not present. But the bikes and engines were, as were a few key staff. The other factories did not submit their engines at Qatar, but have now sent sample engines to Dorna for homologation.

Aerodynamics is also to be frozen, although these are to be homologated by submitting technical drawings of the designs. Technical Director Danny Aldridge will assess those designs against the MotoGP regulations and approve or reject them on that basis.

This means that once racing gets underway again, whenever that may be this season, the factories without concessions - Ducati, Honda, Yamaha, and Suzuki - will have to race with the engine designs already submitted to Danny Aldridge for homologation, and all six factories . They will be allowed one more upgrade during the 2020 season.

Dorna issued a press release explaining the procedure in response to a few news stories which had been floating around. Initially, engine homologation had been expected to take place at the first race of the season, which at the time of the Qatar season opener was expected to be in April. That would have allowed factories to continue developing their engines and aerodynamics, although they would have had to rely on test riders rather than factory riders due to test restrictions.

The fact that Honda chose to submit their engines for homologation at Qatar demonstrates the caution with which the factories approach this. Homologation an engine approved by a test rider without contracted riders having a chance to try it would have been a massive risk, with the penalty for getting it wrong substantial: being forced to use that engine for the entire season.

Dorna also made a point of clearing up another point of confusion. In the past few days, the idea of freezing all development had been floated in the media, but Dorna was keen to quash any such suggestion. They had never considered any such suggestion, the press release stated, for the very good reason that it would be impossible to police.

The Dorna press release announcing the move appears below:


MotoGP™ class scrutineering carried out remotely

Manufacturers supply sample engines and digital drawings of their aero-body in order to complete homologation

Monday, 23 March 2020

There are a number of questions that the ongoing coronavirus outbreak and subsequent delay in competition raises for the MotoGP™ World Championship, and one of those is the technical homologation. In the MotoGP™ class, the engine must be the same specification for the whole season – the only exemptions being for factories qualifying for concessions – and each rider also has the limit of two aero-body versions per season and per rider that they are allowed to homologate.

Normally, the engine specification for the season is homologated on the Thursday of the first Grand Prix, as is the first of the two aero-fairings. Due to the cancellation of the MotoGP™ class at Losail, that wasn’t possible for every factory. However, the QNB Grand Prix of Qatar remains the official starting point of the season and the point at which the rules for homologation begin being enforced.

Like every year, the 2020 engine specifications (except KTM and Aprilia machines as they qualify for concessions) must remain the same during the whole season and each rider has to homologate the first aero-fairing.

The FIM, IRTA, MSMA and Dorna all agree that for reasons of equality and fairness the homologation must therefore be carried out remotely and digitally as soon as possible.

Under normal circumstances, factories have two options. Either they can supply a list of sample engine parts to the organisation, providing a means of comparison with engines used throughout the season to verify no changes have been made, or they can supply digital drawings. Normally, each factory chooses to supply either a full sample engine or a sample for all the parts that the engine contains.

This means that if a manufacturer has riders using different engine specifications, like for example an Independent Team rider using an engine design from a past season, they must supply every sample.

Honda are the exception, as they were the only manufacturer that did supply all their sample engine parts at Qatar. The rest of the factories were not able to do so this year due to the extenuating circumstances, and have instead sent their sample engines to the organisation, which must match those in the machines at the first 2020 event.

Digital drawings of each rider’s first aero-body must also be supplied and these must likewise be homologated if they are within the technical restrictions provided in the rulebook.

The FIM, IRTA, MSMA and Dorna make every effort to focus on simplicity for both the manufacturers and the enforcement of the rules. MotoGP™ has never considered a shutdown period in which all factories must cease any and all development for a set period of time, at any time of year, primarily due to the difficulty of policing such a regulation.

Development on any other part of the machine not subject to homologation may therefore continue, as is the case during any season.

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MotoGP Engine And Aerodynamics Development To Be Frozen This Week

Engine and aerodynamics development in the MotoGP class is set to be frozen this week. Under normal circumstances, engine and aerodynamics development for factories without concessions is only frozen on the Thursday before the first race, but the COVID-19 outbreak means that we are a very long way from anything resembling normal circumstances.

Engine development was due to be frozen before the opening round at Qatar on March 8th, but the rapid growth of coronavirus cases in Italy caused the Qatari government to ban entry to Qatar for all Italian citizens, rendering it impossible for the MotoGP class to go ahead at the Losail International Circuit. Fortunately for race fans, the Moto2 and Moto3 riders were already in the country for a test, and the opening round could go ahead.

The cancellation of the first MotoGP race had the beneficial side effect for the MotoGP manufacturers that they could continue with development, of both engines and aerodynamics. Tests were scheduled for Jerez in the week after Qatar, but as the vast scale of the COVID-19 crisis became apparent, increasing restrictions on movement forced the factories to cancel the test in Jerez.

Since then, countries around the world have moved further and further toward a lockdown of all movement. But because the situations between countries have varied, the restrictions imposed on the various manufacturers has also differed.

For that reason, MotoGP has decided to freeze engine and aerodynamics development this week, Italian website GPOne.com is reporting. MotoGP Technical Director Danny Aldridge has reportedly already given the factories notice that development will be frozen from Wednesday next week.

This will entail a slightly different approach to the normal engine development freeze. Under normal circumstances, the manufacturers have to present a sample engine to Danny Aldridge, which will then serve as the homologation unit. Only parts identical to the ones used in that engine may be used throughout the season.

Without the ability to present a sample engine, the factories will have to send technical drawings of the engines, with a list of parts and their specifications for homologation. The system for aerodynamics homologation will not change so much, as factories were required to send technical drawings complete with physical dimensions to Aldridge for verification. The one change here is that Aldridge will not be able to verify the dimensions physically, using the jig created for that purpose.

The purpose of the engine and aerodynamics freeze is twofold: first, it creates a more level playing field, as restrictions on movement in Italy are likely to be much more restrictive and last for longer than in Japan, meaning that potentially, testing could go on in Japan for Yamaha, Suzuki, and Honda, while Ducati, Aprilia, and KTM were all locked down.

Secondly, and more importantly, it also reduces costs. By freezing engines and aerodynamics, the factories can't pour more money into developing their 2020 bikes. With large parts of the world locked down, sales of motorcycles have come virtually to a standstill, and with a recession likely to continue even after the threat of the coronavirus has passed, the motorcycle industry is in for a tough couple of years.

This is likely to be just one part of a range of measures taken by Dorna to manage the fallout of the COVID-19 crisis. GPOne's Paolo Scalera suggests that Dorna could look other ways of trying to reduce costs, not just for this year, to ensure the long-term health of the sport.

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Circuit Of The Americas Lays Off Staff, Suspends Activities Indefinitely

The Circuit Of The Americas has laid off a large part of its staff and is suspending activities indefinitely. In an open-ended and ambiguous statement issued on Sunday night, the circuit stated that with large-scale public events canceled, there was little for the circuit to do. With both the MotoGP race scheduled for April 5th, and the Indycar round scheduled for April 26th postponed until November, there was little for the circuit to do.

The Circuit Of The Americas also hosts an amphitheater, where large concerts are held, and a USL soccer team, Austin Bold. The Austin mayor has banned large events, and USL has postponed their season for 30 days. That led to COTA deciding to lay off staff, though COTA Chairman Bobby Epstein would not be drawn on exactly how many, when contacted by the local American-Statesman newspaper. MotoMatters.com has also contacted the circuit for clarification, but we have yet to receive a response to our questions.

It is unclear what this means for the long-term future of the circuit. All will depend on when events can resume once it is clear how the coronavirus outbreak has developed. At the moment, the MotoGP round in Austin is still scheduled for November 15th. But like the rest of the MotoGP and WorldSBK calendars, everything is provisional at the moment.

Below is the statement the circuit posted on Social Media and its website:

Statement from the Circuit of the Americas

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2020 WorldSBK Calendar Updated - Season Now Finishes At Jerez, Magny-Cours Moved

The novel coronavirus outbreak is touching all forms of motorcycle racing. After MotoGP had to change its calendar twice in the past two days, the WorldSBK series has also had to change its plans. With the Spanish round at Jerez scheduled for the end of the month, that became untenable.

So the Jerez round of WorldSBK has been pushed back to the end of the year, and is due to be held on the weekend of October 25th. An arrangement has also been made with the Magny-Cours round of WorldSBK, moved a week later to avoid a clash with MotoGP at Aragon, which had also been changed to make way for Thailand. The French round of WorldSBK will now be held on the weekend of October 4th.

The WorldSBK season is now set to hold its second round of 2020 on the weekend of April 19th. But all planning at this time is provisional, and subject to change.

Below is the press release and revised schedule:


MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship/FIM Supersport and Supersport 300 World Championships
UPDATE: 2020 Provisional calendar, 11 March

With ongoing external factors of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the following changes have been made to the 2020 Motul FIM Superbike World Championship calendar.

The FIM, Circuit Officials & Dorna WSBK Organization informs that, due to unforeseen circumstances, the following changes are to be made regarding the 2020 WorldSBK Calendar, with rounds being rescheduled to later dates.

Rescheduled:

  • Pirelli Spanish Round (previously 27th – 29th March) rescheduled for 23rd – 25th October.
  • Pirelli French Round* (previously 25th – 27th September) rescheduled 2nd – 4th October.

Dorna WSBK Organization is working extensively with Circuits and Government Officials following up the situation in each country and will inform accordingly in due course if there are further changes to the 2020 Calendar.

Further updates to follow soon.

*With support and agreement of the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours, the Pirelli French Round will be postponed 1 week to avoid clashes with newly published MotoGP calendar (10th March), in order to maximise the coverage of the event.

Date Country Circuit WorldSBK WorldSSP WorldSSP300
28 Feb – 1 March Australia Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit X X  
13 – 15 March Qatar Losail International Circuit* X X  
17 - 19 April The Netherlands TT Circuit Assen X X X
8 - 10 May Italy Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari di Imola X X X
22 - 24 May Spain MotorLand Aragón X X X
12 - 14 June Italy Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” X X X
3 - 5 July United Kingdom Donington Park X X X
31 July - 2 August Germany Motorsport Arena Oschersleben X X X
4 - 6 September Portugal Autódromo Internacional do Algarve X X X
18 - 20 September Spain Circuit de Barcelona - Catalunya X X X
2 - 4 October France Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours X X X
9 – 11 October Argentina Circuito San Juan Villicum X X  
23 - 25 October Spain Circuito de Jerez - Ángel Nieto X X X

*Postponed

Source: 

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2020 MotoGP Calendar Updated Version 3 - Argentina Postponed To November, Triple Header To Close The Season

The MotoGP calendar has been changed again due to the ongoing outbreak of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. This time, it is the Argentina round of the series, due to be held in Termas de Rio Hondo on April 19th, which has been postponed. The race has now been set for November 22nd, the date Valencia was moved to in yesterday's updated calendar, with Valencia now slated for November 29th.

Moving the Argentina race became almost inevitable, after the Argentine round of MXGP at Neuquen was rescheduled last night. With more and more countries imposing travel restrictions on Italians - Malaysia will be imposing a ban on Italian passport holders, and anyone who has been in Italy in the last 14 days from this Friday, March 13th - organizing events for a sport with such a significant Italian component has become nigh-on impossible.

The latest calendar update imposes a punishing schedule on the second half of the season. The season resumes with back-to-back races at Brno and Austria, followed by a relatively genteel period with a weekend off, then Silverstone, another weekend off, and then Misano.

From there, the schedule gets really tough. There is a weekend off after Misano, and then Aragon and Thailand back-to-back, another weekend off and then the Australasian triple-header of Motegi, Phillip Island, and Sepang. There is a final free weekend after Sepang, and then Austin, Argentina, and Valencia on three consecutive weekends.

There is good reason to believe this will not be the final version of the calendar. The logistics of getting material in and out of Termas De Rio Honda is incredibly difficult, making a trip from Austin to Argentina to Valencia extremely tough to achieve. The last time Argentina was back-to-back, there were problems getting all the equipment needed to the circuit on time. Adding Argentina after Austin also puts two races between Sepang and Valencia, while Sepang's contract guarantees that it will be the penultimate race.

However, by postponing everything until the end of the year, it gives Dorna breathing to wait and see how the coronovirus outbreak develops. The situation is changing incredibly quickly, making planning almost impossible at this point. We have already had three updated calendars in seven days, and two updates on consecutive days.

Dorna can now focus on trying to make the (now) first scheduled round of the year happen at Jerez, on May 3rd, by whatever means possible, perhaps even running it behind closed doors. By the time we get to the summer break, there will be a much clearer idea of what is happening in the world.

Below is the revised calendar:


FIM Grand Prix World Championship
2020 Calendar, 11 March

Gran Premio Motul de la Republica Argentina rescheduled for November

Due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, the Argentina GP has been postponed

The FIM, IRTA and Dorna Sports regret to announce the postponement of the Gran Premio Motul de la Republica Argentina, which was set to take place from the 17th to the 19th of April. Due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, the event has been rescheduled for later in the season and will now take place from the 20th to the 22nd of November.

The Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana will therefore now be held from the 27th to the 29th of November.

The Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas retains its new date from the 13th to the 15th of November, a week before the rescheduled Gran Premio Motul de la Republica Argentina.

Following these schedule changes, the 2020 MotoGP™ class season is now set to begin with the Gran Premio Red Bull de España at the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto from the 1st to the 3rd of May 2020.

Dates for the Moto2™ and Moto3™ test in Valencia and the MotoGP™ test in Jerez at the end of the year will be decided once the season is underway.

Date Grand prix Circuit
08 March Qatar* Losail International Circuit
03 May Spain Circuito de Jerez – Ángel Nieto
17 May France Le Mans
31 May Italy Autodromo del Mugello
07 June Catalunya Barcelona - Catalunya
21 June Germany Sachsenring
28 June Netherlands TT Circuit Assen
12 July Finland** KymiRing
09 August Czech Republic Automotodrom Brno
16 August Austria Red Bull Ring-Spielberg
30 August Great Britain Silverstone
13 September San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli
27 September Aragón MotorLand Aragón
04 October Thailand Chang International Circuit
18 October Japan Twin Ring Motegi
25 October Australia Philip Island
01 November Malaysia Sepang International Circuit
15 November Americas Circuit of the Americas
22 November Republica Argentina Termas de Rio Hondo
29 November Comunitat Valenciana Comunitat Valenciana-Ricardo Tormo

* Evening - Moto2 and Moto3 only
** Subject to FIM Homologation

Source: 

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2020 MotoGP Calendar Updated Again - Austin Postponed To November, Valencia Moved A Week

The ongoing outbreak of novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, has forced yet another change to the MotoGP calendar for 2020. Due to the restrictions on movement imposed in Italy, in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus, the US round of MotoGP at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, has been postponed until November.

The MotoGP paddock will gather in Austin on November 15th, instead of April 5th. November 15th was originally the date planned for the final round of MotoGP in Valencia, but to make way for Austin, Valencia has been pushed back a week, and will now be held on the weekend of November 22nd.

That means that as of today, March 10th, the MotoGP class will kick off their season at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit in Argentina on April 19th, with the paddock returning to Europe two weeks later for Jerez.

However, even that is far from certain. Argentina has had its first cases of novel coronavirus, and based on experiences in every other country with the virus, those numbers will quickly grow. The restrictions in Italy are due to remain in place until April 3rd, but there is no guarantee that they will be lifted after that period.

Furthermore, restrictions are being put in place on events in Spain, with all soccer matches to be played behind closed doors for the time being, and no certainty that the authorities will not place further bans on travel. The Jerez round of WorldSBK, due to take place on the weekend of March 29th, also looks all but certain to be canceled.

The new calendar makes for packed end of season. Of the eleven rounds to be held after the summer break, only two - Silverstone and Misano - are standalone events, with a free weekend either side. The Brno round is followed by Austria, then Aragon and Thailand back to back (a major logistical challenge in itself), then the traditional triple header of Motegi, Phillip Island, and Sepang, and finally Austin and Valencia. And to cap it all off, a test in Jerez three days after the final round in Valencia.

That is a punishing schedule by any stretch of the imagination. There is no more room to fit extra events in, without resorting to radical measures, such as 'racing on Christmas Day', as Dorna boss Carmelo Ezpeleta put it in the press conference in Qatar. He was not entirely serious, but it is looking less and less of a joke.

The updated calendar issued by Dorna is the second change in six days. The speed of those changes reflects the speed at which the situation is developing. On Saturday, sources told me that they expected to make a decision on Austin by the end of the week. By Sunday, before the season opener in Qatar, with Moto2 and Moto3 in the starring roles, that had changed to today, Tuesday 10th March.

The likelihood that this is the last change to the calendar is slim. As Ezpeleta made clear at Qatar, they are determined to put on as many races as possible this year. Radical solutions could be on the table, such as racing into December, and shifting early races which they have to postpone to the end of the year. The outbreak of the virus is still in its early stages, but in six months time, the situation should at least be more predictable, and perhaps more manageable. More changes are likely.

The press release and updated calendar appear below:


FIM Grand Prix World Championship
2020 Calendar, 10 March

Due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, the Americas GP has been postponed

The FIM, IRTA and Dorna Sports regret to announce the postponement of the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, which was set to take place from the 3rd to the 5th of April 2020. Due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, the event has been rescheduled for later in the season and will now take place from the 13th to the 15th of November.

The Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana will therefore be held from the 20th to 22nd of November 2020.

 

Date Grand prix Circuit
08 March Qatar* Losail International Circuit
19 April Republica Argentina Termas de Rio Hondo
03 May Spain Circuito de Jerez – Ángel Nieto
17 May France Le Mans
31 May Italy Autodromo del Mugello
07 June Catalunya Barcelona - Catalunya
21 June Germany Sachsenring
28 June Netherlands TT Circuit Assen
12 July Finland** KymiRing
09 August Czech Republic Automotodrom Brno
16 August Austria Red Bull Ring-Spielberg
30 August Great Britain Silverstone
13 September San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli
27 September Aragón MotorLand Aragón
04 October Thailand Chang International Circuit
18 October Japan Twin Ring Motegi
25 October Australia Philip Island
01 November Malaysia Sepang International Circuit
15 November Americas Circuit of the Americas
22 November Comunitat Valenciana Comunitat Valenciana-Ricardo Tormo

* Evening - Moto2 and Moto3 only
** Subject to FIM Homologation

Source: 

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2020 MotoGP Calendar Updated - Aragon 27th September, Thailand 4th October

The FIM have issued a new provisional calendar for the 2020 season. As had been expected, the Thailand round of MotoGP has been moved back to October, creating a similar set of flyaways to 2019. The Buriram round will now take place on October 4th, with a two-week break between Thailand and the rest of the Australiasian triple header.

To make space for Buriram, Aragon has been moved a week earlier, to the 27th September. The MotoGP paddock will face a frantic evening of packing to get everything ready to ship to Thailand, if it is to arrive at Buriram in time.

Those are the only change to the calendar at the moment. The Austin and Argentina rounds are still on the calendar, though still subject to change if the authorities in the US or Argentina decide to impose travel restrictions. The spread of the corona virus is still making planning for the series extremely unpredictable.

To that end, the bikes and equipment for the teams will remain in Qatar, and be shipped from there to the Circuit of the Americas once it becomes clear that Austin will definitely be happening. Waiting is a better policy than trying to second guess what the authorities might decide in such a fast-developing situation.

The new calendar appears below:


FIM Grand Prix World Championship
2020 Calendar, 5 March

Due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, the OR Thailand Grand Prix was recently postponed.
The FIM, IRTA and Dorna have evaluated alternative dates for the event later this season and can now announce that the Thai GP has been rescheduled for the 2 nd to 4th of October.

The Aragon Grand Prix will now be held a week earlier, from the 25th to 27th September.

Date Grand prix Circuit
08 March Qatar* Losail International Circuit
05 April Americas Circuit of the Americas
19 April Republica Argentina Termas de Rio Hondo
03 May Spain Circuito de Jerez – Ángel Nieto
17 May France Le Mans
31 May Italy Autodromo del Mugello
07 June Catalunya Barcelona - Catalunya
21 June Germany Sachsenring
28 June Netherlands TT Circuit Assen
12 July Finland** KymiRing
09 August Czech Republic Automotodrom Brno
16 August Austria Red Bull Ring-Spielberg
30 August Great Britain Silverstone
13 September San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli
27 September Aragón MotorLand Aragón
04 October Thailand Chang International Circuit
18 October Japan Twin Ring Motegi
25 October Australia Philip Island
01 November Malaysia Sepang International Circuit
15 November Comunitat Valenciana Comunitat Valenciana-Ricardo Tormo

* Evening - Moto2 and Moto3 only
** Subject to FIM Homologation

Source: 

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2020 Qatar Moto2 And Moto3 Round Schedule - Time Plan Without MotoGP

With the MotoGP class absent from the first round of the MotoGP series, Dorna were forced to draw up a new schedule for Moto2 and Moto3 to fill up the space vacated by the premier class. The changes come down to Moto2 moving up to take over the slot originally scheduled for MotoGP, with Moto3 moving up to take the place of Moto2.

What it means in practice is that both classes will practice in daylight, but for the Moto3 class, FP2, and qualifying will be held at 5:05pm, shortly before sunset, while the race starts at 4:20pm. Moto2 holds FP2, qualifying, and the race at 6pm, after the sun goes down and under the floodlights. The Asia Talent Cup is also holding its opening round of the season at Qatar, with two races.

The press conference is going to be the most intriguing part of the weekend. Dorna are changing the format in an attempt to get more interaction between riders and journalists, and in doing so, they are throwing the Moto3 and Moto2 riders into the deep end. Neither Moto2 nor Moto3 riders are used to being in the full glare of the media spotlights, and at Qatar, they will get their first taste of the big time.

The schedule for the weekend appears below. All times local time in Doha, Qatar (Arabia Standard Time):

Thursday    
17:00 Press Conference Moto2:Jorge Navarro, Jorge Martin, Remy Gardner
Moto3: Filip Salac, Ai Ogura, Tony Arbolino
     
Friday    
12:30-13:10 Asia Talent Cup FP1
13:25-14:05 Moto3 FP1
14:20-15:00 Moto2 FP1
16:10-16:50 Asia Talent Cup FP2
17:05-17:45 Moto3 FP2
18:00-18:40 Moto2 FP2
     
Saturday    
12:00-12:40 Asia Talent Cup Qualifying
12:55-13:35 Moto3 FP3
13:50-14:30 Moto2 FP3
16:10 Asia Talent Cup Race 1 (14 laps)
17:05-17:20 Moto3 Q1
17:30-17:45 Moto3 Q2
18:00-18:15 Moto2 Q1
18:25-18:40 Moto2 Q2
19:30 Qualifying Press
Conference
 
     
Sunday    
13:10-13:30 Moto3 Warm up
13:40-14:00 Moto2 Warm up
15:00 Asia Talent Cup Race 2 (14 laps)
16:20 Moto3 Race (18 laps)
18:00 Moto2 Race (20 laps)

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Qatar WorldSBK Round Postponed - To Be Rescheduled

After Qatar blocked the entry of Italian and Japanese passport holders into the country, causing the MotoGP race (but not the round) to be rescheduled), it was inevitable that the WorldSBK round would follow suit. Today, Dorna and the FIM announced that they had to postpone the Qatar round of WorldSBK, pending further rescheduling.

If the situation was difficult for MotoGP, it was even worse for WorldSBK. Not only is Ducati competing in WorldSBK, but Pirelli, the official tire supplier, is Italian, and staffed entirely by Italians. The Pirelli tire fitters and engineers had all headed home to Italy after the opening round of WorldSBK at Phillip Island, with no possiblity to enter Qatar. Without tires, nobody can race.

The round is now due to be rescheduled, with a suggestion that the most likely time for the races to be held being the end of the year.

The press release from Dorna announcing the postponement of the Qatar round appears below:


Lauretana Water Qatar Round to be rescheduled

External travel restrictions force postponement of Round 2 of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship

The FIM and Dorna WSBK Organization regret to announce that the Lauretana Water Qatar Round of the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship is to be postponed until further notice.

As the global coronavirus outbreak continues, travel restrictions to Qatar have been enforced, primarily affecting passengers from Italy, amongst others. People arriving directly from the country or who have been in Italy in the past two weeks will be taken directly to quarantine for a minimum of 14 days.

Italian participation in WorldSBK – both on track and off – is vital, thus the decision has been taken to postpone the Lauretana Water Qatar Round until further notice.

Further updates will be published in due course.

Source: 

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