Another Step Closer: Dorna, Andalusia, Jerez Agree Conditions For MotoGP And WorldSBK Races At Jerez

The return of World Championship racing took a big step towards reality on Thursday morning. At a teleconference, Dorna, the regional government of Andalusia, and the city council of Jerez agreed on conditions to hold two MotoGP races and a WorldSBK round at the Jerez circuit. The conditions would included a vastly reduced paddock, and holding the races behind closed doors, with no fans present. Those conditions have been turned into a proposal and submitted to the Spanish government for consideration.

If approved, the agreement would see MotoGP race at Jerez on consecutive weekends, on the 19th and 26th of July, and WorldSBK race in Jerez a week later, on the weekend of August 2nd. Those rounds would be added to the existing and revised provisional MotoGP and WorldSBK calendars, pending the approval of the FIM. The FIM is expected to nod through those changes.

How firm those calendars are is open to question. At the moment, the two Jerez races - if they happen - would be the first races on the MotoGP calendar, followed by the Brno and Austria rounds, both of which have a chance of going ahead. Czech TV reported yesterday that the organizers are hopeful of being able to hold the race behind closed doors, and the Red Bull Ring is in talks with the Austrian government to allow F1 to kick off its 2020 season at the circuit in July, followed by MotoGP in August.

The WorldSBK season is still scheduled to resume at Donington Park in the UK on the weekend of July 5th. No announcement has been made on that race, but given that the UK is still struggling with the disease where other countries are further along the road to recovery, the chances of it being held look slim.

Though the news of the Jerez MotoGP rounds is positive, it still faces significant obstacles. Dorna have sent the Spanish government a proposal, with no guarantee that the health ministry will approve them. But Dorna has been in extensive talks with the Spanish government on the subject of organizing races for a very long time, and must have indications that the government would look favorably on it.

With tourism a key industry for the Andalusia autonomous region, the regional government is keen to have races there. Despite the fact that no fans will be allowed to attend, the race will once again showcase the area as a destination once tourism returns.

The press release from Dorna appears below:


Agreement to make a proposal to the Spanish government to hold two Grands Prix and a WorldSBK round at Jerez

Thursday, 07 May 2020

The Regional Government of Andalusia, the City Council of Jerez de la Frontera and Dorna Sports have agreed to make a proposal to the Spanish government that, if approved, would see the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto hold two MotoGP™ Grands Prix and one WorldSBK round at the end of July and the start of August.

After an electronic meeting this morning between Juan Antonio Marín, Vice President of the Regional Government of Andalusia; Mamen Sánchez Díaz, Mayor of Jerez de la Frontera; and Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports; the three parties have agreed to make a proposal to the Spanish government to organise two FIM MotoGP™ World Championship Grands Prix at the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto on the weekends of the 19th and 26th of July, respectively.

Also proposed is a MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship round at the venue, to be held on the 2nd of August.

Once authorisation from the Spanish government has been given, the three events will be proposed to the FIM for inclusion on their respective calendars. The first MotoGP™ event would be the Grand Prix of Spain, becoming the season opener for the MotoGP™ class, and the second would be the Grand Prix of Andalusia.

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Comments

In a climate that is constantly moving and plans turn to confetti overnight (jeez, you want to hear all the daily hypothetical rubbish in the U.K. about bringing football back..), obviously I welcome this. However, as a seasoned GP watcher (Assen 1985 being my first overseas) I've got tickets for both Barcelona and Aragón but still have no idea if I'll be allowed to go, even if they run! Luckily we have a friend in Veneros on the coast, we stay in his flat for virtually nothing then cross the old Wild West to Aragón, we have got flights for both the original early October date AND the new one a week previous, so we could have two rounds on those dates for which we've got flights and digs but can't go!! I accept safety of the human race is the most important driver here and thankfully we didn't buy the very expensive Mugello tickets before our Airbnb apartment was cancelled. However, it's somewhat surreal hanging on for Aragón happening or another in Spain in late September early October, having the flights, car hire and accommodation but possibly not being allowed to go! If general restrictions are such, we'll still have two nice weekends over there chilling out but to watch it in a bar when the track is over the hill will take some getting used to!

1985 Assen?! Wow, the size of your fun is LONG mate. Fast Freddie is not likely to want to remember that with us eh? All I can think about from mid 80's racing is that the tires must have been like running bagels. Had the misfortune of running in and sorting a bike from late in that era, the old Michelins that came on it were frightening.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=eKhHg3CCYTE

Coming to mind is what Roger Hayden shared once re his young years and attending Laguna Seca events via fence hopping. How much does an official Dorna MotoGP white shirt cost again? Have some ill fitting black jeans and a belt? Black athletic shoes w ugly white soles? "My mask is on, stay 6ft away please. Pass? In the truck I suppose. See you at dinner? *cough*"
;)

Btw, the crystal ball just said Vale is soon to announce his continuing to race in 2021 w Petronas. He will have his own very Yellow garage that goes fine w Aqua for sunset.

then progressed on. Me n my mate rode our Suzuki RG250 Mk3 Gamma & NS400 to Assen, can't believe we did that! Was a huge Ron Haslam fan and was willing Mamola to fall off to give Rocket the win, never happened. Saw Randy in Forli airport returning from Imola WSBK 2002 and told him the story, he was really laughing and said I wasn't the first Brit to say it. He also confirmed that the reason he didn't do a lap of honour (the crowd did boo a little but the weather was horrid) was that the NS500 had gone onto 2 cylinders halfway round the last lap and wouldn't have even made it round, water in the system but Honda never acknowledged this despite journalists probing, heroic stuff..

Almost looks like some racing may happen sometime. Hallelujah.

Hello Shrink, hi Funsize, we are old, I was going to the races in the seventies as well maties.

Hang in there everyone. This to shall pass.

First time must have 77 or 78 ish, Sheene at Brands, then the odd event here and there. Even dabbled in grasstrack but soon realised there's a world of difference between riding very fast on your own and doing the same side by side with 20 axe-wielding murderers. Not for me, I chose to risk life and limb in other ways.

It'd be good if Jerez goes ahead. Here in the UK we're clearly 3 or 4 weeks past the peak and the economy is just beginning to open up a little. Even our local recycling centre (the rubbish dump for us oldies) has announced its reopening, so there's light ahead. There must be a million homes now with piles of DIY waste sat in driveways, mine among them. Racing here in July? Not with spectators I think. As I understand it, while everyone gets that we can't socially distance forever and still have a life of quality, the expectation is that we will have repeat waves of Covid as people relax, and it's a question of how bad these are, whether the next wave just takes us back to where we started. You have to consider that the infection and mortality figures today largely result from contacts 3 or 4 weeks ago, well after lockdown was in place, and we're still seeing hundreds of deaths per day. It doesn't bear thinking about what they'd be if there wasn't a lockdown, and the fear is that, if this is what we get with minimal human contact, what happens when we're back out there even with social distancing? If you've ever seen slo-mo footage of the "spray" from coughs and sneezing, you'll know that 2 metres is nothing to aerosols sprayed at more than 100mph. (There was a fantastic piece done by these doctor twins on uk tv, for kids, two or three years ago, that my daughter used to love watching, where they used UV to show the spray reach).

Personally, I cant see the new normal lasting for very long. The economics alone won't work. You can't make decent money if every other seat on your plane, train, coach or grandstand is empty, at least not without hiking prices to the sky, especially given we're all going to feel the cost of this for years to come. I think it's dawning on people that we're probably going to have to live with this (and it's inevitable mutations) for decades, have to test the water to figure out the tolerable cost, and get on with it. Trouble is, who's willing to go first?

Me, I'm inclined to let my Mugello booking roll over to next year, as I think there's a high probability of it being open to spectators and at least I'll be at the front of the queue (along with several thousand others). Sad though that I'm not heading up to Brands this weekend, it's become bit of an annual pilgrimage as it's right on my doorstep. 

Yes it's very strange at the moment. We'd managed to cobble together a 12 day holiday with the family and friends, 6 days Airbnb in Florence & Mugello, flights from Bologna to Barcelona with 6 more days in another Airbnb on the coast north of Barcelona, that's all gone but really I've just accepted it. Our hosts were sad but cancelled for us as they knew it just wasn't feasible in 2-3 weeks time. As I said I'd held off  buying brilliant Ducati grandstand seats on Correntaio as they are usually late going on sale, and peachy at around €200 each! Have got brilliant top row seats in the huge complex that runs down to the finish in Catalunya, where Rossi & George faced off in 2009, they're not offering refunds or anything yet, who knows? My only hope is Aragon, you need to buy two tickets for this if you want to see anything as you're confined to your grandstand area on Sat/Sunday so I took advantage of their Black Friday sale in the winter and got grandstand and pelouse (grassy open banks), so at least you can swap between 3-4 areas, less than the €90 for the one place in Barcelona. I've noticed this over the years, if you are brave (or organised) enough, you can get the following years' tickets at Spanish events for around 30-40% discount, falling to around 25% near Christmas. Due to the (in my opinion), saturation of GPs in Spain they work hard to commit people early to their race, I was at the 2015 Valencia finale, top row, virtually full view of the track for €32, if I'd have chanced buying extras you could get €3-500 for them in the town on Saturday night! 
I've already got my dream scenario in my head, here goes..they run two consecutive weekends at Aragon, the weekends I'm there, or one there and one at Catalunya and by then start letting folk in, we've already got all the stuff and see two brilliant races in front of an ecstatic, race-starved crowd. Or not. You know what, either way I'm just going to accept it, if my family and friends are all fit and healthy and ready to turn our eyes to the distant racetracks in 2021 then we'll be ok with that; though I'm already committed to riding my Guzzi back to the factory on the shores of Lake Como for the much anticipated 'Cento Anno' of the legendary brand. Life most certainly could be worse. Stay safe everyone until it passes; our street is slowly getting the bunting out for the VE75 celebrations later, tea and scones on the gardens, raising a toast from across the hedges. We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Yeah - me too. 1957 was when I first had the fence wires impressed on my face after being pressed up against them on Devils Elbow!! We’ve just booked leave for the last two weekends in September and the first in October. We have our vouchers from Ryanair (spit!) and we’ll be leaving to the very last minute to decide where we’re going. All else fails there’s always the Stanley Schofield EPs. (What’s this YouTube that everyone’s telling me about?)