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Kazakhstan axed from 2023 MotoGP calendar; circuit not ready

The 2023 MotoGP calendar will lose a round after the FIM announced it would be cancelling the inaugural Kazakhstan Grand Prix.

Kazakhstan track for 2023 MotoGP season

This year was meant to mark a record-breaking year for MotoGP, as it embarked on what was supposed to be its longest season ever at 21 rounds.

MotoGP added two new events to the provisional schedule for 2023, pending final sign-off at the track homologation stage, with Kazakhstan and Indian rounds joining the fray.

The Kazakhstan GP was due to take place on the 9 July at the new Sokol circuit near Almaty.

However, due to the circuit not being ready in time, MotoGP organisers have announced the event is being scrapped for the 2023 season with the hopes of being able to run it in 2024.

The 4.495km track has been designed by Hermann Tilke and is billed as an FIA Grade 2 circuit.

MotoGP will not replace the Kazakhstan GP, meaning the summer break between the Dutch TT on 25 June and the British GP on 6 August will be a welcomed six weeks.

At present, the inaugural Indian GP at the Buddh International Circuit will still take place on the 24 September.

Joan Mir, Repsol Honda Team

Joan Mir, Repsol Honda Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

A brief statement from the FIM read: “The FIM, IRTA [the international teams’ association] and Dorna Sports can confirm the cancellation of the 2023 Kazakhstan GP.

“Ongoing homologation works at the circuit, paired with current global operational challenges, have obliged the cancellation of the 2023 event.

“MotoGP looks forward to visiting Sokol International Racetrack in 2024 to welcome a new region to the calendar.

“The event will not be replaced in 2023.”

This marks the fifth year in succession that the provisional MotoGP calendar has not been completed, with the Finnish GP repeatedly scrubbed from the schedule between 2019 and 2022, while the COVID pandemic forced numerous cancellations.

The returning Finnish GP was finally put to bed last year as ongoing financial problems with the KymiRing meant the circuit project went bust.

The axing of the Kazakhstan GP means an opportunity to score 37 points has been lost by the riders, as the addition of sprints in 2023 means each weekend consists of two races.

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