MotoGP teams to discuss Qatar GP date change

MotoGP teams will meet online with Dorna Sports and the FIM on Thursday to discuss the possibility of moving the date of the 2021 season-opening Qatar Grand Prix

MotoGP teams to discuss Qatar GP date change

On Tuesday, MotoGP announced it had cancelled the Sepang pre-season test in Malaysia after a state of emergency was declared due to an escalation in COVID-19 cases in the country.

Currently, the Qatar test on 10-12 March is scheduled to go ahead, with the championship start date of 28 March in the country provisionally still on.

Autosport understands a meeting between the heads of all MotoGP teams, governing body the FIM and commercial rights holder Dorna will take place on Thursday to discuss the possibility of altering the 28 March start date.

Currently, the sole pre-season test now scheduled in 2021 will end two weeks before the first round as has been the case in previous years.

But last year the outbreak of COVID-19 reached a critical point worldwide between the Qatar test and the opening round, forcing the MotoGP race to be cancelled owing to travel restrictions coming into force in the country.

One option set to be discussed is moving the Qatar test date back to shorten the gap between it and the grand prix, which would allow for teams to remain in the country for the race without having to spend money on two weeks' worth of accommodation.

Another option is to move the Qatar GP forward to the week before.

Currently, the 2021 Formula 1 season is due to begin on 28 March in Bahrain, which will lead to a television clash as both are run as twilight events.

With F1 postponing its original season-opener in Australia, Autosport understands some teams believe MotoGP should use this slot for the Qatar round.

For this to happen, approval would need to be had from the television broadcasters and the Qatar GP organisers.

The provisional 2021 MotoGP calendar consists of 20 events, though only 19 have been confirmed as the slot originally held by the Czech GP remains a TBC on the draft schedule.

But with the virus situation around the world worsening owing to the emergence of new variants of COVID-19, it is likely further revisions will have to be made.

Last year MotoGP completed a 14-round calendar centred in Europe, with Jerez, Red Bull Ring, Misano, Aragon and Valencia hosting two races each.

shares
comments
Rins thought news of Brivio's Suzuki MotoGP exit "was a joke"

Previous article

Rins thought news of Brivio's Suzuki MotoGP exit "was a joke"

Next article

Suzuki "will be more united than ever" after Brivio MotoGP exit

Suzuki "will be more united than ever" after Brivio MotoGP exit
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Teams AB Motoracing
Author Germán Garcia Casanova
Why 2021 is Aprilia's most important MotoGP season Plus

Why 2021 is Aprilia's most important MotoGP season

Aprilia’s pre-season progress in MotoGP in recent years has always ended up flattering to deceive. But concessions in the rules has allowed it to start 2021 with a new bike. The early signs are promising, and they need to be as 2021 - for numerous reasons - will be Aprilia’s most important season in MotoGP.

Why Alex Marquez doesn't care about 'shutting up' MotoGP critics Plus

Why Alex Marquez doesn't care about 'shutting up' MotoGP critics

Alex Marquez's form was one of MotoGP 2020's biggest surprises and, by firmly stepping out of his six-time world champion brother Marc's shadow, proved a few people wrong. Not that he cares about this, as he tells LEWIS DUNCAN...

MotoGP
Feb 20, 2021
How Yamaha's new MotoGP era can unchain Vinales Plus

How Yamaha's new MotoGP era can unchain Vinales

After the electrifying start to his Yamaha MotoGP career in 2017, Maverick Vinales has struggled for consistency. Many anticipate that the arrival of Fabio Quartararo could spell disaster, but the departure of Valentino Rossi could be just the impetus he needs

MotoGP
Feb 16, 2021
Does KTM really need 'super engine' for MotoGP title challenge? Plus

Does KTM really need 'super engine' for MotoGP title challenge?

Fears from rival MotoGP manufacturers that KTM would build a 'super engine' for 2021 have ultimately come to nothing with the revealation that the RC16 hasn't been radically changed over the winter. But does it really need that to win the title?

MotoGP
Feb 13, 2021
How Ducati can channel Stoner with its latest MotoGP Aussie Plus

How Ducati can channel Stoner with its latest MotoGP Aussie

OPINION: Australians on Ducatis is an iconic partnership, the marque's last one yielding its sole MotoGP crown to date. But its latest Aussie union with the often underestimated Jack Miller can end this drought

MotoGP
Feb 10, 2021
The "balls out" battle between MotoGP's true greats Plus

The "balls out" battle between MotoGP's true greats

Senna vs Prost is regularly cited as motorsport's greatest rivalry. But it can easily be argued Rainey vs Schwantz can stake that claim. That rivalry was in full swing during the 1991 500cc season, remembered fondly by both stars 30 years on...

MotoGP
Jan 19, 2021
The "warrior" MotoGP rookie KTM was right to back Plus

The "warrior" MotoGP rookie KTM was right to back

The 2020 MotoGP campaign featured a standout pair of rookies, but one flew under the radar as he adjusted to a shock step-up armed with very little racing experience. However as his veteran team boss explains, the faith shown in him was not misplaced

MotoGP
Jan 18, 2021
Why Suzuki's Brivio replacement must come from within Plus

Why Suzuki's Brivio replacement must come from within

With its charismatic leader Davide Brivio leaving for F1, the Suzuki MotoGP squad he turned into a world championship-winning force in 2020 has a major recruitment headache that it needs to resolve carefully to build on the foundations Brivio built up

MotoGP
Jan 8, 2021