MotoGP working on plans to run Sepang pre-season test in February

MotoGP is working with the Malaysian government to allow the paddock to go to the first pre-season test with softer COVID-19 restrictions

MotoGP working on plans to run Sepang pre-season test in February

Travel restrictions remain in place worldwide heading into 2021 owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, with countries tightening their borders in the wake of the spread of a new variant of the virus.

Currently, all travellers to Malaysia must observe a minimum quarantine period of seven days, should a negative PCR test result be provided, before being allowed out of self-isolation.

Under its current framework, the Malaysian government's COVID rules pose a problem for the MotoGP paddock, which is set to have its first pre-season test of 2021 at Sepang on 19-21 February - with a shakedown test shortly before that at the same venue on 14-16 February.

However, Autosport understands MotoGP promoters Dorna Sports, the International Race Teams' Association and former Sepang circuit CEO and Petronas SRT boss Razlan Razali have been working for months with the Malaysian government to formulate a plan that would allow the paddock to observe softer restrictions.

It is thought the COVID bubble system MotoGP implemented across its 2020 season to quell the spread of the virus in the paddock will be utilised in Malaysia.

In addition to this, team numbers will be reduced further, having already been cut in 2020 as part of numerous COVID prevention strategies deployed by MotoGP.

While a contingency plan to hold pre-season testing at Jerez was always on the table, it seems the efforts that MotoGP is making means the Malaysia test is more viable as the days go by.

All being well, MotoGP will head from Malaysia to Qatar for its second three-day pre-season test on 10-12 March, with the first round of 2021, scheduled for 28 March, taking place at the Losail Circuit.

MotoGP's provisional calendar for 2021 features 20 races, though the axed Czech Grand Prix has yet to be formally replaced.

However, it is likely some races will ultimately be postponed or cancelled while the world's battle against COVID-19 rages on in the first months of 2021.

Dorna has listed three circuits as reserves, with Portugal's Algarve Circuit, Igora Drive in Russia and the Mandalika street circuit (which is yet to be homologated) in Indonesia acting as back-ups.

shares
comments
Marquez: LCR MotoGP switch won't be like "starting from zero"

Previous article

Marquez: LCR MotoGP switch won't be like "starting from zero"

Next article

MotoGP team boss Gresini hospitalised with COVID-19

MotoGP team boss Gresini hospitalised with COVID-19
Load comments
How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike Plus

How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike

His third place at Misano made Enea Bastianini the fifth different Ducati-mounted rider to score a podium in 2021. Amid a season that has seen one rider amass the bulk of Yamaha and Honda's success, the Ducati's versatility makes for a potent weapon, but the contribution of a former leading light shouldn't be forgotten

The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career Plus

The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career

Maverick Vinales’ early debut with Aprilia has been one of the most interesting plots of the recent MotoGP rounds. The results may not look standout on paper, but a closer inspection reveals just how much progress Vinales has truly made in understanding a bike that has taken him well out of his “comfort zone”

How ‘El Diablo’ and ‘the Beast’ starred in MotoGP’s Misano contest Plus

How ‘El Diablo’ and ‘the Beast’ starred in MotoGP’s Misano contest

On a day each of the podium trio could claim to be the star of the show, the San Marino Grand Prix will be remembered as a pivotal race in both MotoGP’s present and future. While Fabio Quartararo demonstrated his world title credentials just behind Francesco Bagnaia’s flawless victory charge, a new threat emerged from the shadows

MotoGP
Sep 20, 2021
How Ducati’s Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future Plus

How Ducati’s Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future

Duelling against Marc Marquez at the Aragon Grand Prix, Francesco Bagnaia came out on top to secure a long overdue MotoGP victory. As Marquez likened Bagnaia to a Ducati title contender of old, it appears the Italian rider could finally start to fight for wins on a more regular basis

MotoGP
Sep 13, 2021
Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble Plus

Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble

OPINION: The return of Andrea Dovizioso to the grid at Misano will be an interesting subplot to the remainder of the 2021 MotoGP season. But the circumstances that have led to the former Ducati rider ending his sabbatical point to his signing being one more of convenience than a long-term commitment

MotoGP
Sep 8, 2021
Why the British GP was a triumph for MotoGP Plus

Why the British GP was a triumph for MotoGP

OPINION: The 2021 British Grand Prix was a historic day for MotoGP. At the centre of it was Aleix Espargaro on the Aprilia after securing its first podium in the modern MotoGP era. It was something of a full-circle moment that highlighted just how far MotoGP has come in the last decade

MotoGP
Aug 30, 2021
Why Silverstone should be regarded as MotoGP's rightful UK home Plus

Why Silverstone should be regarded as MotoGP's rightful UK home

OPINION: Many of the UK’s MotoGP fans would prefer Donington Park to host the British GP beyond the expiry of Silverstone's current deal. But the circuit's fast, flowing circuit provides the best racing and should be regarded as its best bet for the foreseeable future

MotoGP
Aug 26, 2021
How MotoGP's record smasher is facing his toughest challenge Plus

How MotoGP's record smasher is facing his toughest challenge

The 2020 MotoGP season was an utterly enthralling affair, but few would argue with you if thought it the world championship was a poorer place without its biggest star Marc Marquez. In an exclusive interview, he explains the challenges he's faced in his comeback from injury and what he makes of the current MotoGP landscape

MotoGP
Aug 23, 2021