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

About this article

Series MotoGP
Teams AB Motoracing
Author Oriol Puigdemont
Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return? Plus

Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Plus

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021
Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash Plus

Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash

Despite Suzuki’s decision not to appeal against Race Direction’s refusal to penalise Jack Miller following the incident with Joan Mir in Losail, something must be done to avoid a repeat of such an incident, which could have easily ended in tragedy

MotoGP
Apr 6, 2021
Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike? Plus

Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike?

Against the expected run of play at Qatar's Losail circuit, both Yamaha riders Maverick Vinales and Fabio Quartararo carved through a resolute Ducati defence to secure back-to-back MotoGP wins for the Japanese marque. After a difficult 2020, it appears that Yamaha has swaggered back into championship contention

MotoGP
Apr 5, 2021
Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP Plus

Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP

Lightning hasn't struck twice for Maverick Vinales since 2017 and his wayward form of recent years makes predicting how he'll fare each MotoGP race weekend tricky. But fresh from his Qatar GP win, Vinales looks like an even more dangerous prospect for the Doha GP following an intriguing Friday practice

MotoGP
Apr 3, 2021
Why MotoGP’s new Amazon series is long overdue Plus

Why MotoGP’s new Amazon series is long overdue

OPINION: MotoGP is getting its own version of Drive to Survive on Amazon Prime at some point in the near future. It was news welcomed by the grid’s leading riders. And following the impact DTS has had on Formula 1, MotoGP desperately needs the same boost.

MotoGP
Mar 31, 2021
Did the Qatar GP hint at Ducati’s true MotoGP leader? Plus

Did the Qatar GP hint at Ducati’s true MotoGP leader?

OPINION: Johann Zarco talked a big game pre-season, and is so far vindicating himself as a factory rider at Pramac after finishing the Qatar GP as top Ducati in second. And contrasting his and Jack Miller's weekends and their approaches, is Zarco emerging as Ducati's true MotoGP leader?

MotoGP
Mar 30, 2021
The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack' Plus

The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack'

Maverick Vinales’s authoritative victory at the MotoGP season opener came during a period of personal and professional change for the Yamaha rider. Can it be the springboard for a title challenge?

MotoGP
Mar 29, 2021