MotoGP to start 2023 season in Portugal, first European opener since 2006

The 2023 MotoGP World Championship will begin in Europe for the first time since 2006 with the Portuguese Grand Prix in late March.

MotoGP to start 2023 season in Portugal, first European opener since 2006

Earlier this year, MotoGP commercial rights holder Dorna Sports announced that essential track works to the Losail International Circuit in Qatar would cause it to lose its season-opening slot.

Qatar has traditionally been the opening round of MotoGP since 2007, and hosted the first-ever grand prix held under floodlights in 2008.

But the 2023 season will begin in Europe with the Portuguese Grand Prix on 24-26 March, which has been moved from its slot of the previous two years as the first European event on the calendar.

As a result of Portugal hosting the opening round of the season, the final pre-season test next year will also take place at the Algarve International Circuit.

This will mark the first time since the Spanish GP in 2006 that MotoGP has begun its season in Europe.

“The Portuguese Grand Prix will be the first event of the 2023 FIM MotoGP World Championship, with the stunning Autodromo Internacional do Algarve set to host the season opener from the 24th to the 26th of March 2023,” a statement read.

“The full, provisional 2023 MotoGP calendar will be published by the FIM in due course, but the first event can already be confirmed.

“The 2023 Portuguese GP will mark the first time the MotoGP calendar has begun in Europe since 2006 and will be only the third season opener held in Europe in more than three decades.

Jack Miller, Ducati Team

Jack Miller, Ducati Team

Photo by: Dorna

“It will also be the first time Portugal has ever hosted the first race of the year, with expectation ahead of the new season set to hit full speed on the Algarve as the grid debut with their new colours and machinery, and the first trophies of the season are awarded.

“There will also be official pre-season tests held at Portimao during the weeks before the event, the dates of which will be confirmed soon.”

For next year, only five days of pre-season testing will take place, with three at a venue yet to be determined and a further two now taking place in Portugal.

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