MotoGP is set to start at Jerez – Ezpeleta

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After the coronavirus-induced delay, the 2020 MotoGP season is set to begin at Jerez on July 19 with the final approval still pending, says Dorna Sports CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta.

Following the cancellation of the Qatar Grand Prix, the coronavirus pandemic has placed the MotoGP series in stand-by modus. The series’ organising body, Dorna Sports has working on a revised calendar for the curtailed 2020 season.

While Formula 1 announced the start of its 2020 calendar, MotoGP is yet to release its revised schedule after the long delay to the season. Carmelo Ezpeleta has revealed the plan is that MotoGP follows F1 by announcing a provisonal calendar and that could happen as early as next week.

"This was something I explained in the meeting with them: the calendar we hope to present next week that starts, if everything goes well, on the 19th of July in Jerez. And the latest race on that calendar will be at the beginning of November, with 12 or 13 rounds. But races outside of Europe is something we need to decide, still.”

MotoGP has already announced the cancellation of several rounds – including the grands prix in Qatar, Germany, the Netherlands, Finland, the United Kingdom, Japan and Australia. Ezpeleta has indicated that the opening phase of the season might be based around European venues while the non-European rounds that have not been called off can be incorporated in the later stage of the curtained schedule.

„There will be a number of races presented – the four non-European races that have not been cancelled: Thailand, Malaysia, Americas and Argentina – for which we will search for approval and we have a deadline of the end of July to tell everybody if we continue with them or stop. After the first two races we will see if the calendar will be 12, 14 or a maximum of 16 rounds."

Revised engine allocation

The Grand Prix Commission has recently released a change to the Sporting Regulation of the MotoGP championship. The alteration will see the reduction of the engine allocation for riders. Should a total of 11 races take place, riders of teams without concession will have access to four engine while that number is six for those who race for outfits with concessions. Should 12, 13 or 14 grand prix take place, that number will be increased to five and seven respectively.

Ezpeleta has expressed his delight at the way how the manufacturers have contributed to MotoGP’s attempt to secure the sport’s future in the coronavirus-induced financial crisis.

"We've had several fruitful meetings and especially had a very profitable meeting with the manufacturers, we presented the protocol to them before we presented it to the Spanish and later to other authorities. We agreed a few different things, we gave them the chance to explain to us what they think about different possibilities.”

„It was very profitable and we also approved the number of engines depending on the number of races we will have this season, which was agreed unanimously by all manufacturers. We also talked about the necessities for the future, but it was essentially to get their view on the protocol and then later to approve the situation regarding engines in the 2020 season,” he concluded.