The 2021 MotoGP season will kick-off with back-to-back rounds in Qatar from March 28, which will be followed by European rounds starting Portugal. Meanwhile, the Argentina GP and the US GP have been delayed owing to the pandemic and travel restrictions.
The provisional calendar for the 2021 MotoGP season has been released with a bit of a reshuffle in the venues for the upcoming rounds. Under the revised calendar, the 2021 campaign will begin back-to-back races in Qatar starting from March 28, 2021. The second Grand Prix has been christened as the Doha GP and will take place at the same Losail International Circuit. At the same time, the big update is that the Americas (US) and Argentina GPs have been postponed from their original schedule in April to the last quarter of the year.
MotoGP announced a 20-race calendar for 2021 late last year with room for delays and postponements depending on the situation. However, the COVID-19 cases saw a major spike during the winter, which has been followed by the new virus strain that prompted more lockdowns and travel restrictions globally. The Sepang pre-season test slotted for February was the first casualty of the restrictions, which stands cancelled after a state of emergency was declared in Malaysia due to the pandemic.
Meanwhile, the season will see action move to Portugal following the first two rounds in Qatar with the Portuguese GP scheduled between April 16-18. The European rounds then begin as originally scheduled with the Spanish GP on May 2, 2021. This will be followed by the rounds in France, Italy, Catalunya, Germany, Netherlands, Finland (subject to homologation), Austrian, the UK, Aragon, and San Marino. The season will then move to an exciting session in October that includes back-to-back races starting in Japan and ending in Malaysia. The season finale is then planned to take place at Valencia on November 14.
There are no other date changes planned currently, while new dates are yet to be decided for Argentina and Americas GPs. Other changes include the absence of the Russian GP that was a reserve circuit.