It’s been a long few months, with very little in the way of motorsport to keep us entertained. And while F1 may have made its triumphant comeback, we’ve been holding out for the return of the premiere class of motorcycle racing: MotoGP.
The big news is that the 2020 MotoGP season will take place entirely in Europe, it has been announced, with the final three rounds, due to take place in Argentina, Thailand and Malaysia, cancelled.
Following the COVID-19 cancellations, a revised, Spain-heavy calendar was announced last month, with four flyaway races provisionally pencilled in at the end of the season. When the US Grand Prix was scrapped, that became three, and Dorna has today confirmed that those will not go ahead either.
Instead, a single, 14th race, is expected to be added at Portimao, Portugal, on 22nd November, with the season finishing a week after it was due to originally. It will be the first season since 1986 that no races have taken place outside of Europe.
In a statement, Dorna Sports CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta said: “It is with great sadness that we announce the cancellation of the Argentina, Thailand and Malaysian Grands Prix this season, and they will be very much missed on the 2020 calendar.
“The passion of the fans who often travel across continents to enjoy MotoGP with us in Termas de Rio Hondo, Buriram and Sepang is incredible, creating as they do such an incredible atmosphere and welcome for the sport.
“However, we are delighted to add another Grand Prix in Europe to the 2020 calendar, and reveal our new agreement that will see MotoGP racing in Thailand and Buriram until at least 2026.
“We are very much looking forward to returning to Thailand, Argentina and Malaysia next year and as always, I would like to thank the fans for their patience and understanding.”
2020 MotoGP calendar
8th Mar. (Moto2 and 3)
Who’s competing in the 2020 MotoGP season?
The format of the weekends will not change, with MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3 and MotoE all sharing the stage.
In the premiere class, there will be the usual suspects among the 22 competitors, including Honda’s six-time World Champion Marc Marquez, who took last year’s Championship by a mile, achieving a record 11 victories and not finishing out of the top two for the whole season, apart from one early-season retirement. He will be joined by Yamaha stalwart Valentino Rossi, fellow Spaniards Maverick Vinales and Alex Rins, Australian Jack Miller and Italian Ducatiman, Andrea Dovizioso, among others. One of only two Brits on the MotoGP grid, Cal Crutchlow will race for the LCR Honda Castrol team, despite rumours that he plans to leave at the end of the season.
Moto2 will see 30 competitors compete aboard 765cc Triumph triples, while Moto3 will welcome 31 babyfaced riders aboard 250cc machines.
MotoE, meanwhile, which only launched last year, and will not feature at every race weekend, will field 18 riders aboard cutting edge electric motorcycles.
Where can I watch MotoGP?
Certainly not at the circuits, by the looks of it. With social distancing restrictions in place indefinitely, there is currently no option to buy tickets for any of the races. However, all races from the end of September say tickets are ‘not yet available’, offering a glimmer of hope for diehard fans.
However, as ever, the races will be comprehensively covered on TV, and in the case of the UK, by BT Sport. The channel is included in some BT broadband and TV packages (or can be added for £15), or sporting fans can opt for the £25 monthly pass. Quest TV is also expected to air highlights throughout the season.
Alternatively, fans can watch the races live and on-demand through MotoGP’s VideoPass, which costs £179.87 (€199.99) and will remain valid up until the first race of the 2021 season. Included in the pass are more than 45,000 videos, dating from 1992 to the present day, including full races, interviews, summaries and reports.
When is the first MotoGP race of 2020?
The first race of 2020 is the Gran Premio Red Bull de España, taking place this weekend, 17th – 19th July, and it will be broadcast at the following BST times: