MotoGP calendar revised further as Malaysian GP cancelled

The 2021 MotoGP calendar has gone through further revisions due to the COVID-19 pandemic as the Malaysian Grand Prix has been cancelled and a second Misano race added.

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Despite the rollout of vaccines to combat COVID-19 in 2021, the MotoGP calendar has still been heavily affected by the pandemic owing to fresh outbreaks and changing travel restrictions.

All but one flyaway race has already been cancelled for 2021, with the Japanese, Australian and Thailand races scrubbed from the calendar, as well as the Finnish GP – which was due to take place in July.

Due to a rise in COVID cases in Malaysia, Dorna Sports has been forced to make further alterations to the 2021 calendar and cancel the event at Sepang for a second year in a row.

The Malaysian GP will be replaced by a second event at Misano, which will oddly take over the October 24 slot originally intended for Sepang instead of forming a back-to-back with the San Marino GP.

The event is yet to be officially named. Last year’s second Misano race was known as the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

But two events at Misano is good news for Italian MotoGP fans, who will now get two opportunities to see Valentino Rossi race on home soil before his retirement at the end of 2021.

“The FIM, IRTA and Dorna Sports regret to announce the cancellation of the Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix, which was set to take place at Sepang International Circuit from the 22nd to the 24th of October,” a statement read.

“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting entry restrictions for Malaysia oblige the cancellation of the event.

“The FIM MotoGP World Championship looks forward to returning to Sepang in 2022 to race in front of our dedicated Malaysian fans.

“The FIM, IRTA and Dorna Sports are pleased to confirm that MotoGP will return to Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli from the 22nd to the 24th of October, the weekend previously scheduled for the Malaysian GP, for a second Grand Prix at the classic Italian track.

“The name of this event will be announced in due course.

“The date for the Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini remains unchanged.”

The addition of a second Misano race means MotoGP will have eight races on repeat circuits in 2021, following the double-header in Qatar and Austria, and a second round in Portugal scheduled for 7 November.

At present, the Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin is still set to go ahead on October 3.

However, the COVID situation has reached a dire juncture Austin, with latest reports stating Austin has broken the record in the region for most patients in intensive care units with COVID-related illness.

An additional European MotoGP event also potentially poses problems for Brits in the paddock, with many close to the 90 days out of 180 they are allowed to travel through Europe without a visa under new Brexit guidelines.

Revised 2021 MotoGP calendar:

Date  Venue
28 March Qatar Losail
4 April Qatar Losail
18 April Portugal Algarve
2 May Spain Jerez
16 May France Le Mans
30 May Italy Mugello
6 June Spain Barcelona
20 June Germany Sachsenring
27 June Netherlands Assen
8 August Austria Red Bull Ring
15 August Austria Red Bull Ring
29 August United Kingdom Silverstone
12 September Spain Aragon
19 September San Marino Misano
3 October United States Circuit of the Americas
24 October San Marino Misano
07 November Portugal Algarve
14 November Spain Valencia
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