Aragon MotoGP race poised for date switch if Brazil not ready for 2014

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If you’re planning on making a trip to the Motorland Aragon MotoGP round in 2014, you might want to delay making firm plans until the start of next season.

MCN learned during last weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix at the Twin Ring Motegi that the Motorland Aragon date, currently scheduled for September 21, could potentially be moved back one week, depending on whether a multi-million pound revamp of the Autodromo Internacional Nelson Piquet in Brazil is on schedule.

Brazil has been pencilled in for a return to the MotoGP calendar for the first time since 2004 on September 28 and forms part of a triple-header immediately following Misano and Aragon.

The South American nation’s much anticipated return to the MotoGP world championship in 2014 depends on strict construction deadlines being met months in advance of the planned race in late September.

There are already concerns that a massive overhaul of the existing dated facility will not be ready in time.

And alternative arrangements are being prepared by Dorna and the International Race Teams Association (IRTA) in case Brazil isn't ready.

Both recently communicated to the entire paddock the potential of the Motorland Aragon race taking Brazil’s slot on September 28.

IRTA boss Mike Trimby denied Brazil had already been written out of the 2014 schedule.

But he did confirm the possibility of the Motorland Aragon clash moving if the Autodromo Internacional Nelson Piquet isn't on track to be completed in time for homologation.

“Brazil is on the calendar and they have been given a schedule of preparation work and at the beginning of next season they will be compared against that schedule. And if they are slipping a long way behind that schedule then the race will be cancelled then and not halfway through the season. Everyone is hopeful that they will do it and it will remain on the calendar as it currently is. Dorna have told the teams that if in March before we go to Qatar, and it is clear we are not going to be ready and it needs to be cancelled, then Aragon would move one week later to take the Brazil date. But Brazil has not been wiped off the calendar yet at all,“ Trimby told MCN.

Organisers of the new Brazil project will not be given beyond March 23 next season to show they can be ready for the proposed race in September because decisions on the engine allocation for MotoGP can’t be taken any later.

An extension from the current 18-race format to 19 would mean an increase in the engine allocation from five to six.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt