MotoGP: Algarve Circuit in Portimao to host 2020 season finale
The Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, known by most race fans as Portimao, will host the 2020 MotoGP season finale on November 22.
The circuit has been heavily linked with MotoGP since it was revealed last month that an extra, unnamed, European circuit had been added to this year's calendar.
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It's the first time that MotoGP will visit the circuit, which has been listed as a reserve venue since 2017. The circuit, which was opened in 2008, has been on the World Superbike Championship calendar for several years and will also host its first Formula One race in October.
“It’s big news for us, we signed an agreement in 2017 with Portimao to be the reserve circuit for any kinds of cancellations, and we’ve been in contact with them all this time," Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta explained.
"We’ve been to Portimao with Superbike and we think it’s an amazing possibility for us, and also in the agreement is that the track will be resurfaced after the Superbike round. When we explained this to the riders, they were excited because they’ve seen the track on TV, but we’ve never been there."
It'll be MotoGP's first visit to Portugal in eight years, with Estoril hosting the last Portuguese Grand Prix in 2012. The country will also be represented in the premier class by Miguel Oliveira on the Tech3 KTM.
"Portugal has a long history in our sport and there have been some historic battles in Estoril," Ezpeleta added. "It’s something very good for us to have the possibility to go back to Portugal, especially with Miguel Oliveira participating as it’s great to have a Portuguese rider able to compete in his own country. We are extremely happy to be racing in Portimao at the end of the year.”
The prospect of seeing MotoGP bikes on the Portimao track is an exciting one for fans and teams alike. The circuit is known as the rollercoaster, with its characteristic elevation changes and undulating layout. Portimao is a circuit that's hard to learn and will put all of the riders through their paces.
"It is a great achievement for our team to finally have MotoGP at our racetrack," circuit CEO Paulo Pinheiro said. "MotoGP is the pinnacle of two-wheeled motorsport, and we are so excited to have it.
"It has been a long process with Dorna, we had an agreement in place since 2017, and finally all the hard work paid off. On top of this to have Miguel Oliveira on the MotoGP grid, being able to fight for the podium will be an amazing add on for this race, and hopefully the Championship will be decided here.
"We are working to have the fans in our race, and we will start with a capacity of 30.000 fans for the race weekend and then we will decide with Dorna and the sanitary authorities the following stages. We can’t express how happy we are to have this race.”