MotoGP: Qatar to host back-to-back races in updated calendar
Qatar will now host the opening two rounds of the 2021 MotoGP season following the postponements of the Argentinian and American events.
The season opening Qatar Grand Prix will still take place on March 28 however the teams and riders will now remain at Losail for the Grand Prix of Qatar, which will take place on April 4.
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Today's announcement means that the MotoGP paddock will spend the best part of a month in Qatar. Extra dates were added to the Qatar test following the cancellation of testing in Malaysia next month. The original Qatar Test (March 10-12) will still go ahead as planned, however there's also an official test on March 6-7 and a Shakedown test on March 5.
Portimao, which hosted the season finale last year, will now host round three of the championship. The paddock will visit Portugal over the weekend of April 16-18. Miguel Oliveira duly won his home race for Tech3 KTM.
"The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and resulting lockdowns and complications sadly oblige the postponement of both the Argentina GP and the Americas GP until the last quarter of 2021, with the Mandalika International Street Circuit in Indonesia being placed as a reserve Grand Prix venue, subject to homologation," today's official statement read.
Following the opening three rounds the paddock heads to the Jerez for the Spanish GP as previously planned (May 2) before visiting various circuits across Europe. Motegi will host the first flyaway race on October 3.
Currently, it is not known when the postponed Argentinian and American rounds will take place. Of course, the Covid-19 pandemic continues to change each and every month which means that this latest calendar is still subject to change. Any further updates or changes will be provided as soon as available.