Austin, Texas

2021 Austin Moto3 FP1 Result: Antonelli Kicks Off Wet Friday

Austin gave the MotoGP paddock a very wet welcome on their return to the States and although the track conditions seemed kind on the lightweight class for their first outing of the weekend, it was a slippery end to the session, with quite a few last minute tumbles. Times were reasonably quick and the lead changed hands many times until Niccolò Antonelli picked up top spot in the final couple of minutes of FP1, dropping Filip Salac to second by one hundredth of a second.

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Austin MotoGP Thursday Round Up: Riders Share Ideas For Making Racing Safer

It was inevitable that there would be a lot of talk at Austin of the events of a few days earlier, at Jerez. The death of Dean Berta Viñales in the first (and only) WorldSSP300 race at the Spanish track had once again raised the question of safety in motorcycle racing. Especially the safety in the support classes, where the technical rules had been set up to achieve as much parity as possible, creating very large groups on the race track. And especially in classes populated by sometimes very young riders.

How ironic, then, that some of such talk took place in the pre-event press conference in Austin, where a group of riders in the FIM MiniGP North America series were present. Kensei Matsudaira, age 10, Jesse Shedden, age 12, Jayden Fernandez, age 13, Kayla Yaakov, age 14, and Travis Horn, age 13, all got to sit and listen as the MotoGP riders were asked questions about how to prevent young kids from being killed in motorcycle races.

The FIM MiniGP series is one of the steps Dorna is putting in place in its Road to MotoGP initiative, aimed at stimulating racing talent at a regional and national level, before moving up on the path to World Championship level racing.

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Austin MotoGP Preview: Mastering The Bumps In Texas

For the first time in two years, MotoGP is headed for a flyaway race which isn't in Qatar. After a long period of uncertainty, and facing a certain amount of opposition from inside the Grand Prix paddock, the series is heading to the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas. After having 12 of the first 14 races all inside the same timezone (give or take an hour), a flyaway race feels like something of a novelty.

The novelty will not be quite as great as hoped for all those traveling to Austin. Given the extremely high case numbers of Covid-19 in Texas, and the dearth of ICU beds, Dorna has requested everyone attending the race remain in their bubbles – staying inside their hotels, not going into town, not visiting bars and restaurants – as much as possible. Normally, the Austin round of MotoGP is a reason to party. That will not be the case this year.

Staying inside will be made easier by the weather: very heavy rain is expected throughout the weekend, especially on Friday and Saturday. Leaving the hotel to wander the streets of downtown Austin is a much less attractive opposition in the pouring rain.

The rain is going to add an extra level of difficulty to what is already one of the most challenging tracks on the calendar. COTA is probably the most physically demanding track of the year, thanks to its layout.

Roller coaster ride

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Maverick Viñales Chooses Not To Race In Austin After Death Of Cousin At Jerez

Maverick Viñales has elected not to race at the US round of MotoGP at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin. The Spaniard has decided to take the time to come to terms with the death of his cousin, Dean Berta Viñales, as a result of a crash in the WorldSSP300 race at Jerez on Saturday. Dean Berta Viñales rode in the team run by Maverick's father, Angel, and which carries Maverick's logo.

With a three-week break after Austin, the Spaniard will have time to process the death of someone so close to him. For both Maverick Viñales and Aprilia, the races in the second half of 2021 were an added bonus in the Spaniard's adaptation to the Aprilia RS-GP, as he had originally signed to race for the Italian factory for the 2022 season. But his release by Yamaha allowed him to get an early start.

The Aprilia press release appears below:


MAVERICK VIÑALES WILL NOT RACE IN AUSTIN

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2021 MotoGP Calendar Update: Sepang Canceled, Second Race At Misano, Austin Still On

There has been yet another change to the MotoGP calendar for 2021. As had been expected, the Malaysian Grand Prix scheduled for October 24th at the Sepang International Circuit has been canceled. In its place will be an extra race at the Misano circuit in Italy. Misano will be the second circuit, after Portimão, which will two races this year but not back to back. Unlike the Portuguese circuit, however, Misano will host its second race five weeks after the first, rather than six months later.

This change looks like being the final alteration to the 2020 calendar. Despite the fact that the Covid-19 outbreak in Texas has placed serious demands on hospital capacity, with ICU beds now 99% occupied, MotoMatters.com understands that there is a huge push inside Dorna to make the Austin race happen. The Circuit of The Americas and the county and state governments are also assisting in pushing the race to take place.

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Sepang MotoGP Test Canceled - Early Part Of 2021 Calendar Still Subject To Coronavirus

The MotoGP Test At Sepang, due to be held from 19th - 21st of February, has been canceled, Dorna announced today. The King of Malaysia, at the request of the Malaysian government, has declared a state of emergency in Malaysia which is due to last until August 1st. The state of emergency has been declared in an attempt to stem the Covid-19 pandemic which continues to spread around the world.

The cancellation comes despite the best efforts of Dorna, IRTA, and the circuit to make the Sepang test as self-contained as possible. Dorna and IRTA had put forward a proposal to house everyone involved in the test at the Sama Sama hotel, located next to Kuala Lumpur International Airport, to the exclusion of other guests. Everyone - riders, teams, officials - would travel between the hotel and the circuit only, with no time outside of the MotoGP bubble. As the Sama Sama hotel is where most teams and riders involved stay during the test anyway, very little would change.

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Provisional 2021 MotoGP Calendar Announced - 20 Races, Normal Schedule, 3 Reserve Circuits

MotoGP will continue into 2021, and scheduling difficulties continue to accompany it. Unlike 2020, however, Dorna and the FIM are prepared for it, however, and so today, we saw a provisional 2021 MotoGP calendar announced. It is a very conventional-looking schedule, with a giant caveat attached underneath: "All dates, events and the attendance of spectators are subject to the evolution of the pandemic and the approval of the corresponding Governments and authorities."

After two tests, at Sepang in mid February and Qatar in mid March, the 2021 season is scheduled to kick off at Qatar on March 28th. After Qatar, the series heads to the Americas, where MotoGP races in Argentina at Termas de Rio Hondo and at Austin. They then head back to Europe, for the usual round of spring races: Jerez, Le Mans, Mugello, Barcelona, Sachsenring, and Assen. They round it off with a trip to Finland, subject to the Kymiring being homologated on time.

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Austin Round of MotoGP At The Circuit Of The Americas Canceled

The Grand Prix of the Americas will not happen in 2020. Today, in a post on social media which has since been deleted, the Circuit of The Americas announced that the Austin round of MotoGP had been canceled, and a date set for the 2021 edition, to be held on April 18th.

The news hardly comes as a surprise, given the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Texas, and the growth in cases in the US in general. That has prompted the EU countries to put the US on a list of countries from which all non-essential travel is still banned, with no sign of that being lifted.

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2020 Version 2.0 - Provisional MotoGP Calendar Features 13 European Races At 8 Circuits

There is a plan for the 2020 MotoGP season. With the COVID-19 outbreak receding all across Europe, Dorna have been given a second chance at setting a calendar for the 2020 MotoGP season.The newly published calendar will see 13 races held at circuits in Europe in the first instance, with the possibility of four overseas races being tacked on at the end of the year, if conditions permit. The calendar is explictly still provisional, subject to local rules and regulations concerning the COVID-19 pandemic.

The races will be held at 8 different circuits in 6 countries, with a number of circuits hosting races on two consecutive weekends, to maximize the number of rounds held, and minimize logistical complications. The races planned in Europe will all be held behind closed doors, with no fans or media present, and a very restricted number of paddock staff present.

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