2010 MotoGP Provisional Calendar Announced

The FIM today announced the provisional calendar for the 2010 MotoGP season. The provisional calendar looks broadly similar to this year, but there are a few key changes. Firstly, the British Grand Prix, now moved to Silverstone, is much earlier than its counterpart at Donington, moved up over a month to early June. This disrupts the traditional pairing of the Italian and Catalunya Grand Prix, with the Barcelona round being put back to early July, instead of the first or second weekend after the Mugello round. 

One interesting point to note is the inclusion of a "reserve circuit". After the effects of the financial crisis, together with permit problems, meant that Balatonring circuit was not completed in time for the planned race in the middle of September this year, the FIM and Dorna have wisely elected to have a backup plan, in case the situation repeats itself. That is an entirely realistic prospect, as the Balatonring circuit continues to be dogged by problems.

Should the series need to switch to the reserve circuit, then it would mean that Spain would see four Grand Prix run on its soil. The Motorland Aragon Circuit is a brand new track which has been built near Alcañiz, Aragon, Spain, a couple of hundred kilometers inland from Barcelona. The circuit is trying to attract both Formula One and MotoGP, though whether the Spanish economy is strong enough to sustain four MotoGP rounds has to be in doubt.

Provisional 2010 MotoGP Calendar 

Dates Grand Prix Circuit
April 11 * Qatar Doha/Losail
April 25 Japan Motegi
May 2 Spain Jerez de la Frontera
May 16 France Le Mans
May 30 Italy Mugello
June 6 Great Britain Silverstone
June 26 ** Netherlands Assen
July 4 Catalunya Catalunya
July 18 Germany Sachsenring
July 25 *** United States Laguna Seca
August 15 Czech Rep. Brno
August 29 Indianapolis Indianapolis
September 12 San Marino & Riviera di Rimini Misano
September 19 Hungary Balatonring
October 10 Malaysia Sepang
October 17 Australia Phillip Island
October 31 Portugal Estoril
November 7 Valencia Ricardo Tormo – Valencia

*: Evening Race
**: Saturday
***: Only MotoGP class
Reserve circuit,"Motorland Aragon Circuit"

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I figure that Aragon was chosen since it is not yet complete and therefore does not have races or weekends booked.

Q1: What happens if a track defaults that is during the first half of the season?
Q2: Everyone - cars and bikes alike - has raved about Portimão; why not have that as the backup?

Answer to Q2: Money and bookings, probably. Portimao is already very popular and has a pretty full calendar. Doesn't have the flexibility. But yes, they really, really should go to Portimao, it's a fantastic facility.

and for Q1, Motorland Aragon is set to host the final round of the World Series by Renault championship in October, so the track should be ready by then and will be able to host a race at anytime in 2010.