The MotoGP schedule for the 2012 season has been tweaked a little, and there is some good news for fans: the season starts seven days earlier, with the Qatar MotoGP round having been moved up a week to April 8th. The move is in response to the Formula One calendar, which sees the Chinese Grand Prix scheduled for April 15th, the date originally planned for Qatar, and so the decision was taken to start the MotoGP season a week earlier.
The other changes to the calendar are merely confirmations of what had been widely expected. The German GP is now officially set to take place at the Sachsenring, although as the contracts are yet to be completed, the date is still listed as being subject to contract. Those contracts are a mere formality, however, as the ADAC and the regional government came to an agreement earlier this month to keep the German round of MotoGP at the circuit in Hohenstein-Ernstthal. The Jerez round has also been confirmed, with the mayor of the circuit stepping in to ensure the 2012 date. Beyond 2012 is another matter, however, as the circuit is still in financial turmoil, stemming from alterations made back in 2001, and with new rounds in Argentina and Texas scheduled for 2013, Jerez could well be dropped after that date.
The one question mark that remains over the calendar is the Portuguese Grand Prix at Estoril. The round is still marked as subject to contract, and with low attendance figures and the Portuguese economy in huge difficulty, the chances of local government stepping in to support the race financially are very slim indeed. The race should still go ahead, though, as having three weeks between each of the first three rounds of MotoGP would be bad for the profile of the series. Confirmation for Estoril is not expected any time soon.
Below is the calendar as it stands on December 14th, 2012. A revised version of the calendar incorporating the latest changes can be found here.
FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix
2012 provisional calendar, 14 December
|29 April||Spain||Jerez de la Frontera|
|6 May||Portugal (STC)||Estoril|
|20 May||France||Le Mans|
|17 June||Great Britain||Silverstone|
|8 July||Germany (STC)||Sachsenring|
|29 July||United States***||Laguna Seca|
|26 August||Czech Rep.||Brno|
|16 September||San Marino & Riviera di Rimini||Misano|
|28 October||Australia||Phillip Island|
|11 November||Valencia||Ricardo Tormo – Valencia|
* Evening Race
** Saturday Race
*** Only MotoGP class
STC (Subject to the contract)