Officially Confirmed: Argentina MotoGP Round Postponed Until 2014, Qatar A Week Later

The 2013 Argentinian round of MotoGP has been canceled, as we forecast it would be yesterday. Today, Dorna issued a statement on the cancellation, and the FIM issued a new 18-race calendar without Argentina on it.

As explained yesterday, the decision to cancel the round has been forced upon Dorna by the Spanish government, which is recommending that Repsol staff should not travel to Argentina, after the Argentinian government nationalized Repsol YPF, the Argentine subsidiary of the Spanish oil giant. With Repsol behind several different riders and teams in the championship, going without Repsol-backed riders would have left the starting grid decimated.

Though Argentina is off the calendar for 2013, Dorna have expressed the intention to go to South America as soon as possible. The Termas de Rio Hondo circuit has a three-year deal to host the Argentinian Grand Prix, and if the political dispute between Argentina and Repsol has been settled, then the race will be back on the calendar in 2014. The 2014 MotoGP calendar should be a more international affair, with a race in Southeast Asia also likely to feature on the schedule.

With Argentina canceled, the calendar is now back to just 18 races. No circuit will be drafted in to replace Argentina, the round being dropped altogether. As we reported yesterday, the Qatar round has been moved back a week to April 7th to reduce the gap between the first two races on the calendar to two weeks instead of three. The dropping of Argentina and the rescheduling of Qatar leaves only Jerez still subject to contract, though that race is almost certain to go ahead as scheduled. The new race schedule now no longer carries the designation "provisional", and is unlikely to change any further. The latest MotoGP calendar is show below, and the most recent version is always available on our 2013 MotoGP calendar page.

Below is the press release from Dorna, explaining the decision to cancel the Argentinian round:

Explanation about the non-inclusion of the Gran Premio de la República Argentina on the 2013 MotoGP™ calendar

The Gran Premio de la República Argentina, which was set to take place at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit early next year, has not been included on the 2013 calendar.

On June 20th 2012, the Spanish government recommended that teams and riders sponsored by Repsol should not travel to the República Argentina due to safety reasons. Therefore, the celebration of the 2013 Gran Premio de la República Argentina remained under suspension until such recommendation would be kept in force.

The deadline for Dorna Sports, commercial rights holder of the MotoGP™ World Championship, to officially propose the 2013 MotoGP calendar to FIM was November 18th.

On November 20th, the Spanish government notified through email sent to Dorna Sports the withdrawal of the above referred recommendation, when the time for the calendar presentation had already expired and therefore, there was no possibility to include a new MotoGP event.

Anyhow, Dorna Sports commits itself to include Gran Premio de la República Argentina on the 2014 calendar and onwards, to be approved by FIM subject to the homologation of the track which presumably shall take place within the first quarter of 2013.

Dorna Sports recognizes the Gran Premio de la República Argentina Promoter´s efforts regarding the satisfactorily termination of the construction works and the organization and promotion preliminary activities.

2013 MotoGP Calendar

Date Grand Prix Circuit
7 April Qatar* Losail, Qatar
21 April Americas Austin, Texas
5 May Spain Jerez
19 May France Le Mans
2 June Italy Mugello
16 June Catalunya Barcelona
29 June Netherlands** Assen
7 July Germany Sachsenring
21 July USA*** Laguna Seca
18 August Indianapolis Indianapolis
25 August Czech Republic Brno
01 September Great Britain Silverstone
15 September San Marino & Riviera di Rimini Misano Marco Simoncelli
29 September Aragon Motorland Aragon
13 October Malaysia Sepang
20 October Australia Phillip Island
27 October Japan Motegi
10 November Valencia Ricardo Tormo Valencia

* Evening Race
** Saturday Race
*** MotoGP Race Only

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This decision by Dorna is a huge disappointment. Here was an opportunity to go to a new place (and all manufacturers such as Honda and Yamaha and even Ducati) have been saying that the future of growth of the motorcycle industry is in the East/Asia and Dorna seems to have missed an opportunity to go to India, Indonesia or even China. I do not know the preparedness of Indonesia to host a MotoGP race but India is ready since it is already hosting F1 and from next year WSBK races and China too has a circuit that is actively being used for F1. Dorna and the respective motorsport governing bodies in each of the countries that I have mentioned have lost an opportunity to break new ground. All in all, a matter of great pity.

Argentina is a great country, very knowledgeable and passionate about motorsport. It´s sad when the world of sport is affected by political issues. I do hope the organisers, the country and the sponsors are able to find a common ground. I believe for the series having a GP in South America is a great opportunity. Saludos amigos de Argentina.

The travel restriction policy was cancelled 2 days after the deadline for finalizing the calendar? Sounds like someone in the Spanish gov't wanted to send a message to Argentina and Dorna had to go along with it, willing or not.


If the Argentinian government nationalized Repsol YPF, why would Repsol employees be in danger in Argentina?

Shouldn't it be Repsol that's pissed off and not the other way around? I would think that there would be more anger towards Repsol if they were still operating there (assuming the usual oil company behavior in such countries) than now that they're gone. Odd.