2015 MotoGP Provisional Calendar Released: 18 Races, No Brazil

The first of the official announcements to be made over this weekend has arrived. Today, the FIM released the provisional version of the 2015 calendar for MotoGP. 

The schedule is a virtual carbon copy of the 2014 calendar this year, with the order of the races the same as this year. A few minor tweaks have been applied to the calendar: the series kicks off in Qatar on 29th March, a week later than originally planned to avoid a TV clash with the soccer game between Barcelona and Real Madrid in Spain. Two weeks later, the circus heads to Austin, and the following week to Argentina.

Having the two races in the Americas back-to-back will create a much easier schedule than this year, where the teams faced a very long journey back from Argentina to arrive on time for Jerez. With a year of experience under their belt, Dorna's logistics and TV crew are now certain they can get the Termas de Rio Hondo track ready within the few days they have after Austin.

The series then heads to Europe, and an almost identical schedule through to the summer break. After a four-week break, MotoGP returns at Indianapolis on 9th August, before returning to Brno the week after. From Brno, the series heads to Donington, the only major change on the calendar, after the British GP was switched from Silverstone. The remaining races are in the same sequence, and at the same time as this year, the series heading to Misano and Aragon, before the three flyaways to Motegi, Phillip Island and Sepang. The 2015 season then wraps up at Valencia, on 8th November.

The big name missing from the calendar is Brazil. MotoGP had been hoping to add a Brazilian round of the series for next season, and had been speaking to the Autodromo Ayrton Senna at Goiania. However, the track is not ready to host a MotoGP race, and in the aftermath of the World Cup in 2014, and with the Olympics in 2016, there is little leeway to spend the money upgrading the circuit to get it up to MotoGP standard.

The released calendar is still provisional, though few changes are likely. There are question marks over the date of the British GP, as 30th August is a Bank Holiday weekend, with Monday 31st an official holiday. This means that there are a lot of events that weekend, with all of them competing for resources such as security, temporary fencing, etc. However, moving the British GP to a week earlier would put three races back to back, something which the series would not be keen on.

Below is the provisional calendar

Date Grand Prix Circuit
29 March Qatar* Doha/Losail
12 April Americas Austin
19 April Argentina Termas del Rio Hondo
03 May Spain Jerez de la Frontera
17 May France Le Mans
31 May Italy Mugello
14 June Catalunya Catalunya - Barcelona
27 June Netherlands** Assen
12 July Germany Sachsenring
09 August Indianapolis Indianapolis
16 August Czech Republic Brno
30 August Great Britain Donington
13 September San Marino & Riviera di Rimini Marco Simoncelli Misano
27 September Aragon MotorLand Aragon
11 October Japan Motegi
18 October Australia Philip Island
25 October Malaysia Sepang
08 November Valencia Ricardo Tormo-Valencia
* Evening Race
** Saturday Race

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Thanks for that David. Looking to get to Austin for next year and I've been waiting on the dates before booking flights.

I have to say, while I understand why it's done, I hate the way MotoGP almost always has to take a back foot to other sports and even other nonsporting events! We have to wait till the FIM get the F1 calendar out. Oh no, we can't race that weekend coz of a soccer match. It pains that the sport I love so much struggles to get the numbers and popularity it deserves.

Seeing the MotoGP calender for 2015 has made many Indians like me slip into depression. A few years ago the Buddh(a) International Circuit was built and a five year deal was signed with Bernie Ecclestone for bringing F1 to India. Then an agreement was signed with the Flammini brothers for hosting a round of WSBK and the circuit managers even extracted television rights from Infront. When Dorna took over WSBK they cancelled the round ostensibly due to disagreement with the Circuit owners over financial matters. Somewhere in all this Yamaha was gungho about a MotoGP round so they brought Jorge Lorenzo to the circuit and made him a ride a piddly little 150cc Yamaha (which is pretentiously built to look like a racing motorcycle) around the track and he came back singing paeans about the circuit and its suitability for MotoGP.

After two F1 races were held, the rest of the three seemed to have been cancelled. One of the reasons cited for all this was that the government imposed import duty on all the equipment even though they were being brought into the country for only a couple of days. Apparently the promoters were paying the duty and making huge losses. In order to compensate for that ticket costs were ridiculously high and so the sale of tickets wasn't all that brisk. I read in the newspapers a few months ago that the government did agree to drop the import duties on equipment coming in for less than week and if all of it was taken back. This was more than six months ago and yet there is no mention of India in the calenders of 2015 for F1, MotoGP or WSBK.

Forget F1, but MotoGP and WSBK not coming to India (especially the latter) is highly idiotic. In India suddenly there has been a significant rise in the sale of high end and expensive motorcycles such as Ducati (full range), Harley-Davidson (full range), Indian (from the Scout to the Chieftain), Honda (CBR1000RR, CB 1000R, VFR 1200F and VT 1300 CX) Kawasaki (Z800, Z1000, Ninja 1000, ZX10R, ZX14R) Yamaha (V MAX, R1, FZ1) Suzuki (Hayabusa, GSX-R 1000, Intruder M800 and M1800 +M1800 BOSS), Bandit 1250SA and V Strom) and KTM. Apart from these big bikes, the Japanese and KTM sell all kinds of small motorcycles and scooters. India is on the verge of the becoming the biggest market for two wheelers in the world and Honda has recently said that its biggest two wheeler market is India.

WSBK and MotoGP will bring in the crowds that F1 did not. Motorcycles are the heart and soul of most youngsters in India whereas F1 is all about the rich and the famous who don't understand a thing about motorsport (this is in India). I cannot therefore understand that a world class racing circuit instead of hosting proper international races especially of the two wheeled kind, is now hosting concerts by DJs (not even by well known Rock bands). It is really a sorry state of affairs. You have the infrastructure ready and instead of using it for what it was meant in the first place, it has become a destination of corporate parties and DJ nights.

Thanks very much for the Indian perspective. I suspect that the circuit owners may also have become wary after their experience with WSBK and F1, and feared the sanctioning fee Dorna are asking. I shall ask about India and other Asian countries when I get a chance. 

It would be great if you can find out about what is stopping MotoGP and WSBK coming to India. That is greatly appreciated. Thank you.