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2022 Provisional MotoGP Calendar Released: 21 Races In 35 Weeks

The 2022 MotoGP calendar will feature a total of 21 races, starting in Qatar on March 6th and finishing exactly 8 months later in Valencia. The 2022 calendar sees further expansion of the number of races, as Dorna add new circuits and new countries to the schedule. For the Kymiring in Finland, that had originally been planned for 2020, but the pandemic put paid to that happening, either in 2020 or 2021. And the Mandalika Resort circuit on Lombok in Indonesia had been added to 2021 as a reserve circuit, but will now be raced on at the start of next season.

The season kicks off in Qatar with the traditional night race at the Losail International Circuit. From there, MotoGP heads to Indonesia, and the new track at Mandalika. It will be their second visit, after a test at the track to be held in February. From Indonesia, the paddock heads west (though freight may head east) to Termas de Rio Hondo in Argentina, which sees a return after the pandemic and a fire which destroyed part of the pit complex.

A week later, MotoGP returns to Texas, and the Circuit of The Americas in Austin. That is still subject to the circuit being resurfaced, though recent rumor suggests that the track has agreed to tackle Turns 2 through 10, the minimum required by the Safety Commission.

The Grand Prix paddock returns to Europe after the race in Texas, but in a change to the normal schedule, MotoGP will head to Portimão rather than Jerez. The race in Portugal will take place a week before the first race in Spain, which has been the start of the European leg for the past 14 seasons.

After Jerez, there follows the familiar schedule: from Le Mans to Mugello to Barcelona, with the Italian and Catalunya Grand Prix happening on consecutive weekends. Then to Germany for the Sachsenring, followed by another back-to-back with the Dutch TT at Assen. Two weeks after Assen, the paddock assembles at the Kymiring in Finland.

The summer break is four weeks - three weekends without racing - before another change: MotoGP heads to Silverstone three weeks earlier than usual, with the British Grand Prix taking place on August 7th. After the UK, it's off to the Red Bull Ring in Austria, and then Misano in Italy.

Two weeks after that comes a grueling triple header: starting at the Motorland Aragon circuit on September 18th, the paddock flies to Japan for the race in Motegi on September 25th, before coming west again to Buriram for the Grand Prix of Thailand on October 2nd. The paddock gets a week off, before another overseas double-header, the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island being followed by the Malaysian GP at Sepang. The season finishes as usual at Valencia, in Spain.

That is the plan, at least. As we have discovered over the past couple of years, reality has a nasty habit of interfering with the best laid plans of mice and men. The schedule is subject to change should disease, war, tsunamis, or volcanoes interrupt.

The provisional 2022 calendar appears below:

Date Grand prix Circuit
6 March Qatar* Losail International Circuit
20 March Indonesia** Mandalika International Street Circuit
3 April República Argentina Termas de Río Hondo
10 April Americas Circuit of the Americas
24 April Portugal Algarve International Circuit
01 May Spain Circuito de Jerez – Ángel Nieto
15 May France Le Mans
29 May Italy Autodromo del Mugello
5 June Catalunya Barcelona - Catalunya
19 June Germany Sachsenring
26 June Netherlands TT Circuit Assen
10 July Finland** KymiRing
7 August Great Britain Silverstone
21 August Austria Red Bull Ring-Spielberg
4 September San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli
18 September Teruel MotorLand Aragón
25 September Japan Twin Ring Motegi
2 October Thailand Chang International Circuit
16 October Australia Philip Island
23 October Malaysia Sepang International Circuit
06 November Comunitat Valenciana Comunitat Valenciana-Ricardo Tormo

* Evening Race
** Subject to Homologation

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.

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Deniz Öncü Banned For Two Races For Causing Crash In Restarted Moto3 Race

Red Bull KTM Tech3 Moto3 rider Deniz Öncü has been banned for two races, for causing a crash in the restarted Moto3 race at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

Öncü moved to the left as the pack headed down the straight on the third lap of the restarted Moto3 race, clipping the front wheel of Jeremy Alcoba's Honda, causing Alcoba to crash at high speed, being hit by Andrea Migno and Pedro Acosta. Miraculously, given the speed at which the crash happened, nobody was injured, but the crash was serious enough to bring out the red flags.

The FIM Stewards took a very serious view of Öncü's riding, which went directly against the instructions issued at the start of the weekend. They also regarded it as a deliberate move to try to block Alcoba, which deserved extra punishment. For that reason, they decided to impose a ban of two races, suspending Öncü for the Misano 2 and Portimão races.

The FIM Stewards have been trying to clamp down on bad behavior, especially in the Moto3 class, in light of the spate of deaths which have happened this year. The Stewards have tried a range of penalties to try to discourage dangerous riding, especially during practice and qualifying, but this is the most severe penalty handed out in some time. Whether it will be effective in dissuading Öncü and other Moto3 riders from indulging in dangerous riding, only time will tell.

 

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Termas De Rio Hondo To Continue To Host Argentina Round Of MotoGP Through 2025

The Termas De Rio Hondo circuit has extended its contract to host the Argentina round of MotoGP through 2025. Today, the circuit both announced a new three-year deal with series organizer Dorna, and announced that the 2022 race would be held on April 3rd of next year.

The renewal of the contract comes as a double surprise. Firstly, because a large part of the building housing the pit boxes and media center burned down in an electrical fire earlier this year. There were fears the facilities would not be restored to the level required by Grand Prix racing due to a lack of investment, but the circuit is close to completing the repairs and rebuilding ready for next year.

Secondly, because of the difficulties of reaching Termas de Rio Hondo, and the relative lack of accommodation in the area, there had been persistent and credible rumors that MotoGP would not return to the circuit. Instead, it was said, the race would move to the San Juan Villicum circuit, which hosts WorldSBK.

The importance of the South American market, and the desire of local and regional politicians to keep the race at the circuit has proved decisive. The track is to remain on the calendar for the next four seasons.

This is also good news for MotoGP. The layout of the track - fast, flowing, challenging - makes it one of the few circuits where a MotoGP machine can truly stretch its legs.

The press release from Dorna appears below:


Argentina confirmed on the MotoGP™ calendar until 2025
A three-year extension sees Termas de Rio Hondo remain the home of MotoGP™ in Latin America from 2023-2025

Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Dorna Sports is delighted to announce a contract extension that will see Argentina remain on the FIM MotoGP™ World Championship calendar until 2025. Already confirmed until 2022 due to the disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic, a new three-year contract will now see the Autódromo Termas de Rio Hondo, in the province of Santiago del Estero, continue to host MotoGP™ in 2023, 2024 and 2025.

Termas de Rio Hondo first hosted MotoGP™ in 2014, creating a new home for the world’s fastest motorcycle racing Championship in Latin America. This new agreement between Dorna Sports, the Argentinean Ministry of Sport and Tourism, the National Institute of Tourism Promotion in Argentina (Inprotur), and the Government of Santiago del Estero province, as well as the OSD Group as local promoter, was announced today in a special presentation in Termas de Rio Hondo, confirming the future of one of the most vibrant race weekends on the MotoGP™ calendar and extending the collaboration beyond the milestone of a decade.

Matías Lammens, Tourism and Sports Minister: "Few provinces reflect the synergy between tourism and sport as Santiago del Estero does. That’s why it fills us with pride to continue hosting MotoGP, an event with international prestige that will also play an important role in the economic redevelopment of the region. I want to congratulate the governor for making tourism and sport key policies. The national government reaffirms our commitment to accompany this venture that generates both employment and local development.”

Gerardo Zamora, Governor of Santiago del Estero: "The city of Termas de Rio Hondo and the province of Santiago del Estero will remain positioned on the international stage thanks to this event, the work that has been carried out over these seven years along these lines. MotoGP creates truly superlative economic impact in the north of Argentina. The competition takes place at a top level circuit and the riders, the organisation and the fans know and enjoy the destination. The Republic of Argentina also gains visibility through the hundreds of thousands of homes around the world via the official broadcasts. The Government of the Province, together with Dorna, Inprotur and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, join together in their efforts so that these achievements may long continue."

Orlando Terranova, CEO OSD Group: "We’re very satisfied and happy to renew our agreement with Dorna Sports to continue organising the Grand Prix of Argentina, which we’ve done since 2014. The effort is enormous, but we are able to make it happen thanks to an incredible team headed by Minister Lammens and Governor Zamora. MotoGP is an event that allows us to take our place on the world stage, show our strengths and be a point of reference in global elite sport. We celebrate all this and redouble our efforts so that each new edition is even better than ever before, creating an amazing experience for the fans who attend. Termas de Rio Hondo will receive us looking better than ever, the circuit will be perfect and even more improved. We continue moving forward in order to remain a point of reference in this part of the world."

Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports: "The three-year contract renewal for the Grand Prix of Argentina is fantastic news for MotoGP, showing once again the incredible level of interest in our sport across the territory. The impressive crowds who flock to the event, and from many different countries, added to the great feedback from the riders, proves how vital our presence in Argentina and Latin America truly is."

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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

Maverick Viñales will not be on the starting grid for the GP of the Americas scheduled this weekend on the circuit in Austin, Texas.

Less than a week has passed since the accident involving Dean Berta Viñales, Maverick’s young cousin, which is not enough time to regain the serenity needed to race. Maverick, with the full and unconditional support of Aprilia Racing, has therefore decided to take a break on his journey of getting to know the bike and team from Noale.

The entire Aprilia Racing family supports this decision and stands with Maverick and his loved ones. There will be other times and other rounds to resume the promising journey begun together. A journey that must be entirely respectful of the people involved and their feelings.

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2021 WorldSBK Calendar Finalized - Mandalika, Indonesia, Final Round Of WorldSBK

The 2021 WorldSBK calendar has been finalized at last. Over the weekend of the Jerez round of World Superbikes, Dorna and the FIM confirmed that the Mandalika International Street Circuit, on the island of Lombok, will host the final round of the 2021 season. The round is still subject to the circuit being homologated by the FIM, but this should be a formality. The race has been pushed back a week from its orginally scheduled date.

This means that there are three more rounds left in the 2021 WorldSBK calendar. This coming weekend, the series alights at the Portimão circuit in Portugal, before heading off to Argentina for a race at the San Juan Villicum circuit in the west of the country on the weekend of October 17th. The series will then conclude in Indonesia on November 21st.

Here's the final 2021 WorldSBK calendar:

DATE COUNTRY CIRCUIT WorldSBK WorldSSP WorldSSP300
21 - 23 May* Spain MotorLand Aragón X X X
28 - 30 May* Portugal Circuito Estoril X X X
11 - 13 June* Italy Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” X X X
2 - 4 July* United Kingdom Donington Park X    
23 - 25 July* The Netherlands TT Circuit Assen X X X
6 - 8 August* Czech Republic Autodrom Most X X X
20 – 22 August* Spain Circuito de Navarra X X  
3 - 5 September* France Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours X X X
17 - 19 September* Spain Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya Xs X X
24 - 26 September* Spain Circuito de Jerez - Ángel Nieto X X X
1 - 3 October Portugal Autódromo Internacional do Algarve X X X
15 – 17 October Argentina Circuito San Juan Villicum X X  
19 – 21 November Indonesia Mandalika International Street Circuit** X X  

*Already run

All dates, events and the attendance of spectators are subject to the evolution of the global pandemic and the approval of the corresponding governments and authorities.

** (STH) Subject to homologation


Mandalika International Street Circuit set for inaugural WorldSBK round in November

The new Indonesian venue will be hosting its first international events later this year, including the 2021 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship season finale

For the first time since 1997, WorldSBK will be back in Indonesia with the final round of the 2021 season set to take place in November, at the Mandalika International Street Circuit located on the scenic Lombok island.

The date for the Indonesian Round has been pushed back by a week due to logistical and organisational considerations – this will allow the venue to first host the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup (IATC) on November 12th-14th, a competition managed by Dorna Group, thus providing valuable experience at the circuit in the first of back-to-back events for the Cup and also avoiding an overlap with the coverage of the MotoGP™ season-closer in Valencia this weekend.

The WorldSBK Indonesian Round will therefore take place on the weekend of November 19th-21st for what promises to be a stunning curtain closing event to the 2021 season.

Indonesia previously hosted WorldSBK racing from 1994 to 1997 and the long-awaited return of the series to the South East Asian nation comes on the back of three years of efforts sustained in a challenging context.

With a strong racing fanbase and a key market for the manufacturers and partners of the Championship, the Mandalika International Street Circuit breaking ground and hosting the WorldSBK and IATC in 2021 will be a key milestone for Dorna Group and the local promoter, MGPA.

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Jerez WorldSBK Action Canceled On Saturday After Dean Berta Viñales Dies In WorldSSP300 Crash

The Saturday afternoon races in the WorldSBK championship have been canceled after a fatal accident in the WorldSSP300 class. Dean Berta Viñales, riding for the Viñales Racing Team, fell at Turn 2 on lap 10, in the middle of a group of riders, and was struck by another bike. The Spaniard suffered severe chest and head injuries, and died as a result of the injuries sustained.

The WorldSSP300 race was immediately red-flagged, and Viñales was treated at trackside, before being taken by helicopter to a nearby hospital, but his injuries were too severe to be survivable. Dean Berta Viñales is the cousin of Aprilia MotoGP rider Maverick, and rode in the team run by Maverick Viñales' father Angel. Dean Berta Viñales was 15 years and 4 months old.

All action was stopped for the remainder of the day. The World Superbike and World Supersport races were both canceled. Jeffrey Buis was declared the winner of the WorldSSP300 race, ahead of Iñigo Iglesias and Bahattin Sofuoglu.

Viñales is the second fatality on a World Championship race weekend this year, after Jason Dupasquier was killed during qualifying in the Moto3 class at Mugello. This year has also seen the death of Hugo Millán, who died during a European Talent Cup race at the FIM CEV championship round in Aragon in July. Millán was 14, Viñales 15, Dupasquier 19. All three teenagers died as a result of being struck by other bikes.

Below is the press release from the World Superbike organizers:


Dean Berta Viñales passes away

Jerez de la Frontera, Spain

Following a serious incident during Race 1 of the Motul Spanish Round of the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship at the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto, it is with great sadness that we report the passing of rider Dean Berta Viñales (Viñales Racing Team).

Berta Viñales was involved in a multi-rider incident at Turn 1, with the race immediately Red Flagged.

The rider suffered severe head and thoracic injuries. Medical vehicles arrived at the site immediately and the rider was attended to on track, in the ambulance and at the circuit Medical Centre.

Despite the best efforts of the circuit medical staff, the Medical Centre has announced that Berta Viñales has sadly succumbed to his injuries.

The FIM, Dorna and the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto pass on our deepest condolences to Berta Viñales’ family, friends, team and loved ones.

Following the incident, the remainder of Saturday’s action has been cancelled.

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The Great Yamaha Reshuffle: Morbidelli Confirmed In Factory Team Through 2023, Dovizioso At SRT From Misano Through 2022

It has been an open secret for some time, but now finally Yamaha have confirmed it officially. In a flurry of press releases, Yamaha have announced their reshuffle of the factory Yamaha team, and laid the first stone in their satellite operation. Starting immediately, Franco Morbidelli will be joining the factory team, and has signed a contract for the next two seasons, 2022 and 2023. Taking his place in the Petronas Yamaha SRT team effective immediately will be Andrea Dovizioso, and the Italian veteran will race in Yamaha's satellite team for 2022.

Though most of the news was already out in public, there were still a few details in the announcements which hadn't been confirmed. Firstly, although Yamaha Managing Director Lin Jarvis confirmed to me in Austria that Franco Morbidelli would be moving up to the factory team for next year, the deal announced is for two seasons, for 2022 and 2023. Crucially, that puts him out of step with almost the entirety of the rest of the MotoGP field. Everyone bar Marc Marquez and Brad Binder, who have contracts through 2024, have deals which end in 2022 - with the caveat that most rookies, like Raul Fernandez and Remy Gardner in the Tech3 KTM team, will have options to continue beyond 2022.

Franco Morbidelli will start his term in the factory Yamaha team this weekend. The Italian is coming off a long absence for surgery on his ACL, however. Normally, the recovery time for such a knee operation is six months. Morbidelli, however, had surgery at the end of June, less than three months ago. The move will allow Morbidelli to settle into the factory team, and adapt to the 2022 Yamaha M1, rather than the 2019 bike he has been riding for the past year and a half.

The second detail to be announced is that Andrea Dovizioso will be signing a contract with Yamaha directly. That puts him on a 2022 Yamaha M1 in the satellite team due to be announced this weekend by the remnants of the Petronas SRT team, now that Petronas and the Sepang International Circuit have withdrawn from the squad. Team bosses Razlan Razali and Johan Stigefelt are expected to reveal their plans, and the name of their new project at some point over the weekend.

That announcement has apparently run into a glitch. Multiple sources have reported that the intended sponsor WithU, an Italian utilities company currently backing the team's MotoE effort, have withdrawn their sponsorship, and have chosen to back the VR46 team instead, alongside Sky Italia.

Though unrelated to the Yamaha news, the backing of WithU and Sky suggests that the mysterious deal with Tanal Entertainment, a Saudi-backed development concern, is off. The deal was always dubious, though the story was so hard to track that it was hard to unravel the truth behind it. So far, however, no concrete details have been announced for the sponsorship of the VR46 squad.

The press releases from Yamaha and Petronas appear below:


FRANCO MORBIDELLI JOINS YAMAHA FACTORY RACING MOTOGP TEAM FOR 2021-2023

It is with great pleasure that Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. confirm Franco Morbidelli as a Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team rider for the remaining races in 2021 and for the 2022 and 2023 seasons. The Italian will make his highly anticipated return from injury debuting with the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team this weekend at the Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini.

Misano Adriatico (Italy), 16th September 2021

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. are delighted to announce that Franco Morbidelli has signed with the Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team for the remaining races in 2021 and for the 2022 and 2023 seasons. The Italian will make his long-awaited return after injury this weekend, debuting with the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team at the Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini. He will be part of the Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team‘s rider line-up for the upcoming five 2021 GP events and a full-time Factory rider in 2022 and 2023.

Morbidelli has shown great riding and motivation so far in his three seasons of racing with Yamaha in the MotoGP World Championship. The successful partnership led to a second place overall for the Italian in 2020, having secured five podiums including three victories that season.

The PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team rider‘s 2021 season was hampered by injury. He decided to have surgery on the meniscus and anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on 25 June, causing him to miss the Dutch, Styrian, Austrian, British, and Aragon GP. After following a rehabilitation programme, Morbidelli is now ready to return to action.

This weekend, the 26-year-old will be reunited with former PETRONAS Yamaha SRT teammate Fabio Quartararo, this time as part of the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team. He aims to use the remainder of the 2021 season to adapt to the new team surroundings and the 2021 Factory-spec YZR-M1, and gradually work up to 100% fitness level.

With two further years as a Factory rider on the horizon after the 2021 season, Morbidelli can count on Yamaha‘s full support and the opportunity to fight at the front for big milestones on many occasions.

LIN JARVIS - MANAGING DIRECTOR, YAMAHA MOTOR RACING

“First of all, we want to thank PETRONAS Yamaha SRT for allowing Franky to make his dream come true and letting him step up to the Factory team ahead of schedule. Originally, we had planned for Franky to move up from 2022 on, but following a sudden rider line-up change mid-season, we had the chance to let him upgrade early.

“Secondly, I want to give a warm welcome to Franky. He is an exceptional talent. This was even further highlighted last year when he secured second place in the championship and achieved five podiums and three wins on the satellite Yamaha. It shows the type of rider that he is: committed to extracting the best from the YZR-M1 under all circumstances.

“Naturally, we‘re thrilled that Franky will be back in the paddock and that he is well enough to start racing again. He will have to find his form gradually, in line with his physical improvements, as he is still recovering. We will be using the remainder of 2021 to get him settled in the team and comfortable on the bike.

“We have already locked down our plans for 2022 and 2023, with Franky receiving full Factory backing from Yamaha Motor Company. We feel certain that a skilled, calm, and experienced rider like Franky will strengthen the Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team and will enjoy great success in the future.”

FRANCO MORBIDELLI

“I'm very pleased and happy about facing this weekend and this highly anticipated new chapter with the Factory Yamaha team. I've been trying to recover as much as possible for the final stage of this championship. I wanted to make my comeback at a track I know well and have great memories of, like Misano.

”I'm looking forward to jumping on the bike and starting my journey with the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team. Of course, I need and I want to thank all the people who made this happen, starting with Ito-san, Lin, Maio, Sumi-san, the VR46 Riders Academy, and all other people who made this collaboration possible.”


ANDREA DOVIZIOSO SIGNS WITH YAMAHA MOTOR COMPANY FOR 2021-2022

With Franco Morbidelli debuting in the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team for this week‘s Gran Premio di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. is delighted to announce that MotoGP star Andrea Dovizioso will be joining PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team. The Italian will race for Yamaha‘s satellite team for the remainder of 2021 as well as the entire 2022 MotoGP season.

Misano Adriatico (Italy), 16th September 2021

Following Franco Morbidelli‘s transfer to Yamaha‘s factory team, Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. is pleased to announce the signing of MotoGP star Andrea Dovizioso. He will be joining Yamaha‘s satellite team rider line-up for the remainder of 2021 and the entire 2022 MotoGP season.

The vastly experienced Italian is a three-time MotoGP Vice Champion and has many premier-class and lower-class achievements and victories to his name. He is known as a late-braker and one of the cleanest competitors in battle. Dovizioso is also no stranger to the YZR-M1, making him a perfect addition to the Yamaha rider line-up. He completed a successful season with a Yamaha satellite team in 2012, resulting in six third places and a fourth place in the final standings.

Yamaha as well as MotoGP fans the world over eagerly anticipate Dovizioso‘s return to action aboard a Yamaha YZR-M1 this weekend. The 35-year-old will start the second leg of his racing career with Yamaha on Morbidelli‘s former bikes. During the 2022 season he will be riding a factory-spec YZR-M1 and receive full support from Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.

LIN JARVIS - MANAGING DIRECTOR, YAMAHA MOTOR RACING

“We are delighted that a MotoGP star and talent like Andrea is joining the Yamaha line-up. We warmly welcome him to the Yamaha MotoGP group as a very important member of our MotoGP programme.

“We have found ourselves in unprecedented circumstances this year that resulted in totally unexpected rider issues for both Yamaha teams. We experienced some unforeseen and unfortunate events, but we have been able to transform the problems into new opportunities.

“Andrea has been away from MotoGP for a short sabbatical, but we are certain that a rider of his calibre will soon find his speed again. We are really looking forward to working with him as a member of Yamaha‘s satellite team, and we will be supporting him in every way we can.”

ANDREA DOVIZIOSO - PETRONAS YAMAHA SRT RIDER

“Racing with Yamaha has always been my dream, and that's why when the opportunity arrived I did not think twice, although I know it's going to be a tough challenge for me.

"I've got many things ahead of me to learn: a new bike, a new team, a new working system. It‘s a big challenge that starts at Misano, my home GP. This makes it even more exciting. I can't wait to be aboard my M1!”


Dovizioso to make MotoGP return with PETRONAS Yamaha SRT

Andrea Dovizioso to see out 2021 season as Franco Morbidelli moves to factory team

Italian rider Andrea Dovizioso will join PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team for the remainder of the 2021 season, replacing fellow countryman Franco Morbidelli – who is moving to Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP.

‘Dovi’ made his MotoGP debut in 2008 having taken the 125cc World Championship title in 2004. In his first season in the premier class he finished as top Independent rider, and claimed his first victory one year later. Since his first premier class race, the Italian has racked up a total of 62 podiums, 15 wins and 7 pole positions. In addition to this, Andrea was also in the championship fight in 2017, 2018 and 2019 – ending all three years as vice champion.

Marking his much-anticipated return to the championship, Dovizioso will join the Malaysian squad as Valentino Rossi’s team-mate for the rest of the 2021 season, starting with the San Marino GP this weekend.

Re-joining his former team-mate Fabio Quartararo, Franco Morbidelli graduates to the factory Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team from this weekend’s Grand Prix. The 2020 Championship runner-up took his first MotoGP podiums and wins with PETRONAS Yamaha SRT in 2020, and everyone would like to sincerely thank Franco for his time with the team and wish him all the very best in his graduation.

Razlan Razali

We are absolutely thrilled with the collective decision between Yamaha and PETRONAS Yamaha SRT to welcome Andrea Dovizioso from this race onwards until the end of the year. Clearly he is an extremely talented and highly-regarded rider, and we’re excited to see him back in the MotoGP paddock after his sabbatical and wearing our colours. We’re delighted with the line-up of Dovi alongside Valentino, and that we have two home-race heroes at Misano this weekend.

Of course, this is possible because Franky is moving to the factory team alongside his old team-mate Fabio, and we are absolutely delighted and excited for him. He has performed remarkably for us, especially last year as vice-Champion, and this progression is exactly the objective for an independent team – to develop riders for the factory team and to help them perform to the best of their ability. For the first time the line-up of the Yamaha factory team consists of two riders who have graduated from our team, and we are exceptionally proud of that. For me this is a clear sign of the stronger, deeper collaboration between us and Yamaha. We are always ready to support the factory, and I think that with this solution and flexibility we all see a clear benefit, so we’re very pleased, and of course thank Franky sincerely for all his hard work and wish him all the very best.

Andrea Dovizioso

Although I didn’t expect to be back in MotoGP like this, I never closed the door on it and it’s good to be here with Yamaha and PETRONAS Yamaha SRT. I wanted to try to enjoy a new situation and I’m really happy to be back. It will be interesting to be on a completely different bike to that I rode before and I’m looking forward to the experience. I visited the team in Aragon and it felt almost like it was 2012 again and sitting on the Yamaha bike felt just as good. It was great to have a first sit on the bike and do the initial adjustments, so that we’re already one step ahead of FP1 here at Misano. I will need to get on track to understand the details and it would have been better to have had a test before jumping into a race, but I start with no pressure and it will be great to get going in Misano for the final five races of the season.

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Michelin Extend Contract To Be MotoGP Official Tire Supplier Through 2026

Michelin is to remain official tire supplier to MotoGP until the end of the 2026 season. Today, Michelin and Dorna announced they had extend the contract, due to end in December 2023, through the following three seasons.

The announcement nicely lines up the spec tire contract with the end of the next period of technical rules. Dorna has a contract with the manufacturers to keep the technical regulations as stable as possible for a five year period, starting in 2022 and ending in 2026.

Whether there will be any change of tire supplier at the end of 2026 remains to be seen. At the moment, the manufacturers are broadly happy with the job Michelin is doing, despite occasional questions surrounding consistency and quality control. For its part, Dorna is delighted with the close racing the Michelin tires have helped produce, alongside the changes to reduce the influence of electronics on the sport. Although by the end of the contract, Michelin will have been spec tire supplier to MotoGP for 11 years.

Below is the press release announcing the contract extension:


Michelin® confirmed as MotoGP™ tyre supplier until 2026
The legendary French marque will remain the official, sole tyre supplier of the premier class from 2024-2026

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Dorna Sports is pleased to confirm a new three-year contract extension with Michelin that will see the legendary French firm continue as the sole, official tyre supplier to MotoGP™ until at least 2026. The new three-year agreement will see the partnership between Michelin and MotoGP™ reach the milestone of a decade racing together.

Michelin, based in Clermont-Ferrand in France, became the sole tyre supplier to MotoGP™ in 2016. The premier class of motorcycle Grand Prix racing has since enjoyed some of the closest competition in history, creating a true golden era. Records are routinely broken, with the ten closest top 15 finishes of all-time all set since 2018, four of which are from 2021.

As part of the agreement, the Michelin brand will also continue to be featured trackside at each event and will be the title sponsor of a Grand Prix each season.

Florent Ménégaux, CEO of Michelin: "We are very happy with the results we've obtained since Michelin's return to MotoGP, and today we have, logically, extended our partnership with Dorna Sports. We are particularly proud of the technological progress made with our products, as well as the many records broken together with our partners. This Championship offers fans a captivating spectacle, and it's accessible via digital platforms unparalleled in motorsport. Being a partner of MotoGP therefore represents a valuable opportunity for Michelin to engage the public and players across the discipline in its vision, brand, tyres and innovation. For Michelin, motorsport is a laboratory that encourages the transfer of its expertise and sustainable solutions for the benefit of everyone. "

Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna Sports: "We’re very proud to continue our partnership with Michelin until at least 2026. Michelin has been a vital partner for MotoGP since it became the tyre supplier to the premier class in 2016, helping us to create one of the greatest eras of competition in motorcycle Grand Prix racing history. I’m delighted that we will reach a decade of collaboration and I hope we can continue building on this incredible foundation together. This agreement is fantastic news for all of us in the Championship."

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2021 MotoGP Calendar Finalized: Argentina Canceled, 18 Races In 2021

The 2021 MotoGP calendar has been finalized. The combination of the Covid-19 pandemic and the fire which ravaged the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit has caused the cancellation of the Argentina Grand Prix, meaning that the 2021 MotoGP season will consist of 18 races, leaving 6 races - including Sunday's Aragon round - to contest this year.

The finalization of the calendar also means that the Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin, Texas, will go ahead, despite the current situation with hospital capacity in Texas due to the Covid-19 outbreak. With the Austin City Limits music festival due to be held on the same weekend, it is hard for the Circuit to justify canceling the race.

At the same time, the official date of the Jerez MotoGP test was also announced. The traditional Valencia test has been abandoned, as it was always unpopular with teams and riders. Instead, the teams will head to Jerez for a two-day test on the Thursday and Friday after Valencia, November 18th and 19th. That will be the final test of 2021, before the paddock assembles again in Sepang in early February. Pandemic willing, of course.

The finalized 2021 MotoGP calendar appears below:

Date Grand prix Circuit
28 March Qatar* Losail International Circuit
4 April Qatar* Losail International Circuit
18 April Portugal Algarve International Circuit
02 May Spain Circuito de Jerez – Ángel Nieto
16 May France Le Mans
30 May Italy Autodromo del Mugello
06 June Catalunya Barcelona - Catalunya
20 June Netherlands TT Circuit Assen
27 June Germany Sachsenring
8 August Styria Red Bull Ring-Spielberg
15 August Austria Red Bull Ring-Spielberg
29 August Great Britain Silverstone
12 September Aragón MotorLand Aragón
19 September San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli
03 October Americas Circuit of the Americas
24 October Emilia Romagna e Made in Italy Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli
7 November Algarve Algarve International Circuit
14 November Comunitat Valenciana Comunitat Valenciana-Ricardo Tormo
tbc tbc tbc

* Evening Race
** Subject to Homologation

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.


2021 FIM MotoGP™ World Championship final calendar confirmed

The final calendar for the 2021 FIM MotoGP™ World Championship can now be confirmed. The 2021 season will comprise a total of 18 Grands Prix, with no more events to be added.

The FIM, IRTA and Dorna Sports therefore regret to confirm the cancellation of the Gran Premio de la República Argentina due to force majeure. The event was previously postponed, but the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, logistical restrictions and prior infrastructure damage have obliged the cancellation.

MotoGP™ looks forward to returning to Termas de Rio Hondo in April 2022 to greet the incredible fans who flock to the venue from across South America, with all parties working towards extending the collaboration for further years.

The name of the second Grand Prix at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, set to take place from the 22nd to the 24th of October 2021, can also be announced. The event will be the Emilia Romagna and Made in Italy Grand Prix, with helmet manufacturer and long-term partner of MotoGP™, Nolan, taking top billing. The official name of the event is therefore the Gran Premio Nolan del Made in Italy e dell’Emilia Romagna.

In addition, the dates of the first pre-season test for 2022 are now confirmed. The Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto will host a two-day Official Test for the MotoGP™ class on the 18th and 19th of November 2021.

Official track action will then resume with the Sepang Shakedown Test from the 31st of January 2022, as previously announced.

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Maverick Viñales 'Happiest Ever' After Misano Test

Maverick Viñales has completed the first two days of his Aprilia career, riding the RS-GP for the first time at the Misano circuit. The Spaniard was very happy afterwards, in no small part because he was also fast. He ended the day with a fastest lap of 1'32.4, he told Catalan journalist Damià Aguilar. Earlier, Lucio Lopez of MotoRaceNation, present at the track, reported that Viñales had set a lap of 1'32.8 on a soft tire with 8 laps on.

How fast is that? To put Viñales' times into perspective, the race lap record is 1'32.319, set by Pecco Bagnaia in last year's Misano 2 race, while Viñales himself holds the pole record, with a time of 1'31.077 set at the same event.

The fact that Viñales holds the pole record at Misano is evidence that he is fast at the track, but to be close to the race lap record after just two days on the bike is a sign that he has adapted very quickly. Aprilia did not change the bike much for Viñales, using the chassis and electronics settings taken from Aleix Espargaro's bike.

Blissed out

Viñales himself was extremely happy when he spoke to the media after the test. The happiest he had been, "probably in my life!" he told us. "The time that I am the most happy, because after five years there [at Yamaha] doing ups and downs and we didn't understand many things, at the end you say 'what is going on?' But as soon as I jumped to Aprilia I know my potential, I know what I'm able to do even more."

He had tried to enter Aprilia as a blank slate. "I honestly went without expectation, because you never know how the bike is going to react," Viñales told us. "But I have to say that I was a bit nervous because I never tried a different engine. I was used to riding bikes that have an inline four and I didn't know how it would react, but I was quite surprised that how I adapted to the engine was quite easy and this is nice." The engine character helped make the switch easy. "Basically, the bike has a really [good] handling engine, which is very important also for a long race."

With Viñales set to make is race debut on the Aprilia in 10 days time at Aragon, replacing the injured Lorenzo Savadori, he feels this gives him a big head start on his first full season aboard the RS-GP in 2022. "It was nice to jump quick because I have the opportunity to do six races and this is much better than to do just five days of testing. I will try to prepare well, and also with Aleix, the 2022, which is very important for me."

Sooner than expected

Actually being able to race at Aragon had been unexpected. "I didn't expect it," Viñales said. "I expected to be at home waiting for November to test the bike, but this opportunity is made first of all because I left [Yamaha] and then because Aprilia give me the opportunity. So basically what makes me really happy is that all the guys are working very hard, the atmosphere is really strong and also coming from a podium is the best time, you know, to join the team and try to give them the feedback." Viñales praised the work of the current team as well. "For sure Aleix and Savadori made an amazing job because they ride very fast and the bike is working well. I was quite surprised because the adaptation to the bike has been quite fast."

That fast adaptation had persuaded him to try to start racing as quickly as possible. "I wanted to race as soon as I did three [runs] with the bike," Viñales told us. "I think it's the best way way to prepare for next year. Even if maybe I'm not ready because it's difficult on the riding style still to be at one with the bike because I was used to ride a completely different bike. But I think in Aragon I will understand a little bit more, also riding with Aleix, he is fast so I can learn quickly how the bike works. But I feel strong. I feel very strong and this is the positive point."

Adapting to a different bike also requires a change of riding style, Viñales explained. "What I need to change is the way of braking, it's a bit different. This is a big learning process because the way that you can brake with the Aprilia is totally different and for this I will need laps." His new teammate can help in that regard "Also Aleix is very hard braking and I will need to learn a little bit from him how he does that strong brake. But I think this will come with confidence. This is the important point."

Goals still to achieve

The split with Yamaha had not caused him to hang his head and give up hope, Viñales told us. His ambition did not stop burning. "You know after everything happened, the only thing I had in mind was to ride, keep riding, I will not give up! Until i get my objectives accomplished. So I keep going. I keep going very strong. I will push at my maximum already from the first lap in Aragon. I know my place in Aprilia for what it is so I need to push so much, I need to improve myself and I need to keep going."

Viñales was not surprised that Yamaha let him race the Aprilia this year. "No, it's fair. Everyone has to have the opportunity and to leave the things in the past," Viñales said. Yamaha also had something to gain, of course: in exchange for releasing Maverick Viñales, Aprilia could also release Andrea Dovizioso from his testing contract. That allows Yamaha to put the Italian on the Petronas Yamaha from the Misano race, and gives him five races to get up to speed for next year.

When the honeymoon is over.

That Maverick Viñales should be happy after two days on the bike is a positive sign, but it is also a natural consequence of having changed. The Spaniard was deeply unhappy in the Yamaha team, and had been for some time. A change of scenery brings a breath of fresh air, and the eagerness with which he was welcomed will have made him feel wanted, an important motivation for Viñales.

That he should be fast is also hardly a surprise. Viñales is the undisputed champion of winter testing, frequently topping each preseason and post-race test. He is fast when he can ride alone, and choose his own lines.

The real test will come when things get difficult. When Viñales has a bad weekend, or finds that he can't overtake during a race, or has a technical problem. Right now, the Spaniard is in the honeymoon period with Aprilia. But honeymoons come to an end, and then the real work of the relationship starts.


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