2016 MotoGP Calendar Finalized

The FIM have today at last finalized the 2016 MotoGP calendar. The two circuits which were still subject to contract, Brno and Jerez, have now had their contracts confirmed. The calendar is unchanged from the provisional calendar published between Sepang and Valencia last year.

FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix
2016 Calendar, 10 February

The FIM and Dorna are pleased to confirm that the FIM Grand Prix World Championship calendar published as provisional on November 2 is now final.

Date Grand Prix Venue
20 March Qatar* Losail International Circuit
03 April República Argentina Termas de Río Hondo
10 April Americas Circuit of The Americas
24 April Spain Circuito de Jerez
08 May France Le Mans
22 May Italy Autodromo del Mugello
05 June Catalunya Barcelona - Catalunya
26 June Ne therlands TT Circuit Assen
17 July Germany Sachsenring
14 August Austria Red Bull Ring - Spielberg
21 August Czech Republic Automotodrom Brno
04 September Great Britain Silverstone Circuit
11 September San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli
25 September Aragón MotorLand Aragón
16 October Japan Twin Ring Motegi
23 October Australia Phillip Island
30 October Malaysia Sepang
13 November Comunitat Valenciana Comunitat Valenciana - Ricardo Tormo

* Evening Race


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Phew glad to see they've still got at least four races in Spain, maybe they should add a fifth just for good measure.

While I appreciate how much the Spanish love the sport, and that Dorna is a Spanish company, do they really have to make their preference so obvious? Europe is littered with great racetracks, Dorna will never shake the air of impropriety so long as they keep this nonsense up. Dump Agragon and Catalunya for Brands Hatch and Laguna, or any number of other great tracks out there. Maybe go to a country where they have no presence.

The real problem for anyone organizing motorcycle racing is that Spain has so many tracks homologated to the highest standards. Spain has at least six, and probably eight tracks which could host a MotoGP round with little or no work. They are safe, fast enough and long enough.

Real race tracks are very difficult to find elsewhere. Brands Hatch would not be homologated for MotoGP, there is not enough run off. Laguna Seca is also tricky, though the bigger problem there is that because Laguna is run by a non-profit, they can't afford either to pay the sanctioning fees or make the upgrades to the track it really needs.

Dorna are desperate to have more races outside of Spain, but they have to be at tracks which are safe enough to race at, and can afford to host the events. There aren't very many of those around the world.

There are a bunch of tracks I would love to see MotoGP race at. Spa Francorchamps, perhaps the greatest track on the planet, but completely lethal for motorcycle racing (motorcycle riders and racers die there regularly in various events). Barber (too short). Road America (needs a lot of safety work and resurfacing). Paul Ricard (needs a few alterations). Monza (too dangerous). Portimao (no money to host a race).

A very short story and my view on this.
I'm quite lucky to have a close friend who knows Carmelo from years (long time family friends) and almost every time the GP is in Phillip Island they have some sort of informal meeting (as this friend is a macroeconomy professor). I remember that in 2011 he explicitly told Carmelo that the Spanish GPs are too many and they should expand for example in SE Asia, where there are a lot of growing markets. Although we are seeing the Indonesia GP coming a reality, the only races we saw going lately are (the great) Laguna Seca and Indy. I think the first one owned to Dorna almost $3million a couple of years ago and couldn't afford hosting further motoGP events. As a consequence, the burden was too big for Indy alone. I'm pretty sure none of the Spanish circuits share this problem (I assume they also have to pay the fee to Dorna for hosting the GP). And of course being in Europe helps with transportation costs.
What I think is that even if they know and agree that there's a bias toward Spain, at the end of the day Dorna is not a "pro-bono company". As David says, add together all the expenses to host (and create a suitable motoGP circuit, see the Circuit of Wales case) and the strict safety rules one has to satisfy, and you are left with the usual suspects and a new face once in a blue moon.

Get yourself down to COTA - great track and Austin is an excellent host city.

Man, I do not have the money, but despite all the consternation, the Austria/Czech Republic double header actually looks like a great opportunity for a race fan to put together a sweet little vacation. Five days to manage a three and a half hour drive with Vienna almost exactly half way? I hope the calendar stays this way long enough for me to get my shit together and make the trip...