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Portugal to host MotoGP finale as 30,000 attendance planned

The MotoGP motorcycling series has detailed plans to stage its season finale in Portimao, Portugal in November and it is hoped that fans will be able to attend the event.

The event is scheduled to take place from November 20-22 at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve and will serve as the 15th and final grand prix of the 2020 season.

The circuit has served as the reserve track for MotoGP since 2017 and the November event will mark its debut on the series calendar. It will also mark the first time MotoGP has raced in Portugal since 2012, when the Circuito do Estoril played host.

The announcement comes after Formula 1 last month announced plans to race in Portugal for the first time since 1996 with an event at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in October.

Paulo Pinheiro, chief executive of the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, said that plans are being discussed that would allow fans to attend the MotoGP event.

“We are working to have the fans in our race, and we will start with a capacity of 30,000 fans for the race weekend and then we will decide with (MotoGP promoter) Dorna and the sanitary authorities the following stages,” Pinheiro said. “We can’t express how happy we are to have this race.”

Dorna Sports chief executive Carmelo Ezpeleta added: “It’s big news for us, we signed an agreement in 2017 with Portimao to be the reserve circuit for any kinds of cancellations, and we’ve been in contact with them all this time.

“We’ve been to Portimao with Superbikes and we think it’s an amazing possibility for us, and also in the agreement is that the track will be resurfaced after the Superbikes round. When we explained this to the riders they were excited because they’ve seen the track on TV, but we’ve never been there.

“Portugal has a long history in our sport and there have been some historic battles in Estoril. It’s something very good for us to have the possibility to go back to Portugal, especially with Miguel Oliveira participating as it’s great to have a Portuguese rider able to compete in his own country. We are extremely happy to be racing in Portimao at the end of the year.”

Image: Klugschnacker/Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0)/Edited for size