Finland is due to make a belated return to MotoGP in July at the new KymiRing circuit after the motorcycling championship today (Friday) revealed its provisional calendar for the 2021 season.
The 2021 schedule has been released after MotoGP was forced to heavily revise its 2020 calendar due to COVID-19, with the original 20-race plan replaced by a 14-round calendar focused on Europe that eventually commenced in Jerez, Spain in July.
Nineteen venues are currently on the provisional calendar with a 20th race yet to be decided, while Portimao, Portugal; Mandalika International Street Circuit, Indonesia; and Igora Drive Circuit in Russia are named on a ‘reserve’ list.
The provisional calendar will see the opening race of the season take place in Qatar, MotoGP’s usual opening grand prix venue, at the end of March. After a weekend off, the championship heads to Argentina and America in April before the European leg begins, as is traditional, at the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto on May 2.
France, Italy, Catalunya, Germany, Netherlands and, subject to homologation, Finland will lead MotoGP to the middle of July. Located in Kausala, some 110km north east of Helsinki, KymiRing opened in August 2019 and was originally due to return to the calendar this season, before its race fell victim to COVID-19.
Dorna Sports, MotoGP’s commercial rights-holder, originally sealed a five-year agreement with the operators of KymiRing back in August 2017. MotoGP last raced in Finland in 1982.
Following on from the Finnish GP on July 11, the next venue on the calendar is down as TBC. This slot is traditionally occupied by the Czech GP at Brno. While Brno has a contract for 2021, Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta told the Autosport website that its absence is a result of the circuit needing to be resurfaced following complaints this year, work that has yet to be confirmed by the South Moravian government.
Following on from the TBC event, Austria and Great Britain are scheduled to host MotoGP races in August, before the Aragon and San Marino rounds take place in September. MotoGP will then head to Japan, Thailand, Australia and Malaysia in October before the season concludes in Valencia, Spain on November 14.
If the Czech GP is not confirmed, it will be replaced by one of the three reserve circuits. Mandalika International Street Circuit is still under construction, while the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve has been drafted in to stage this season’s finale on November 22.