While Formula 1 has confirmed that its start to the season is delayed until March 28, MotoGP could bring forward its first meeting in Qatar to avoid head-on competition.
MotoGP might want to avoid being in the shadow of Formula 1. Indeed, since last November, the start of the 2021 season of the MotoGP World Championship has been set for March 28 with the Grand Prix of Qatar, contested at night. However, this Tuesday, F1 turned its start to the season upside down following the postponement of the Australian Grand Prix. Consequently, the first meeting of the season is fixed for… March 28 in Bahrain. Head-on competition that could pose a problem of visibility and exposure.
To this is added another important concern for MotoGP which is the cancellation of preseason tests scheduled in Malaysia during the month of February due to the state of health emergency declared in the country, which is facing an upsurge in coronavirus infections. According to information from the British magazine Autosport, a meeting carried out by videoconference will bring together this Thursday the leaders of Dorna Sports, those of the International Motorcycling Federation (FIM) and the team association (IRTA).
The agenda will be the potential revision of the calendar for the 2021 MotoGP season, particularly with regard to the Grand Prix of Qatar.. Indeed, the entire paddock must meet at the Losail circuit from March 10 to 12 for preparatory tests which, by necessity, will be the only ones organized before the season. Before this meeting, two solutions seem to emerge. The first would be to postpone the date of these tests to bring them closer to the Grand Prix and, therefore, to allow the teams and the drivers to remain in place, in a sanitary bubble. The other solution, which some teams are pushing, would be to keep the tests on the scheduled dates but advance by one week, to March 21, the date of the Grand Prix of Qatar in order to avoid competition at all costs from the Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix, which takes place at similar times. A solution which would however require the agreement of all stakeholders, including broadcasters.