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MotoGP Cancels Phillip Island Round, Makes Other Calendar Changes for Remainder of Year

We have lost track of the number of times the MotoGP calendar has changed for 2021 (maybe you are keeping count … we are not). Nevertheless, at the outset of the summer break before racing resumes in August, we thought MD should bring you up to date on the change just made yesterday by the FIM.

The new calendar is pictured at the top of this article. The Australian round at Phillip Island has been dropped due to travel restrictions related to Covid-19. An additional round has been added to take its place. The Championship will now make a second visit to Portimao this year on November 7. Additionally, the race at Sepang has been moved up one week to October 24.

Don’t be surprised by additional changes as the Delta variant of Covid-19 accelerates in various parts of the world. Here is a press release from the FIM, IRTA and Dorna Sports:

The FIM, IRTA and Dorna Sports regret to announce the cancellation of the Red Bull Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and resulting travel complications and logistical restrictions mean it has not been possible to confirm the viability of the event at this time, and it will therefore not feature on the 2021 calendar. The FIM MotoGP™ World Championship looks forward to returning to race in front of the Australian fans at the spectacular Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit in 2022.

The 2021 Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix has therefore been brought forward and will take place a week earlier than previously scheduled, from the 22nd to the 24th of October – the weekend immediately following the rescheduled OR Grand Prix of Thailand.

In addition, the FIM, IRTA and Dorna Sports are delighted to confirm the addition of the Grande Premio do Algarve to the 2021 FIM MotoGP™ World Championship calendar. MotoGP™ will return to Portimão from the 5th to the 7th of November, the week preceding the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana, as the iconic Autodromo do Algarve welcomes MotoGP™ back for a second Grand Prix this season.

Australian Grand Prix Corporation Chairman, Paul Little AO: “We’re terribly disappointed that for a second consecutive year, MotoGP fans won’t see the world’s best riders compete at the wonderful Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, including Australians Jack Miller in the MotoGP class, and Remy Gardner, who is currently leading the Moto2 world championship. We’re also disappointed for our staff, suppliers and partners, as well as the Phillip Island community and associated tourism industry that relies on the economic boost which comes with staging the event.”

Dorna Sports’ CEO details the reasons behind the cancelation of the Australian Grand Prix and a second Portimao race being added

Carmelo Ezpeleta, Dorna Sports CEO: “We are very sad to announce that we won’t be able to race at the stunning Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit in 2021. One of our truly emblematic venues that always delivers incredible racing, it’s a favourite for fans worldwide and everyone in the paddock. Unfortunately, we will have to wait another year to return to Victoria, but we very much look forward to seeing the Australian fans in 2022 and staging another fantastic event together – this time with two home heroes, Jack Miller and Remy Gardner, on the premier class grid when we return.”

Mick Doohan, five-time 500cc World Champion and AGPC Board Member: “I’m totally devastated that we’re not hosting the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix again this year at Phillip Island, especially with the form we’ve got with Jack Miller in MotoGP and Remy Gardner in Moto2, who could have been in a position to win the Championship overall at Phillip Island.”

Jack Miller: “All us riders are really disappointed that we won’t be able to race at Phillip Island again this year – it’s a really tough thing for everyone, but we understand the situation and it’s the correct decision.” “Everyone in the paddock loves to come to Australia and I always feel proud of my home country when we get to host MotoGP, because everyone loves that track and that event so much. So, fingers crossed things can change for 2022 and we can ride at one of the best tracks in the world and in front of the awesome fans there.”


  1. Ricardo says:

    Great to see the COTA track is back on the schedule, hopefully it sticks since we are experiencing an increase of cases in USA due to the Delta variant.

    • Dave says:

      Texans need to get vaccinated. Vaccines are widely available and Texas is one of the country’s worst performers in terms of getting people vax’d. I don’t believe a case surge great enough to make Texas shut down can occur at this point (it’s Texas…) but FIM could deem it a dangerous location and cancel.

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