The provisional 2005 MotoGP world championship calendar has been released by the FIM - and shows several significant changes are planned for next season.

Against recent tradition, the increased 17 race line-up is scheduled to begin in Europe - with the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez - on April 10, and will be followed by a round at either Rio or South Africa.

Round three will be one of two new events; a Chinese Grand Prix at Shanghai, while the other, the US GP at Laguna Seca (announced on Thursday), is confirmed as being on July 10 and for the MotoGP class only. It is almost certain to replace the WSBK round at the Californian circuit and could well be supported by the AMA Superbike championship.

The second half of the season is broadly similar, with the exception that the Portuguese Grand Prix has been moved from early September to late October - making it the penultimate event before the Valencia season finale.

Of note is that Japan will again only have one grand prix, at Motegi, the Suzuka circuit having again been left off the calendar.

Provisional 2005 MotoGP calendar.

April 10SpainJerez de la Frontera
April 17Rio or South AfricaJacarepagua or Welkom *
May 1ChinaShanghai
May15FranceLe Mans
May 29ItalyMugello
June 5CatalunyaCatalunya
June 19Great BritainDonington Park
June 25 NetherlandsAssen ***
July 10United StatesLaguna Seca **
July 24GermanySachsenring
August 28Czech Rep.Brno
September 18JapanMotegi
October 1 QatarQatar ***
October 9MalaysiaSepang
October 16AustraliaPhillip Island
October 30PortugalEstoril
November 6ValenciaRicardo Tormo - Valencia

*: to be confirmed
**: only MotoGP class
***: Saturday



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