UPDATED: Kazakhstan ready to replace Indian MotoGP?

Could Kazakhstan step in as a replacement for the Indian MotoGP?

French MotoGP, 2024
French MotoGP, 2024

Update: Sources close to the Indian MotoGP insist this year's event will go ahead as planned with any pending payments cleared once a ‘Model Code of Conduct’ on the spending of public money - in place for the country's General Election - is lifted on June 4.

Dorna are said to have received written confirmation by the State Government that payments will be made relative to that date.

When the inaugural Kazakhstan MotoGP, set for mid-June, was “postponed until later in 2024” due to a “national emergency” caused by flooding, the obvious question was when the event would be slotted into a cramped calendar.

At first glance, the free weekend before the start of the flyaways - between Misano (September 8th) and India (22nd) - makes geographic sense but would create an impossible run of six races in six weekends.

The spare weekend on the way back from the flyaways - between Malaysia and Valencia - would likewise mean 5 events in 5 weeks, plus a post-race (Valencia) test. Not to mention the cold weather in Kazakhstan in November.

Assuming the summer break is untouchable, that leaves only an August date, perhaps the weekend between Silverstone (4th) and Austria (18th).

Razlan Razali, former Sepang CEO and SRT/RNF MotoGP team manager has recently visited the Sokol International Circuit, declaring on social media that: “Track is completed and will be ready for its first [MotoGP] round.”

When quizzed on the lack of obvious replacement dates for this season, Razali replied confidently: “It’s only postponed. Watch this space.”

So when might Sokol happen?

Motorsport.com reports that Kazakhstan could return as a replacement for India, which is due to host its second MotoGP on September 20-22.

India is said to be in doubt “due to the local promoters not having met the financial commitments established by contract.”

Motorsport adds that a deadline of May 20 has been given “for India to catch up with payments.” Otherwise, it will be cancelled, clearing the way for Kazakhstan to take its place.

Asked about the India-Kazakhstan ‘swap’ rumours, a Dorna spokesman told Crash.net that it is currently a case of wait-and-see what happens with the two races. 

The original 2024 calendar was planned for 22 rounds but has already been reduced to 21 by the loss of Argentina.

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