MotoGP, alongside the Regional Government of Andalusia and the City Council of Jerez, is to make a proposal to the Spanish government to start the 2020 season with two races at Jerez, held on consecutive weekends, in late July.

The first is set to be held on July 17-19, with teams and riders from the various classes then remaining in place for a follow-up event on July 24-26. A WorldSBK round is then planned for the weekend after (July 31-August 2).

The plans were agreed during a virtual meeting involving the Andalusian Government, mayoress of Jerez and Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta.

It will still depend on Spanish lockdown restrictions continuing to ease over the next two and half months, but all sides are confident the events can go ahead. 

"Once authorisation from the Spanish government has been given, the three events will be proposed to the FIM for inclusion on their respective calendars," said a MotoGP statement. "The first MotoGP event would be the Grand Prix of Spain, becoming the season opener for the MotoGP class, and the second would be the Grand Prix of Andalusia."

Both are sure to be 'closed door' events, without any fans and only essential paddock staff present, all of whom will be subject to frequent coronavirus checks. However it is not yet clear what measures will be needed for paddock members outside the EU to be granted permission to enter. 

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After a series of cancellations and postponements due to the coronavirus, Brno on August 9 had been left as the latest MotoGP season-opener.

But it's clear the 2020 calendar will undergo more major revisions, with a minimum target of just 10-12 races now expected for this year (rather than the original 20 races) which could mean as few as 5-6 venues if two races are held at each circuit.

Ezpeleta recently gave a clue about the likely calendar by revealing "many of the circuits we will plan to be at for MotoGP also do Superbike races".

Jerez, Aragon, Catalunya, Misano are the four venues still due to host both MotoGP and WorldSBK this season.

Add in the Red Bull Ring, since it is set to host a planned F1 season-opener in early July, plus nearby Brno (the previous weekend) and those six tracks could well form most (if not all) of a 2020 MotoGP season.

With two consecutive races possible for most venues, that would meet MotoGP's minimum goal of 10-12 races.

Additional overseas rounds will be more difficult this year, but have not yet been ruled out.

Malaysia and Thailand could be combined as one trip, but both countries have suffered significant Covid outbreaks traced to public gatherings and much will probably depend on whether the governments/circuits see any benefit in holding 'closed doors' events, not to mention any quarantine regulations that may be in place for international arrivals.

Since Jerez was due to open the European season on May 3, and was the first of the postponed rounds not to be given an alternative end-of-season date, it makes sense that the Spanish venue has now been chosen to start the delayed world championship.

Proposed 2020 MotoGP Calendar (including free weekends)

Round

Date

Race

Circuit

 

8 March

Qatar (MotoGP cancelled)

Losail

 

17 May

France (postponed)

Le Mans

 

31 May

Italy (postponed)

Mugello

 

7 June

Catalunya (postponed)

Barcelona

 

21 June

Germany (cancelled)

Sachsenring

 

28 June

Netherlands (cancelled)

Assen

 

12 July

Finland (cancelled)

KymiRing

1

19 July

Spain (proposed)

Jerez (rescheduled)

2

26 July

Andalusia (proposed)

Jerez

 

2 August

 

 

3

9 August

Czech Republic

Brno

4

16 August

Austria

Red Bull Ring

 

23 August

  

5

30 August

Great Britain

Silverstone

 

6 September

  

6

13 September

San Marino

Misano

 

20 September

  

7

27 September

Aragon

Aragon (rescheduled)

8

4 October

Thailand

Buriram (rescheduled)

 

11 October

  

9

18 October

Japan

Motegi

10

25 October

Australia

Phillip Island

11

1 November

Malaysia

Sepang

 

8 November

  

12

15 November

Americas

COTA (rescheduled)

13

22 November

Argentina

Termas de Rio Hondo (rescheduled)

14

29 November

Valencia

Ricardo Tormo (rescheduled)

November seen as cut-off for European races

 

6 December

 

 

 

13 December

 

Mid-December seen as cut-off for races outside Europe