MotoGP rookie Brad Binder has mixed feelings about the unique back-to-back races, planned at the same circuit on consecutive weekends in 2020.

Five such pairings feature on the revised coronavirus-era calendar and the 'second chance' could help newcomers such as Binder.

On the other hand, the South African expects everything to be tighter and more challenging at the follow-up event.

"Having two races at the same track can be a blessing and a curse at the same time," Binder said. "It's awesome to be able to get that second chance at the same track and to basically redo everything. From FP1 you'll have a really good reference already from the previous weekend.

"But it's always nice to go to a track, give your all and then on Monday you kind of reset and go on to the next challenge.

"I also think it will give the opportunity for everybody to really up their level at the track. I'd expect that everybody is a little bit more on their A-game and I think it'll make things even tighter and more challenging.

"It's definitely going to be something new for all of us. But at the same time I think it can be good for me because I'll get extra time at these tracks."

While Binder will get double time at five MotoGP circuits, as things stand, he will only get to race at eight (all European) tracks out of the original 20 venue line-up, following pre-season tests at Sepang and Losail.

For that reason, the 15-time grand prix winner feels like he will have two rookie seasons in the premier-class.

"Unfortunately for me next year is going to be almost like my first season as well!" Binder explained. "Because most of the tracks I won't have been to on a MotoGP bike - most of the overseas races, most of the tracks in Europe.

"From my experience so far, on a MotoGP bike the track literally feels half the size because you arrive so much faster. It's so much more challenging."

Despite the short season, Binder believes the best man will win and that not much will change in terms of how riders approach the championship, amid some talk of 'play safe' tactics to avoid DNFs.

"At the end of the day it's just racing," said the former Moto3 world champion. "You do your best and you're not going to do anything different.

"Every single person is out there to get the best result possible. For sure it is a short season and mistakes will hurt you in the long run, but you can't really go into thinking about it too much.

"Whether it's 10 races or 21, the best man is going to win anyway."

One thing that will be very different when the season finally begins at Jerez on July 19 is the total absence of any fans.

"It's going to be strange," said the 24-year-old.

"I can't imagine stopping on the grid and not seeing one person in the stands. I think on one hand the nerves and everything will still be there but on the other hand it's just not going to feel the same. When the engines are turned off on the grid you'll be able to hear every word everyone says!

"It'll be something new for all of us. I really hope we do go back to normal soon and are allowed spectators because that's what makes MotoGP quite special, the whole vibe and everything," continued Binder, who will face no immigration issues by remaining in Europe until November since his mother is from the UK and he also has a British passport.

"It'll be challenging with the [coronavirus] protocol and how we approach the whole weekend, but at the same time I'm super excited to get started."

Binder will be fighting Iker Lecuona (Tech3 KTM) and Alex Marquez (Repsol Honda) for top rookie honours this year, before being joined at the factory KTM team by Lecuona's current team-mate Miguel Oliveira in 2021.

The Portuguese has been chosen to replace the departure Pol Espargaro, thus reuniting a partnership with Binder that began in Moto3 and continued in Moto2.

"I'm really happy to be staying where I am for another season, especially considering we're only getting half a season this year," Binder said of his newly announced 2021 contract extension. "I think next year will be great, for sure there will be a lot of learning involved because this year has been cut short, but at the same time I'm super happy to be staying where I am."

Binder added: "Miguel and I were team-mates for the first time in 2015 and we've always worked well together. The first years I've been a little step behind but I've always got to the same level as him and we've always fought quite a lot.

"I think it's great because we really push each other on a lot. We have been the KTM boys from the beginning are now we are in MotoGP. It's really cool to see. We're part of the KTM family and that's where we plan on staying I imagine."

Oliveira isn't the only former rival that Binder will now face on a MotoGP machine.

"It is cool because in MotoGP for a long time there wasn't really any place for the younger guys to step up," he said. "It was almost that same crowd the whole time and I think now if I look at the list most of the guys up front are the guys I've raced against in Moto3 and Moto2 already. So I think the younger generation is now coming through."

Revised 2020 MotoGP Calendar (including free weekends)

Round

Date

Race

Circuit

 

15 July

Official Test

Jerez

1

19 July

Spain

Jerez

2

26 July

Andalusia

Jerez

 

2 August

 

 

3

9 August

Czech Republic

Brno

4

16 August

Austria

Red Bull Ring

5

23 August

Styria

Red Bull Ring

 

30 August

  
 

6 September

  

6

13 September

San Marino e Della Riviera di Rimini

Misano

7

20 September

Emilia Romagna e Della Riviera di Rimini

Misano

8

27 September

Catalunya

Barcelona

 

4 October

  

9

11 October

France

Le Mans

10

18 October

Aragon

Aragon

11

25 October

Teruel

Aragon

 

1 November

  

12

8 November

Europe

Ricardo Tormo

13

15 November

Comunitat Valenciana

Ricardo Tormo

(Final European race)

 

22 November

  
 

29 November

  

 

6 December

 

 

 

13 December

 

Deadline for any Flyaway races.

MotoGP 2020: List of 'To Be Confirmed' events

1

4 October

Thailand

Buriram

2

1 November

Malaysia

Sepang

3

15 November

Americas

COTA

4

22 November

Argentina

Termas de Rio Hondo

MotoGP 2020: List of Cancelled events

1

8 March

Qatar (MotoGP class)

Losail

2

31 May

Italy

Mugello

3

21 June

Germany

Sachsenring

4

28 June

Netherlands

Assen

5

12 July

Finland

KymiRing

6

30 August

Great Britain

Silverstone

7

18 October

Japan

Motegi

8

25 October

Australia

Phillip Island

 

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