Andrea Dovizioso admits the novelty of a quiet MotoGP paddock soon wore off and the absence of spectators had a major impact on the atmosphere during the 2020 season.

The Covid-reduced calendar meant the Italian bowed out of MotoGP, at least for now, without getting the chance to race at legendary venues such as his home Mugello round this year.

However, the former Ducati rider believes even if such 'special tracks' had made it onto the revised schedule, it wouldn't have been the same without the fans being present.

"For sure, I think about not being able to race at some special tracks this season. But to experience tracks like Mugello without fans is not that nice," he said. "Yes, it's a wonderful track, but…"

Prior to Covid, MotoGP riders often had to fight their way through crowds of spectators and guests allowed into the paddock, while an average of 150,000 fans attended each GP in 2019.

That all changed in 2020, when a special Covid protocol introduced to save the season saw paddock numbers cut to a bare minimum. And with only Misano and Le Mans able to accommodate a few trackside fans, riders often had to celebrate in front of empty grandstands.

"At the beginning of this season the way you live in the paddock, with less stress, because you can do what you want, was really nice," Dovizioso said.

"But race-by-race, every time you achieved a good result, it was so strange to not be happy like in the past. Like when I won in Austria, I was surprised because the adrenaline was completely different.

"So if you go to those special tracks, you need the fans. And your fans!"

It seems unlikely that normal MotoGP fan attendance will be possible until a vaccination programme has been completed in the host country.

Provisional 2021 MotoGP Calendar

Round

Date

Race

Circuit

1

28 March

Qatar

Losail

2

11 April

Argentina

Termas de Rio Hondo

3

18 April

Americas

COTA

4

2 May

Spain

Jerez

5

16 May

France

Le Mans

6

30 May

Italy

Mugello

7

6 June

Catalunya

Barcelona

8

20 June

Netherlands

Assen

9

27 June

Germany

Sachsenring

10

11 July

Finland*

KymiRing

11

 

To Be Decided

 

12

15 August

Austria

Red Bull Ring

13

29 August

Great Britain

Silverstone

14

12 September

Aragon

Aragon

15

19 September

San Marino e Della Riviera di Rimini

Misano

16

3 October

Japan

Motegi

17

10 October

Thailand

Buriram

18

24 October

Australia

Phillip Island

19

31 October

Malaysia

Sepang

20

14 November

Comunitat Valenciana

Ricardo Tormo