Dorna sets out plan for MotoGP start, WorldSBK resumption in Jerez

Pol Espargaro during the 2019 MotoGP test at Circuito de Jerez Angel Nieto (by Jose Breton/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Dorna Sports, commercial rights-holder of MotoGP and the Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK), has reached an agreement in principle to commence the former’s 2020 season and resume the latter’s campaign with races in Jerez, Spain.

The agency will unite with the Regional Government of Andalusia and City Council of Jerez de la Frontera to make a proposal to the Spanish government that, if approved, would see the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto hold two MotoGP grands prix and one WorldSBK round at the end of July and the start of August.

The proposal would see the two MotoGP races, under the banners of the Grand Prix of Spain and Grand Prix of Andalusia, take place on the weekends of July 19 and July 26, respectively. Dorna did not give further details of the plan for the events, but they are likely to be held behind closed doors.

The 2020 MotoGP season was due to commence in Qatar on March 8, but that round was cancelled for its elite category due to travel restrictions caused by Covid-19. The global pandemic has since led to a number of the championship’s races either being postponed or cancelled entirely. Spain is a key market for MotoGP, with four races scheduled to have been held in 2020.

Under the proposal that will be put forward to the government, a WorldSBK round will be held in Jerez on August 2. The championship was able to open its 2020 season at Phillip Island in Australia on February 29 to March 1, but it has also since seen its campaign suspended by the global pandemic.

WorldSBK today (Thursday) also announced the cancellation of its German round, originally scheduled for August 1-2. Executive director of the sporting and organisation departments, Gregorio Lavilla, said: “The first thing is that we are putting 100 per cent effort into getting the FIM Superbike World Championship underway in the safest possible environment.

“The positive is that there has been a proposal made to the Spanish government to allow WorldSBK to race at Jerez on August 2. Separately, due to the extension of the German government’s extension of the ban on mass gatherings and after numerous scenarios explored, the German round has been regrettably cancelled.

“It is a great shame not to be returning to Germany, as it is a country that has a rich WorldSBK history and Oschersleben is a track that was scheduled to return to WorldSBK for the first time in 16 years. We are working hard on securing a plan that meets everyone’s interests for 2021 and hope to bring more fierce WorldSBK action to Germany.”