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GP Week : Issue 177a
MOTOGP >>> NEWS ARGENTINA DROPPED: CALENDAR REVISED Safe, but two days too late Next year’s proposed record season of 19 races has dropped back to the usual 18, after the Argentine GP at the new Termos de Rio Hondo circuit was dropped – not because of any problems with the new inland circuit, but because official go-ahead from the Spanish Government came only two days too late for the calendar deadline. But Dorna pledged to revive the event in 2014, now it had been declared safe for Repsol teams and riders to visit the South American country, and is behind moves to add the event to the World Superbike calendar for the coming year. The event was planned for April 14, second round of the year, sandwiched between Qatar and the other new race at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas – but high tension and diplomatic issues after the government nationalised the IPF fuel company, snatching Repsol’s controlling shareholding, put the event on hold. Dorna had asked the Spanish foreign office for advice, and were told it was not considered safe for Repsol staff. The official statement read: “On June 20th 2012, the Spanish government recommended that teams and riders sponsored by Repsol should not travel to Argentina due to safety reasons.” The GP had been suspended while this recommendation remained in force. Dorna’s deadline to propose the 2013 MotoGP calendar to FIM was November 18, the statement continued. “On November 20, the Spanish government notified through email the withdrawal of the above recommendation, when the time for the calendar presentation had already expired. Therefore, there was no possibility to include a new MotoGP event.” Reports of a coming reshuffled of the Superbike calendar on the Italian GPOne website said that the Portuguese round at Portimao, struggling financially, was to be cancelled, and the new Argentine circuit would take its place. In this way, Dorna could use its new control over Superbikes to test the waters at the remote circuit. The revised calendar moves the Qatar race back one week, to April 7, directly followed by the new Austin race. 2013 MotoGP calendar April 7 Losail International Circuit – Qatar* April 21 Circuit of the Americas - USA May 5 Jerez – Spain (subject to contract) May 19 Le Mans – France June 2 Mugello – Italy June 16 Catalunya – Spain June 29 Assen – Holland** July 7 Sachsenring – Germany July 21 Laguna Seca – USA*** August 18 Indianapolis – USA August 25 Brno – Czech Republic September 1 Silverstone - UK September 15 Misano – Italy September 29 Motorland Aragon - Spain October 13 Sepang – Malaysia October 20 Australia – Phillip Island October 27 Twin Ring Motegi – Japan November 10 Valencia – Spain * Night race ** Saturday race *** MotoGP Class only 15 GPWEEK.com // 15 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: