News 6 Aug 2021

MXGP preparing ‘plan B’ to complete shaky schedule

World Championship calendar still fluid amid pandemic concerns.

Image: Supplied.

Words: Adam Wheeler

Infront Moto Racing is preparing ‘plan B’ to complete the full 19 race 2021 MXGP season as scheduling and logistical challenges continue amid the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

The 2021 MXGP season has been twice delayed and suffered cancellation of the Swedish and Finnish Grands Prix as well as displacement of the Latvian round.

The ravages of the pandemic, in particular with international travel, quarantine policies, and the presence of Covid-19 variants, means 2021 has been another difficult, costly, and frustratingly inconsistent year for promoter Infront Moto Racing.

Speculation persists over the stability of the Portuguese Grand Prix in late October and the three ‘flyaway’ fixtures in Argentina, Indonesia, and Bali to finish the season in November and December.

“We are dependent on the decisions of government,” explained Infront Moto Racing CEO David Luongo. “It is probable that we will still have some changes for the end of the season but we will do all we can to have 19 events.

“The most important is to have a decent season with a title that people deserve. We have been on this mission for two years now.”

Although the ‘flyaway’ races are still on the horizon, and some governments are ruling on countries’ status for travel almost on a weekly basis, it is highly rumoured that MXGP will start doubling and tripling Grands Prix at certain venues to reach a satisfactory number of races.

The first double-header will see the Grand Prix of Turkey at Afyonkarahisar on 5 September, followed by the Grand Prix of ‘Afyon’ at the same venue three days later to hike the trail of events up to nine for the season.

Infront admitted they are still hopeful of staging much of the remaining calendar after Turkey that will involve trips to Sardinia, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, and Italy before departing Europe for the final three.

It’s likely that the Grand Prix of Trentino at Pietramurata in northern Italy on September 31st – the last European Grand Prix of the year – will again host more than one round.

“For Trentino, we have in mind to increase the amount of races,” Luongo continued. “For the others, we are still on ‘Plan A’ but we have to handle the rules placed by governments and we have to go week by week.

“As an example, the ruling from Finland came only last week and now they say from the 26th of August it is only possible to have events with 50 people. It was impossible for a Grand Prix.”