Half-way into the 2021 season, MotoGP is still adjusting the calendar, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, the upcoming race in Thailand is canceled, and organizers are supposedly searching for a replacement.
Here’s the announcement, straight from MotoGP:
The FIM, IRTA and Dorna Sports regret to announce the cancellation of the OR Thailand Grand Prix, which was set to take place at Chang International Circuit from the 15th to the 17th of October. Despite the best efforts of all parties involved, the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and resulting restrictions have obliged the cancellation of the event.
It’s hardly a surprise. International travel still hasn’t recovered from the pandemic, and flying halfway around the world for motorcycle races just sounded unlikely (remember, MotoGP ran most of its races on the European continent last summer, for this reason).
So, what’s next? MotoGP bigwigs assure us they’re all very keen to get back to Thailand in the future (and no doubt they are; southeast Asia is a huge growth opportunity for everything moto). For this year, though, there’s a big, gaping hole in the schedule.
MotoGP says “A replacement event is currently under consideration and any updates regarding a possible substitute will be published as soon as available.” Looking at the schedule, the race before the canceled Thailand event is in the US, on the October 3 weekend. Could we see a second race at Circuit of the Americas? No doubt some race fans would be very happy, especially since last year’s COTA round was canceled.
On the other end, the October 24th weekend sees MotoGP headed to Malaysia, for another rip around Sepang. Uh, maybe we could see a doubleheader here, too … but it would hardly be shocking to see a cancellation here, too.
So, who knows. Stay tuned. Another US race would be super-cool, but we’re not going to bet any money on that happening.