Our recording from the Grand Prix of Qatar in Losail in March 2019. As a spectator, you can confidently save yourself the detour here, apart from the start-finish straight, you can see the action from here practically only on the big screen. There is only the main grandstand for visitors and, in contrast to WorldSBK, normal mortals do not come into the paddock either.

The high importance for TV broadcasting of MotoGP & WorldSBK

While many motorsport journalists have obviously been waking up from their hibernation since the beginning of the year, it is also beginning to dawn on them: The 2021 season will be anything but normal. In addition to countless pause fillers and meaningless articles about previous and current drivers, the almost fearful headlines are also increasing. More and more often you can feel a growing uncertainty from their lines. While most, for example, long dreamed of the feasibility of the provisional calendars from FIM and Dorna, there is now increasingly clear disillusionment. Even the last optimists are finally beginning to understand what we have been emphasizing since December: 2021 will definitely not be a normal season either. For this reason, what is offered in terms of TV transmissions and streaming is all the more important.

Camels behind the main grandstand in Losail – this shot was taken shortly before the Moto2 race of 2019, the last normal Grand Prix weekend in the desert state, before Corid-19 was even supposed to prevent the MotoGP race of 2020 from taking place.

The offer on TV – a disaster for German-speaking fans

Eurosport lost the German spoken region for TV broadcasting rights for MotoGP to Austrian company Red Bull Media (with their channel Servus TV) in 2019. Since then, fans from Germany, Switzerland and Austria feel rightly cheated compared to their colleagues in the Netherlands. In Dutch-speaking region Eurosport still broadcasts MotoGP live on TV. Especially in times of Covid-19, Servus TV does not even perform its important task and completely ignores the wishes of motorsport fans. Except for the home race in Spielberg, the Red Bull broadcaster completely refrains from broadcasting training sessions and warm-ups with commentary in German.

Our photo during the Moto2 race in Losail 2019 – the grandstand that was three quarters empty.

Spectators at the racetrack – hardly before autumn

Optimists hoping racing will take place with visitors on the tracks should be enlightened. A look at the pre-sale offer for tickets from MotoGP and WorldSBK should help them enough. Currently, only the former, alleged Corona model country Austria offers tickets for the GP of Spielberg. Perhaps this is the result of the fact that its apparently short-sighted Chancellor Kurz (in english = short) recently aroused false expectations with careless statements about further developments. In any case, a few weeks ago he claimed that the pandemic could be expected to normalize by next summer already.

Photographed by us at the Losail GP 2019 – the only refreshment stand offered a fairly manageable, if not to say almost inedible range of food and drinks. If you wanted to drink a beer, you were unlucky here, and we are already excited about the situation regarding the soccer World Cup in 2022. Our prognosis: We expect little positive reactions from fans who will come here.

Poetry and truth
Recently, however, it was reported that around 50,000 German citizens went on vacation every day over the festive season. It went to the Canary Islands or the Maldives. A little later, despite the lockdown, the number of corona victims in Germany rose to areas that were heard and read from Italy nine months ago. With over 1000 dead within 24 hours. And what was going on in Austria when the first lockdown was lifted is well known. Instead of hoarding toilet paper, countless people bought toilet seats in huge quantities in hardware stores. They traveled in streams to Croatia and northern Italy. For many, as hoped, it was back to the “caretaker beach” in Jesolo and the surrounding area.

Our photo from the MotoGP visit on June 30, 2019 in Assen. Incidentally, things didn’t look any better at Mugello in the same season. This also applies to the years before, when we visited the Italian GP. Incidentally, under the flag on the right in the picture was the next garbage can, as well as another one just behind the photographer’s location. We stand by the fact that we do not miss such pictures at the moment, neither do the countless drunk “fans”. After all, the question of a voluntary waiver of Assen and Mugello for the 2020 season had almost taken care of itself for us.

The high price and the question of a return to normalcy
The consequences of the behavior of many Austrians and their missed school closings are also known. In proportion, the number of victims who died daily matched those of Germany and many other countries. Mr Kurz and his colleagues in government are also painfully aware that the majority of these extremely unreasonable people are also their constituents. It is therefore clear to everyone that visitors are unlikely to be allowed to return to the racetracks before autumn. The only question is whether we are talking about the year 2021. Nevertheless, the hope of a return to normal is absolutely legitimate.

Start of the 125cc Grand Prix of Assen in 1954. For more about the drivers and events of that time, see our constantly growing history and the tabs on the various racetracks.

Provisional combined calendar MotoGP & WorldSBK

A lot of other changes are currently to be expected, which probably apply to both series. As we already noted on November 5, 2020, the rounds 2 and 3 originally planned by FIM and Dorna in Argentina and Texas were not tenable. In WorldSBK, the start of the season in Assen is currently at risk. Furthermore of course, there are still question marks behind all overseas races. We had already emphasized this at the beginning of November when the first provisional plans for 2021 were published. Therefore, as announced by us early, the Sepang test date from February was not feasible. On Wednesday, January 27th, there should be at least a second attempt for the two-day WSBK tests in Jerez. In contrast to the previous week, the weather forecast looks good this time.

In red the MotoGP dates with overlapping WorldSBK dates.