Our photo on MotoGP Sunday in Spielberg from 2018 in front of full grandstands. However, it is very unlikely that the Austrian GP will be held in front of spectators, we explain the reasons for this in this article.

Confusing situation at MotoGP and WorldSBK

With the double race in Qatar, FIM and Dorna proved in advance that they don’t care much about the MotoGP fans. It was clear to them from the start that fans would not be able to enter Doha. Everyone was also aware that the many drivers and team members for tests and Grand Prix races in the desert state inevitably run a high risk due to the associated trips. Because the Qataris are prepared to pay the highest fees compared to other organizers even without spectators, they turned it into a double event in addition to tests and a race.

Photographed a few hours before the MotoGP race by us in 2019 at the Losail International Circuit – the entrance for the visitors, there is only this one. The only place where the spectators can hang out is the main grandstand just behind it. In the second Corona year, except for the MotoGP troop in Qatar, no one is allowed to enter, MotoGP visitors from abroad are basically locked out.

Questionable MotoGP calendar start in the desert state
It is undisputed that the season could also have started in Europe. For example, when a sandstorm made the tests impossible on the 5th day of testing in Losail, the weather in Jerez and Portimão was postcard-perfect for days at around 20 degrees Celsius. Even if practically all European governments advise against unnecessary travel, Dorna ignored this completely and started the season in a country that can hardly be reached other than by plane. For the teams, most members said the test in Qatar was as good as worthless for the rest of the season. As in Sepang, the main reason for this is the special climatic conditions. But even that doesn’t seem to matter to Ezpeleta and his people as long as the Arabs pay so well.

We photographed the MotoGP grid 2019 in Losail. P5 was missing Fabio Quartararo, who stalled his engine before the warm-up lap and therefore had to start the race from the pit lane. For many visitors, the route is considered unreasonable due to the restricted freedom of movement and the poor hospitality.

Spectators along the way – absolutely secondary for the Dorna
The Dorna didn’t care that apart from a few local visitors the rest of the world was locked out, the main thing was that the cash register was right. In addition, their boss Ezpeleta even took the cheek to describe the vaccination of a group of MotoGP paddock members in Doha as exemplary. However, not all observers consider pushing themselves up in the vaccination sequence in their country to be really exemplary; on the contrary, many see this as ice-cold egoism. To start in a country of all places that fell into disrepute with the miserable treatment of foreign workers for the construction of their stadiums for the soccer World Cup, apparently completely irrelevant to the Spaniards. Many people find this very cold-hearted.

Carmelo Ezpeleta on a photograph from 1992. The Dorna Boss appears more and more brazen and does not have to be surprised that he is being criticized more and more often.

Advance ticket sales raise questions
The situation regarding ticket pre-sales is now also confusing. Unsurprisingly, the Austrians were the first to shoot the bird. The advance sale of tickets for the Spielberg Grand Prix in August has been going on for months. We had already reported in January that they were the only ones there. Now, however, it was heard from your country that a major concert had to be canceled for July 2021 because it was not approved by the authorities. Does anyone really seriously believe that a month later tens of thousands of visitors will be admitted to the Red Bull Ring? It is well known that there are corrupt politicians in this country and every child there knows by now. But if they should allow the Spielberg GP, the music organizers on the other hand would definitely sue in court and certainly get their case.

The notorious Ankerberg at the Sachsenring – photographed by us at the 2017 German GP. It is said to be as turbulent here as in Mugello, where you can’t keep an eye on the constant and non-stop noise even at night. The organizers are apparently seriously expecting a permit for spectators and are looking for helpers and parking lot directors for June 2021. But the pandemic in Germany threatens to escalate more than ever before, so this remains an illusion.

Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours – the only almost certain tip

While in MotoGP only Spielberg offers advance ticket sales, which seems completely pointless, it looks much cheaper in WorldSBK. Most organizers hope for visitors to their events. Spectators had already been admitted to the French event of Magny-Cours last year. This is also how it looks for 2021. Here is the link for advance ticket sales: https://magnycours.francebillet.com/place-spectacle/ticket-evenement/sport-mecanique-ch-du-monde-motul-fim-superbike-mansbk21-lt.htm

The rush in Turn 5, called Adelaide – photographed by us at the 1st race on Saturday in September 2019. The route near the small town of Nevers in the western part of Burgundy was one of the few to receive permission from the authorities for visitors in 2020.

The provisional combined calendar of MotoGP & WorldSBK

After Assen got a new date in July and Estoril was unthinkable at the beginning of May, the WSBK season is set to start on the penultimate weekend of May in Aragon. Due to Covid-19, the first and so far only double race of the near-series World Cup took place there last year. All MotoGP and WorldSBK overseas races are currently considered highly questionable. It will also be interesting what will happen in the absence of permission for viewers with various events such as Assen (for both series), Misano for WSBK, Mugello, Silverstone and Sachsenring.

The MotoGP race dates, which collide with a WorldSBK weekend, are shown in red, which only means a real overlap at the San Marino GP. Due to the time change in Japan and Indonesia, however, this is not critical. However, due to the pandemic, these dates are generally highly questionable.
There will hardly be such pictures in Assen in June 2021, as we photographed here on MotoGP Sunday almost 2 years ago. There were litter bins everywhere, but the majority of visitors just threw their trash on the grass. By the way, things didn’t look any better in Mugello in the same year, but the toilets were also terribly filthy, as it was almost always there in the past.