MotoGP

Algarve to make MotoGP debut as 2020 season finale

The Algarve circuit in Portugal has been confirmed as the final round of the 2020 MotoGP season, with the track hoping to be able to host fans.

Last week MotoGP promoters Dorna Sports announced the three remaining flyaway races on the provisional schedule in Malaysia, Thailand and Argentina had been cancelled for 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, but that a 14th round would be added in Europe.

Autosport understood at the time that the race would be the return of the Portuguese Grand Prix, with the Algarve circuit at Portimao to be the venue.

On Monday MotoGP has now confirmed this, with the circuit hoping to have 30,000 fans at the season finale on 20-22 November.

Dorna Sports CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta said: “It’s big news for us, we signed an agreement in 2017 with Portimao to be the reserve circuit for any kinds of cancellations, and we’ve been in contact with them all this time.

“We’ve been to Portimao with Superbike and we think it’s an amazing possibility for us, and also in the agreement is that the track will be resurfaced after the Superbike round.

“When we explained this to the riders they were excited because they’ve seen the track on TV, but we’ve never been there.

“Portugal has a long history in our sport and there have been some historic battles in Estoril.

“It’s something very good for us to have the possibility to go back to Portugal, especially with Miguel Oliveira participating as it’s great to have a Portuguese rider able to compete in his own country.

“We are extremely happy to be racing in Portimao at the end of the year.”

Autodromo Internacional do Algarve CEO Paulo Pinheiro added: “It is a great achievement for our team to finally have MotoGP at our racetrack! MotoGP is the pinnacle of two-wheeled motorsport, and we are so excited to have it.

“It has been a long process with Dorna, we had an agreement in place since 2017, and finally all the hard work paid off.

“On top of this to have Miguel Oliveira on the MotoGP grid, being able to fight for the podium will be an amazing add on for this race, and hopefully the championship will be decided here.

“We are working to have the fans in our race, and we will start with a capacity of 30,000 fans for the race weekend and then we will decide with Dorna and the sanitary authorities the following stages.”

This will be the first Portuguese GP since 2012, with the last race being held at Estoril.

Algarve will be resurfaced this month ahead of the Formula 1 race set to take place in October, with the MotoGP race forming the last leg of the season after a double-header in Valencia in November.


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