Carmelo Ezpeleta explains how MotoGP is now on course for Jerez return

Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta has released a statement regarding this year’s start of the MotoGP and World Superbike seasons

Valentino Rossi - Yamaha MotoGP 1200

DORNA CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta has announced how the beginning of the MotoGP and WSBK season are expected to go ahead.

The key point made is that the MotoGP season is looking likely to begin at the Jerez circuit on 19th July. There is another round planned to take place on the 26th July (again for MotoGP), with the World Superbike paddock taking to the same venue 1st August.

The plan isn’t set in stone yet though and will need to be approved by the Spanish authorities before the events can be officially given the go ahead. Ezpeleta also confirmed that there is a planned test to take place at the same track the Wednesday before the first weekend.

Here is a full transcript of the conversation.

Yesterday an agreement was made to propose holding two Grands Prix at Jerez in July, can you talk us through that?

"Yesterday we had a meeting, the Vice President of the Regional Government of Andalusia, the Mayor of Jerez and I, and agreed the conditions to propose holding two MotoGP events and one Superbike event there, on the 19th and 26th of July and the first weekend of August, respectively. We agreed the conditions and how we could run that, and our idea is to propose to the Spanish government the possibility to do these events following a protocol we are creating. We are waiting for the official answer from the Spanish government regarding that matter. We think it’s something where we’ll be in connection with them next week following different meetings, and then finally we’ll know if this is enough to make it possible to have these Grands Prix at that time."

So, we await official confirmation from the Spanish government. Do we know when we will have an update?

"We will start to talk as a new situation is coming to Spain, and then next week we will start the conversations about hosting the Grands Prix."

Is there the possibility of holding a test at the venue before the first race? For all three categories?

"Yes. Our proposal is to have a test on the Wednesday before the first weekend."

Are there any updates on a potential MotoGP calendar for this season? What do you envisage?

"We are going through similar procedures with the governments in each country we want to go to, but that’s separate and we think maybe by the first part of June we can propose a calendar. Definitively. We’re looking at different dates, but we’re also waiting for the F1 calendar – and it will be difficult because it’s a short time and there will be many events – to try and avoid clashes with Formula 1."

What about WorldSBK? What's the situation?

"We are still discussing it. We have confirmation from Jerez that it’s possible to do it there. We don’t know exactly, Superbike is talking with different countries to know exactly what are the possibilities, and obviously we will do the same as MotoGP: when we know the situation exactly and the calendars and the possibilities to hold events in different countries, we will announce the new calendar. In the agreement with the government of Andalucia and the city of Jerez we include one WorldSBK race weekend."

The plan in Jerez is to have the WorldSBK round after the Grands Prix. Is that something that could be the same going forward at other circuits or is it just for Jerez?

"In WorldSBK, we have the same situation as MotoGP: the first thing is to have permission to do races and then we can see which races can be held, in the days before… everything is open, as in MotoGP, but we have the plan to start as soon as possible and we believe this will be in the middle or end of July in Europe. There is the Superbike event in Argentina, we need to look at that but it’s still our plan to have more or less the same schedule – in terms of confirmation – as we do in MotoGP, so we think by the beginning of June we will have a clearer picture of what we can do with both."