Portimao reinstated onto 2021 MotoGP calendar as USA, Argentina, Brno dropped

Portimao and a second Qatar race is added to the 2021 MotoGP schedule as Brno dropped and the USA and Argentina rounds are postponed

Valentino Rossi - Yamaha MotoGP

The FIM and Dorna have announced a significant change to the 2021 MotoGP World Championship schedule by confirming the Argentine, USA and Czech rounds have been postponed over ongoing concerns regarding the coronavirus.

The trans-atlantic events were due to host the second and third rounds of the season, but the ongoing international struggle against COVID-19 and the travel restrictions currently in place for the next few weeks months means it wasn’t feasible to retain the two races - held at Circuit of The Americas (USA) and Termas Rio Hondo (Argentina) - in their current schedule slots.

Though the communication regards them as ‘postponed’, they have already been replaced on the schedule with the opener in Qatar extended into a back-to-back double header, while Portimao in Portugal is reinstated following its inaugural appearance on the calendar in 2020.

For now, the 2021 MotoGP World Championship season is on course to begin under lights at they Losail International Circuit on March 28 for the Qatar Grand Prix, but the following weekend will see another race branded as the Doha Grand Prix.

The Portuguese Grand Prix - which was dominated by home hero Miguel Oliveira in its slot as the 2020 season finale - will take place on April 18 as Round 3 of the season. 

In addition, the Czech MotoGP round is now officially off, which was expected following a fallout between the Masaryk Circuit owners in Brno and Dorna over circuit upgrades. 

As a result of the additions, some dates have been shuffled; Jerez (Round 4, May 2), Le Mans (R5, May 16), Catalunya (R7, June 6), Assen (R9, June 27), Austria (R11, August 15), Misano (R13, September 19).

The changes mean there will be 19 rounds in 2021 - provisionally - one shy of the maximum of 20, meaning one of Argentina or USA wouldn't be re-arranged as of today without another round dropping off.