Will MotoGP slim to a two-day format as calendar grows to 22 races?

The MotoGP race weekend format could be condensed into two days as Dorna considers how to make space for as many as 22 events in a season

Valentino Rossi - Yamaha M1 MotoGP
Valentino Rossi - Yamaha M1 MotoGP

Dorna is considering slimming the MotoGP weekend format down from three days to two as compensation for what is likely to become a larger annual schedule over the coming years.

The 2020 MotoGP season will run across 20 rounds for the first-time next year as Finland joins the calendar with the inaugural event to be held at the new KymiRing.

However, fresh events in Brazil, Indonesia and Hungary are also due to be added over the next two years – with Vietnam and Portugal also lining up proposals - as Dorna leans towards implementing a hefty 22-round calendar from 2022.

The addition of Finland to the schedule has been negated by the decision to drop the Qatar and Valencia pre and post-season tests from 2021, but teams fear this won’t go far enough if it means travelling to two more destinations over the course of a year.

As such, a new race weekend format is being considered to take the pressure off teams both financially and physically. This could take the form of free practice and qualifying sessions taking place on a Saturday, as well as the number being reduced or made substantially shorter.

Currently, MotoGP features four practice sessions, with FP3 determining which riders progress through to Q2 automatically.

How this will work with regards to the supporting Moto2 and Moto3 championships remains to be seen, while the addition of MotoE has also packed out the schedule further this year.

Despite this, teams are welcome to the idea of compacting the schedule in lieu of the new events, suggesting they are in support of a larger schedule and more races.

“Of course, 22 races would become quite tough," Suzuki team manager Davide Brivio told Crash.net. "It's difficult I think also for the riders, to keep the concentration and keep the 'stress' let's say through 22 races. And also for all of us, for you, for everybody that is working here because it's become a really long period.

"When there was the possibility to have 20 races next year, we started a discussion between the teams earlier this year to think about reducing the test sessions. This was just to try to balance a little bit, try to do something to compensate.

"It's not the same thing to cancel a test and to introduce one race, but at least we're trying to reduce the big stress.

"22 races is going to be quite demanding for everybody I think. You can imagine. But that's the way we are going, Formula One just reached 22 [for 2020] and are already talking about 25."

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