To start 2021 off right in January, the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) announced that the Endurance World Championship would host a full five-race season this year. For fans of motorcycle endurance racing, this was cautiously optimistic news since 2020 events were largely canceled. However, as most fans probably expect, 2021 scheduling is subject to change as global pandemic restrictions shift.
On March 17, 2021, the FIM announced that the 2021 EWC calendar will still be five races long, but two of the races are now switching places. The 8 Hours of Suzuka, Japan race, originally scheduled for July 18, 2021, will now be the season closer on November 7 instead.
Since current pandemic restrictions are looser in Europe than they are in Japan, the 12 Hours of Estoril race in Portugal has been moved. It was previously scheduled for October 16, but has now shifted forward to July 17, instead.
Rescheduling both these races in this way should hopefully ensure that the five-race EWC season should be able to take place in 2021. Since the season hasn’t officially started yet, of course, there’s always time for outside circumstances to throw a wrench in the works.
The FIM’s official statement reads,
“The Suzuka 8 Hours will have 150% points awarded for the final race. The extension of health and entry restrictions in Japan, which make it difficult for international teams and riders to be welcomed to the country, has made it necessary for this decision to be taken in the interests of ensuring that both races take place. By postponing the Suzuka 8 Hours to early November, it is hoped that there will be a relaxation of Japan’s rules by this time.”
“And by this summer, teams competing in the Endurance World Championship are expected to encounter fewer restrictions travelling to Portugal. The 12 Hours of Estoril, originally scheduled for 16 October, will now take place on Saturday 17 July at the venue close to Lisbon.”
2021 seems to be an endurance race in more ways than one, and we’ll be sure to keep you updated with any further changes.