When the global COVID-19 pandemic first began impacting in-person events in March of 2020, one of the first MotoGP races to be cancelled was the Grand Prix of the Americas on April 3-5. Now, 14 months later, fans Stateside have something to look forward to: GP racing will return to the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, on October 1-3, 2021.
Dorna Sports, in partnership with the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) and the International Road Racing Teams Association (IRTA), announced on June 23 that the 2021 Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas would officially be added to the race calendar. The last MotoGP race at COTA was in April of 2019, meaning an absence of Grand Prix motorcycle competition in the US for 29 months—nearly two and a half years—before a return in October.
To accommodate, the OR Grand Prix of Thailand has been bumped a week back, and will now take place on October 15-17. Unfortunately for Japanese fans, Dorna also announced the cancellation of the Motul Grand Prix of Japan, scheduled for the same weekend as the new COTA race.
“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and resulting travel complications and logistical restrictions mean that it has not been possible to confirm the event at this time meaning that it will therefore not feature on the 2021 calendar,” said a statement on the MotoGP.com website.
Of note, the American GP is buffered by two-week gaps between the prior race in Italy and the following round in Thailand, presumably in case quarantine is required.
As of June 23, the remaining MotoGP schedule looks like this:
Race date Event Track Country
June 27 Motul TT Assen TT Circuit Assen NETHERLANDS
Aug 10 Michelin® Grand Prix of Styria Red Bull Ring AUSTRIA
Aug 15 Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich Red Bull Ring AUSTRIA
Aug 29 Monster Energy British Grand Prix Silverstone Circuit GREAT BRITAIN
Sep 12 Gran Premio de Aragón MotorLand Aragón SPAIN
Sep 19 Gran Premio Octo di San Marino Misano World Circuit ITALY
Oct 3 Grand Prix of the Americas Circuit Of The Americas UNITED STATES
Oct 17 OR Thailand Grand Prix Chang International Circuit THAILAND
Oct 24 Red Bull Australian Motorcycle GP Phillip Island AUSTRALIA
Oct 31 Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix Sepang International Circuit MALAYSIA
Nov 14 GP Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana Circuit Ricardo Tormo SPAIN
TBD GP de la República Argentina Termas de Río Hondo ARGENTINA