Carmelo Ezpeleta's is not a bluff, just a desperate attempt to return to normalcy, and Dorna's Managing Director admitted it.
" We try to return to normality, we talked to all the promoters and made the normal calendar because it’s important to block the days and to know exactly on which days there will be the Grand Prixs,” the Spanish manager explained. “We’ll start in Qatar as usual, and finish in Valencia as usual for another year. And, in the middle, there will be 18 Grands Prix together with the first and the last. We hope we can do it. Obviously, there are many things we don’t know yet, that’s why we’ve included three reserve Grand Prixs to be allocated wherever it’s possible and also taking into consideration the weather considerations of each place."
So Dorna is clinging to the hope of a world rid of the Covid-19 pandemic, even knowing that the beginning will probably be very hard and full of changes.
"The most important thing for me, and the message I want to give, is that we will try and maintain the days with a Grand Prix on those days,” he explained, and then added: “As you know, there is no Brno on the calendar yet. We’ve been talking to them for many years and always the requirement for FIM homologation is to have some works done to the circuit, especially re-surfacing, which is compulsory since the last GP. During the Safety Commission, we decided it was compulsory. Unfortunately, due to the changes, the South Moravian government has not been able to confirm this necessity to resurface and do the works needed for the Grand Prix. So we decided to not put it on the calendar and wait to see if they can achieve that. If not, we will put reserve Grands Prix in that period. Not exactly there, because it depends if we have Brno or not."
Not including Brno on the calendar in the last Grand Prix was a necessity. In fact, all the riders complained of the track conditions.
"The first idea is that Brno has been on the calendar a long time, and it’s an important Grand Prix. But it’s also important that the safety issues, especially resurfacing, are compulsory. If we don’t have confirmation, we can’t include it on the calendar. We’ll see exactly, but we have two reserves in Europe, Portimão and Russia, and Mandalika in Indonesia. It depends where the gap is, and we’ll decide if it’s necessary or not to include the Grand Prixs on the calendar."
As for Russia, Ezpeleta said it’s a fantastic circuit.
" Franco Uncini went to Igora Drive to look at it. It’s a really fantastic venue. We are looking at the possibility for it to be on the calendar. Today we have 20 GPs on the calendar, and it’s not possible. But, in case any of those are not possible, we will try to allocate Igora Drive as second reserve after Portimão."
Carmelo then spoke about the 2020 calendar.
"This year, we tried to compromise between the possibilities, and the short time we had, given the pandemic, allowed us to re-start. In Europe, it’s not possible to race later than we are doing. We are here in Valencia and the weather is so-so. I hope it will be even better in Portimão! Unfortunately, we couldn’t travel outside Europe, so we did the maximum we could during this period from July until now. Including Qatar, we have had 15 Grand Prixs, and we’re very proud. Everyone in Dorna, the FIM, IRTA, the teams… We are extremely happy with the result we’ve obtained working together in this difficult year.”