Petronas SRT team director Johan Stigefelt acknowledges the revised MotoGP calendar will place new challenges and demands on his riders, but is confident all six are prepared both mentally and physically for what lies ahead.

The new 13-round line-up takes place on eight European circuits, starting at Jerez on July 19. There will be five back-to-back events, repeat visits to the same track on consecutive weekends, and three groups of three races in a row.

“I think the calendar is more or less the maximum that we can do in this short time," Stigefelt said. "Starting in the middle of July and doing 13 European GPs with many double-headers, sometimes triple-headers, will be very demanding for everyone.

"It’s definitely going to be tough but we will do it, we are all in the same boat and we’ll be doing the best we can."

“I think there will be new challenges, for sure," Stigefelt continued. "In the first race, the high track temperatures expected in Jerez will be demanding.

"The busy calendar and back-to-back schedule will be very difficult but I think the riders are prepared for it. They are all fit, they all want to ride and get back to what they do for a living: racing.

"We know the calendar so everyone is mentally prepared, and all our riders will be fit and ready.

"We don’t want to have any injuries in any of the races as that could have a negative impact for two or three races. It’s important to ride safe and smart, but also to push as much as possible and get the best out of this schedule.

"If we have three overseas rounds on top of this it will be a very intense end to the year, but we want to support the championship as much as we can."

The former grand prix racer - who now oversees Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli in MotoGP, Jake Dixon and Xavi Vierge in Moto2, plus John McPhee and Khairul Idham Pawi in Moto3 - added:

“I talk with the riders more or less every week. I can see that they have been training hard and are now getting back on track with their training bikes, which is great. This is the best thing they can be doing to get used to speed and just riding again.

"I’m not too worried because each of our riders will adapt quickly and come back riding fast again. I know from my own experiences of not riding and then going back to the bike that they should be okay. The Wednesday [test] session in Jerez is a good way to make sure everybody can get back to normal.”

The opening rounds (at least) will take place under MotoGP's strict new coronavirus protocol, which limits paddock numbers to a minimum, including no fans or non-paying media, and tightly controls the movement and behaviour of those that are allowed in.

“Dorna has put some protocols in place already, but we’re going to be implementing a lot of measures from our side as well," said Stigefelt. "We are going to restrict how we move around the pit box and how we work together, along with the introduction of facemasks, hand sanitiser and gloves.

"This is just some examples though, there are many things that we are working on implementing and we will have a member of staff responsible for looking after this area.

“The team structure will change a bit because we won’t take all of our staff to Jerez, at least for the first few races we will have minimum staff. Most of the staff we take will be on the technical side, so we can focus on set-up and looking after our riders.

"There will be no media, no hospitality, no partners, etc. so there won’t be all the ‘behind the scenes’ staff members. We are definitely really going to miss them!

“It’s very important to follow the restrictions because they are there for a good reason. At the same time though it hurts because the fans and media help to make this championship come alive for us.

"It’s going to be tough not seeing the fans in the paddock and not seeing our sponsors and partners enjoying our great hospitality. However, we need to do our best in this situation and try to give everyone a good show on track to make up for it.”

Finally, Stigefelt still holds out hope that the Sepang team will get a home race this season, with a final decision on the Thai, Malaysian, US and Argentinean rounds to be made by the end of July.

"Of course, if the final race of the year were in Malaysia it would be an amazing reward for everyone here," Stigefelt said.

"We would love to round out the year at the team’s home GP. Even if it were not the last race, just on the calendar for this year, it would be very exciting to go home to our fans and title sponsor in Malaysia.”

For cost reasons, overseas races - which would be held after the European rounds, in a one month window from mid-November to mid-December - will only be considered if fans are allowed to attend.

Revised 2020 MotoGP Calendar (including free weekends)

Round

Date

Race

Circuit

 

15 July

Official Test

Jerez

1

19 July

Spain

Jerez

2

26 July

Andalusia

Jerez

 

2 August

 

 

3

9 August

Czech Republic

Brno

4

16 August

Austria

Red Bull Ring

5

23 August

Styria

Red Bull Ring

 

30 August

  
 

6 September

  

6

13 September

San Marino e Della Riviera di Rimini

Misano

7

20 September

Emilia Romagna e Della Riviera di Rimini

Misano

8

27 September

Catalunya

Barcelona

 

4 October

  

9

11 October

France

Le Mans

10

18 October

Aragon

Aragon

11

25 October

Teruel

Aragon

 

1 November

  

12

8 November

Europe

Ricardo Tormo

13

15 November

Comunitat Valenciana

Ricardo Tormo

(Final European race)

 

22 November

  
 

29 November

  

 

6 December

 

 

 

13 December

 

Deadline for any Flyaway races.

MotoGP 2020: List of 'To Be Confirmed' events

1

4 October

Thailand

Buriram

2

1 November

Malaysia

Sepang

3

15 November

Americas

COTA

4

22 November

Argentina

Termas de Rio Hondo

MotoGP 2020: List of Cancelled events

1

8 March

Qatar (MotoGP class)

Losail

2

31 May

Italy

Mugello

3

21 June

Germany

Sachsenring

4

28 June

Netherlands

Assen

5

12 July

Finland

KymiRing

6

30 August

Great Britain

Silverstone

7

18 October

Japan

Motegi

8

25 October

Australia

Phillip Island

 

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