Friday, November 22


THE LONGEST season yet is what is in store for MotoGP fans in 2014, with a record 19 events on the nine month long calendar.

Proceedings kick off on March 23 at the Losail circuit in the State of Qatar in the Persian Gulf, then move on to the Circuit of the Americas outside of Austin, Texas, USA on April 13.

Two weeks later Argentina rejoins the motorcycle grand prix calendar after a long absence. Last time there was an Argentine GP was when the 500cc bikes were the premier class. That was October 31, 1999 when Kenny Roberts Junior won the 500cc race at Buenos Aires on a Suzuki.

This year's Argentine Grand Prix will be hosted at the newly-built Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo, a 4.85 kilometre circuit in Termas de Río Hondo, a city in the province of Santiago del Estero. It has just 27,838 inhabitants, so is about half the size of Invercargill. It is 70 kilometres from the much larger city of Santiago del Estero to the south east (population 244,000) and 90 km from San Miguel de Tucuman, which has a population of 470,000.

Termas de Río Hondo is around 1000 kilometres from Buenos Aires and around 1400 km from Santiago, Chile. For New Zealanders who wish to go, the most direct route would be Auckland to Santiago (11 hours), then take an onward flight to Santiago del Estero.

The track was rebuilt by Italian company Dromo and is claimed to be the fastest on the calendar, with an average lap speed of 188 km/h, surpassing the 175 km/h Phillip Island circuit in Australia.

To view the first motorcycle lap of the re-built circuit, click here.

The 2014 MotoGP calendar also sees a return to Brazil, with a race at Brasilia on September 28, subject to circuit homologation.

There has also been a re-shuffle of the Asia-Pacific dates.  The revised schedule sees the Japanese GP being held on October 12 (the original date for the Malasian round), then the Australian GP on October 19 with the Malaysian GP being switched to October 26.

Here is the complete 2014 calendar:

March 23                     Qatar, Losail International Circuit (Evening race)
April 13                       USA, Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas
April 27                       Argentina, Autódromo Termas de Rio Hondo
May 4                          Spain, Circuito de Jerez
May 18                        France, Le Mans Circuit
June 1                        Italy, Mugello Circuit
June 15                      Catalunya, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
June 28                      Netherlands, TT Assen (Saturday race)
July 13                       Germany, Sachsenring
August 10                  USA, Indianapolis Motor Speedway
August 17                  Czech Republic, Automotodrom Brno
August 31                  England, Silverstone Circuit
September 14            San Marino, Riviera di Rimini
September 21            Spain, MotorLand Aragón
September 28            Brazil, Autódromo Internacional Nelson Piquet
October 12                Japan, Twin Ring Motegi
October 19                Australia, Phillip Island
October 26                Malaysia, Sepang International Circuit

November 9               Spain, Valencia