The 2022 MotoGP World Championship, the most intense season in history

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The MotoGP World Championship is preparing for the 2022 season, the longest and most demanding in history. No fewer than 21 races await, and exactly eight months of competition.

The 2022 MotoGP World Championship, the most intense season in history

The 2022 MotoGP World Championship will be held from March 6 to November 6. 21 races over four continents—if the pandemic, still present throughout the world, doesn’t ruin plans-—for the first time in over three years. Some circuits, such as in Asia (Japan, Malaysia, Thailand), Argentina, and Australia, have not hosted a Grand Prix since 2019, and they will no doubt be over the moon if it is confirmed this season.

The World Championship in 2022 will be even longer with the addition of new circuits. Portugal returned to the World Championship in 2020 with Portimao, a first for the circuit up until that point. Now the interest lies in discovering the new tracks of Mandalika, in Indonesia, and KymiRing, in Finland. Both countries are no strangers to the World Championship, although they haven’t held a race for decades.

New countries

Indonesia hosted the World Championship in 1996 and 1997 at Sentul. Now, 25 years on, the race will be held at the spectacular new Mandalika circuit, where they held the Superbike World Championship last year. It was a great success despite the bad weather, as torrential rain forced one of the races to be suspended. Nothing the World Championship team can’t handle, due to their frequent visits to other countries in Southeast Asia.

Finland saw its return to the World Championship postponed due to the pandemic. Between 1965 and 1982 the Finnish Grand Prix was held in Imatra, an extraordinary period for emerging Scandinavian riders. Now, barring any complications, the cold Nordic country will once again host a Grand Prix forty years later.

As for the rest of the season, there will be no surprises. All the other 19 scheduled races are already well known venues. Although, as we already mentioned, Termas de Río Hondo (Argentina), Silverstone (United Kingdom), Motegi (Japan), Chang (Thailand), Sepang (Malaysia,) and Philip Island (Australia), haven’t hosted any races since 2019. This is not to be taken lightly as the lack of activity on the track sometimes affects the tracks themselves, as well as the team’s lack of practice with the latest equipment. Keep in mind that all the telemetry data available on these tracks dates back to 2019, and many things have changed for the teams, the bikes, the technique, and even the riders themselves. For example, the last time some of the MotoGP riders raced on one of these tracks was on the back of a Moto3 bike…

More circuits, fewer races, more kilometers

A 21-race calendar forces us to rethink many things, even from a technical point of view, as the regulations have to be adapted to the greater distance to be covered over the season. In a championship where one of the regulations imposes a maximum number of engines available per rider, this figure will have to be increased to avoid material equipment damage and excessive mileage.

One thing that is important this season is the reduction in the number of official tests. The pre-season training will resume on February 5 in Sepang, with two days of training, before traveling to Mandalika where the riders will have three days to get to know and acclimatize to the new track. And two weeks later, the World Championship will begin. A race in KymiRing is also planned.

Obviously, the riders cannot ride outside of these official tests but nobody can prevent them from training with series motorcycles or superbikes on tracks outside the calendar. They have already started on various circuits in the south of the Iberian Peninsula, where the temperatures are somewhat milder. Many riders chose the Cartagena and Almería stages, while Marc Márquez, once he received the go-ahead from the doctors, went to Portimao to work on the Honda RCV213-S, the street bike replica of his MotoGP motocycle.

As we can see, training is no longer limited to just motocross or supermotard; circuit bikes have also become a vital tool in riders’ preparation.

The truth is that everything goes into preparing all the riders for their first race with some kilometers under their belts, either racing bikes or training bikes, raising the level of competition. It is another reason that makes us think that the 2022 MotoGP World Championship will be hard fought, with the 24 participants—two more than in previous seasons—in optimal physical condition.

Without a doubt, this is what was expected for this campaign, where everything points towards the possibility of having circuits packed with fans, in line with the rules laid out for all sports. Since the middle of last season, fans have been able to attend the championship, and the last year’s Grand Prix, in Valencia, had a full house, highlighting the World Championship’s popularity.

2022 MotoGP World Championship Calendar

March 6: Qatar (Losail)

March 20: Indonesia (Mandalika)

April 3: Argentina (Termas de Río Hondo)

April 10: Américas (COTA)

April 24: Portugal (Portimao)

May 1: Spain (Jerez – Ángel Nieto)

May 15: France (Le Mans)

May 29: Italy (Mugello)

June 5: Catalunya (Barcelona – Catalunya)

June 19: Germany (Sachsenring)

June 26: Holland (Assen)

June 10: Finland (KymiRing)

August 7: United Kingdom (Silverstone)

August 21: Austria (Red Bull Ring)

September 4: San Marino (Misano)

September 18: Aragón (Motorland Aragón)

September 25: Japan (Motegi)

October 2: Thailand (Chang)

October 16: Australia (Phillip Island)

October 23: Malaysia (Sepang)

November 6: Autonomous Community of Valencia (Ricardo Tormo)

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