until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Fresh doubt for Kazakh MotoGP race as flooding puts debut on hold

by Simon Patterson
2 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

The inaugural 2024 Kazakhstan Grand Prix has once again been put on hold indefinitely by MotoGP owing to severe flooding in the central Asian country.

MotoGP organiser Dorna and governing body the FIM announced in a brief joint statement that they now hope to instead reschedule the race at the Sokol circuit, which was due to take place on June 16, to later in the season - although this may prove to be an impossible task.

“Unprecedented weather conditions have led to flooding across Central Asia, causing a national emergency in Kazakhstan and displacing much of the population,” the statement read.

“It would not be responsible for MotoGP to add any additional burden on the authorities or services as they work to help the tens of thousands of people affected across the country.

“Sokol International Racetrack will therefore not host MotoGP on the dates previously announced, and any further updates will be published once confirmed.”

The flooding, which broke out two weeks ago in northern Kazakhstan, some 1200 miles from the circuit, initially displaced almost 120,000 people but has thankfully receded in recent days.

Kazakhstan was originally set to join the calendar in 2023 but its debut at the Hermann Tilke-designed Sokol circuit, on the outskirts of the country's largest city Almaty, was delayed by one year thanks to necessary construction works at the track not being completed on time.

But there has been a considerable push since then to get the circuit up to speed, with The Race's paddock sources indicating last month that everything was looking more positive for 2024.

That has included the signing on of a new team to help promote and manage the event, with former Sepang International Circuit CEO and Petronas Yamaha team principal Razlan Razali involved.

However, despite a commitment to reschedule the race to later in the year, that looks all but impossible given how crowded the MotoGP schedule is in the latter half of 2024.

Only really viable until early October given Almaty’s climate, there are limited windows in the calendar that would allow the race to fit in, especially given the likely first-time headaches associated with logistics and customs that would also need to be factored in.

And while the 2024 calendar was initially announced with a reserve circuit in Hungary, it seems that too is all but impossible given that the Balaton Park Circuit is itself set to be replaced on the World Superbike calendar for this year, with Portugal’s historic Estoril believed to be set to take over its slot.

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