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2018 MotoGP

 

When Belgian rider Xavier Simeon was signed to race for the Avintia Ducati team at the Aragon GP last weekend, the grid for the 2018 MotoGP world championship was finalised, even if rumours persist of British rider Bradley Smith’s place at KTM being under threat.

 

Simeon’s appointment means that he will be the first Belgian racer to compete in the premier racing class in 17 years, while championship organisers have also released the calendar for 2018, although the venue for the British round, to be held on 26 August, is still up in the air.

 

The rights to host the British Grand Prix had previously been held by the ambitious Circuit of Wales project, who used Silverstone to host the race while their own venue was being finalised, but with the Welsh plan now dead in the water, negotiations are on going as to where the race will be held.

 

With the experience and infrastructure in place, Silverstone would appear to be the front runners to host the event, however it is understood that Donington Park is also keen to run the showcase event. The Leicestershire venue previously played host to the GP from 1987 to 2009, when it switched to Silverstone. Day to day running of Donington switched to Jonathan Palmer’s MSV company earlier this year and, although the circuit is thought to need further investment to bring it up to MotoGP standard, it is thought that they are bidding to take back the event.

 

Wherever the race is held, there will be at least two British riders lining up on the grid, with Cal Crutchlow and Scott Redding both confirmed starters in next year’s championship. KTM rider Smith is under contract to race with the Austrian brand again in 2018 but with Finnish test rider Mika Kallio again outperforming the Brit as a wildcard at the weekend (finishing 11th to the Brit’s 19th), paddock rumours suggest that team bosses will switch their roles for 2018.

 

While KTM Racing boss Pit Beirer told BT Sport that it would be ‘very difficult’ to switch the pair, Kallio said that the Aragon race was the most important his career.

 

Assuming that Smith retains his ride next year, the full grid for 2018 is as follows:

 

Repsol Honda

Marc Marquez

Dani Pedrosa

 

LCR Honda

Cal Crutchlow

Takaaki Nakagami

 

Marc VDS Honda

Franco Morbidelli

Thomas Luthi

 

Movistar Yamaha

Valentino Rossi

Maverick Vinales

 

Monster Yamaha Tech 3

Jonas Folger

Johann Zarco

 

Ducati Team 

Andrea Dovizioso

Jorge Lorenzo

 

Pramac Ducati

Daniilo Petrucci

Jack Miller

 

Avintia Ducati

Xavier Simeon

Esteve Rabat

 

Aspar Ducati

Karel Abraham

Alvaro Bautista

 

Ecstar Suzuki

Andrea Iannone

Alex Rins

 

Aprilia

Aleix Espargaro

Scott Redding

 

Red Bull KTM

Bradley Smith

Pol Espargaro

 

The 2018 calendar will be:

 

Round

Event

Circuit

Race day

1

QATAR GP

Losail International Circuit

18th MARCH

2

ARGENTINA GP

Termas de Rio Hondo

08th APRIL

3

AMERICAS GP

Circuit of the Americas

22nd APRIL

4

SPANISH GP

Circuito de Jerez

06th MAY

5

FRENCH GP

Le Mans

20th MAY

6

ITALIAN GP

Autodromo di Mugello

03rd JUNE

7

CATALUNYA GP

Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya

17th JUNE

8

DUTCH GP

TT Circuit Assen

01st JULY

9

GERMAN GP

Sachsenring

15th JULY

10

CZECH GP

Automotodrom Brno

05th AUGUST

11

AUSTRIAN GP

Red Bull Ring - Spielberg

12th AUGUST

12

BRITISH GP

Circuit to be announced

26th AUGUST

13

SAN MARINO GP

Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli

09th SEPTEMBER

14

ARAGON GP

MotorLand Aragon

23rd SEPTEMBER

15

THAI GP

Chang International Circuit

07th OCTOBER

16

JAPANESE GP

Twin Ring Motegi

21st OCTOBER

17

AUSTRALIAN GP

Phillip Island Circuit

28th OCTOBER

18

MALAYSIAN GP

Sepang International Circuit

04th NOVEMBER

19

VALENCIA GP

Circuit Ricardo Tormo

18th NOVEMBER

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