MotoGP 2010 provisional calendar: An evening race in Qatar kick-starts the season

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The Independent Online

2010's 18-race, eight-month MotoGP season starts in April on the east coast of Qatar and ends in November at the Valencian Grand Prix on the east coast of Spain.

The Fiat Yamaha Team are again putting forward 2009 Moto GP Champion Valentino Rossi and 2009 second-placed Jorge Lorenzo as they defend their manufacturer's and individual titles but there are plenty of debutant teams and riders to spruce things up for 2010.

All MotoGPs take place on a Sunday, with practices and qualifying on the preceding two days, save for the Dutch Assen TT which is a Saturday race. Typically, races are scheduled two weeks apart, except for a few occasions. Those exceptions mean that the MotoGPs in Monterey, Indianapolis, Malaysia and Valencia fall on the same days as the Formula One GPs in Germany, Belgium, Japan, and Malaysia respectively - a boon for motorsport fans.

There are already several new teams and new faces confirmed to compete in the 2010 MotoGP season. Emmi-Caffé Latte, under the banner of Interwetten Honda, has recruited the 2009 250cc World Champion Hiroshi Aoyama as the team makes its first foray into MotoGP. Like Emmi-Caffé Latte, the Aspar Racing Team will expand on its successes in the 125cc and 250cc classes by introducing a team at MotoGP level, and 2009's second-placed 250cc rider Héctor Barberá has put pen to paper as the team's rider.

Honda Gresini have replaced both their riders and bring in Marco Milandri from dissolved 2009 team Hayate Racing, and 2009 250cc third placer Marco Simoncelli. Spanish team Inmotec choose to debut with Spanish rider Ivan Silva, and John Hopkins returns to MotoGP after a year in the Superbike World Championship to ride for newcomers FB Corse.

There is in fact a fair bit of back-and-forth between MotoGP and the Superbike World Championship for the 2010 season. Álvaro Bautista makes the transition from 250cc after placing fourth in 2009 to replace Chris Vermeulen at Suzuki who migrates over to the SWC. Superbike World Champion Ben Spies is coming back to MotoGP, while the Yamaha Tech 3 rider who he replaces, James Toseland, goes the other way.

Qatar Grand Prix
April 11
Losail International Circuit, Doha, Qatar

Japanese Grand Prix
April 25
Twin Ring Motegi, Motegi, Japan

Spanish Grand Prix
May 2
Circuito de Jerez, Jerez de la Frontera, Spain

French Grand Prix
May 23
Bugatti Circuit, Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans, France

Italian Grand Prix
June 6
Mugello Circuit, Mugello near Florence, Italy

British Grand Prix
June 20
Silverstone, Northamptonshire, United Kingdom

Dutch TT
June 26
TT Circuit Assen, Assen, Netherlands

Catalan Grand Prix
July 4
Circuit de Catalunya, Montmeló nr Barcelona, Spain

German Grand Prix
July 18
Sachsenring, Hohenstein-Ernstthal nr Chemnitz, Germany

United States Grand Prix
July 25
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Monterey, California, USA

Czech Republic Grand Prix
August 15
Brno Circuit, Brno, Czech Republic

Indianapolis Grand Prix
August 29
Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis, USA

San Marino Grand Prix
September 5
Misano World Circuit, Misano Adriatico, Italy

Hungarian Grand Prix
September 19
Balatonring, Savoly, Hungary

Malaysian Grand Prix
October 10
Sepang International Circuit, Sepang, Malaysia

Australian Grand Prix
October 17
Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit, Phillip Island, Australia

Portuguese Grand Prix
October 31
Autódromo do Estoril, Estoril, Portugal

Valencian Grand Prix
November 7
Circuit Ricardo Tormo, Cheste, Spain