The FIM, IRTA and Dorna Sports announced that the 2020 MotoGP season will have a total of 15 races. The last race of the current calendar has been set at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimao, Portugal, which will take place from the 20th to the 22nd of November.
This marks the return of MotoGP to Portugal for the first time since 2012. The Portimao track is quite unique due to its elevation changes and undulating layout earning it a reputation as a high-speed rollercoaster. Also, this is good news for Portuguese rider Miguel Oliveira (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) which now has the chance to race in front of his home fans in the 2020 MotoGP premier class for the first time.
“I am very proud that MotoGP will return to my country eight years after the last Grand Prix, which took place at the Circuito do Estoril in May 2012. I would like to warmly thank Dorna, the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve and the Motorcycling Federation of Portugal for having managed to meet the necessary conditions for the organisation of the finale of the 2020 FIM Grand Prix World Championship to take place in Portugal,” said FIM President Jorge Viegas.
“It is a great achievement for our team to finally have MotoGP at our racetrack! MotoGP is the pinnacle of two-wheeled motorsport, and we are so excited to have it. It has been a long process with Dorna, we had an agreement in place since 2017, and finally, all the hard work paid off. On top of this to have Miguel Oliveira on the MotoGP grid, being able to fight for the podium will be an amazing add on for this race, and hopefully, the Championship will be decided here.
“We are working to have the fans in our race, and we will start with a capacity of 30.000 fans for the race weekend and then we will decide with Dorna and the sanitary authorities the following stages. We can’t express how happy we are to have this race,” said Autódromo Internacional do Algarve CEO, Paulo Pinheiro.
“It’s big news for us, we signed an agreement in 2017 with Portimao to be the reserve circuit for any kinds of cancellations, and we’ve been in contact with them all this time. We’ve been to Portimao with Superbike and we think it’s an amazing possibility for us, and also in the agreement is that the track will be resurfaced after the Superbike round. When we explained this to the riders they were excited because they’ve seen the track on TV, but we’ve never been there.
“Portugal has a long history in our sport and there have been some historic battles in Estoril. It’s something very good for us to have the possibility to go back to Portugal, especially with Miguel Oliveira participating as it’s great to have a Portuguese rider able to compete in his own country. We are extremely happy to be racing in Portimao at the end of the year,” said Dorna Sports CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta.
The track is built at Algarve, Portimao and its named after the port city. It sits half an hour outside of Portimao and the circuit has a capacity to gather 100,000 spectators. Besides the race track, the venue also has a go-kart track, an off-road park, a hotel, an apartment complex, a technology park and a sports complex.
The Portimao track layout features 15 corners – nine right, six left. It has a long front straight which will allow MotoGP riders to push their bikes before a downhill descend into Turn 1. The track is also called a high-speed rollercoaster due to its undulation design and large descends and elevation changes. Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team rider Michael van der Mark once described the track as “one of the most demanding tracks ever.” Moreover, the Portimao track is very technical thanks to the fact that it has all the elements such as a long straight, tight turns, fast sweeping corners and incredible undulation.