This year the summer week break is one month for the MotoGP (from July 7 of Sachsenring to the return of August 4 in Brno), two months for the WSBK, two and a half months for the Spanish CEV, almost two months for the Italian CIV. Has it always been like this? Yes and no. Some examples. Let’s start with the Italian Championship (CIV) that in 2019 – more or less like in 2018 and in recent seasons – spreads its six appointments from March 30 to October 5, then within six months. Once, from the post-war period to the 70’s, motorcycling races went into hibernation with the MotoGP that opened at the beginning of May and ended at the beginning of September with the GP of Nations in Monza (then the GP of Japan in October) and with the “Tricolore” seniores (also international open to foreign riders) that began with the Mototemporada on March 19 in Modena continuing on the city circuits and not in Riccione, Rimini, Cesenatico, Cervia Milano Marittima, Imola, Pesaro and ending in September in Monza with the closure of the last two autumn races of Vallelunga (Rome) and Ospedaletti (San Remo). After the First World War there was no city and there was no Sunday without the races, considered healthy to ignite new passions and a push for reconstruction.
And the MotoGP? He made his debut, as is well known, at the English TT on 13 June 1949 (this year it is the 70th!) taking place in just three months on six rounds (TT, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, Ulster, Monza) with the 500 present everywhere, the 350 in five of the six races, the 250 in four, the 125 and the sides in three. There was no summer break because there was no time as the whole championship took place from mid-June to the beginning (4) of September, with one race in June, three in July, one in August and one in September. If you just want to look for the hair in the egg, there was a break between the GP of Belgium (July 17) and the GP of Ulster (August 20). Another significant example is that of 1957, the last world championship season before the abandonment of the great Italian manufacturers (Gilera, Guzzi, Mondial, MV Agusta, the latter then returned). There were always six races (the seventh of the French GP jumped due to the international political and military crisis in Suez), this time from 19 May (Germany) to 1 September (Monza): only two summer GPs: on 7 July in Belgium and on 10 August the GP of Ulster, with the final of the GP of Monza on 1 September. In fact, therefore, a month of stop from July 8 to August 9. Only with the arrival of the Japanese manufacturers does the MotoGP “double” reaching the 11 rounds of 1961, 12 rounds of 1963, 13 rounds of 1965 and remaining stationary for a decade. For example, in the disastrous 1973 – the year of Monza’s tragedy with the death of Pasolini and Saarinen – 12 rounds were held in six months (from the French GP of 22 April to the Spanish GP of 22 September) of which three in June and even four in July, but none in August.
The turning point came in 1991 with the management of the MotoGP entrusted by the FIM to the multinational (Spanish) DORNA and with the global motorcycling show-business, media event promoted and connected on television in over 200 countries. In the first DORNA season there are 15 world races in six months, from 24 March (Japan) to 29 September (Malaysia): only one race in July (21 in France) and three races in August, from 4 to 25, with a three-week break from 29 June (Assen) to 21 July (Paul Ricard). The rest is chronicle, with 2019 underway with a program of 19 rounds, from March 10 (Qatar) to November 17 (Valencia) over then eight months. A month of summer break (from the German GP of 7 July to the Czech GP of 4 August) but now, especially for the advent of testing and a calendar that starts in early March and ends in late November, with the winter hibernation almost “canceled”. And that’s not all.