As the most recent wave of COVID-19 swept through France, the country went into lockdown once more in April, 2021. That’s why, at the beginning of the month, news broke that the Endurance World Championship’s 24 Hours Motos round was cancelled, as it had originally been scheduled to run from April 17 through 18. It was since rescheduled to June 12 and 13, where it will be fully televised, but will run with no spectators in the stands.
What does that have to do with the 2021 Shark MotoGP round in France? Things were looking very uncertain due to the current health conditions, but French officials have decided that the race can continue as scheduled. Therefore, the full MotoGP race weekend at the Bugatti circuit in Le Mans will be held from May 14 through 16. However, as with the rescheduled 24 Hours Motos event, there will be no fans allowed in the stands, and the race will effectively be held behind closed doors.
If you’re in France, you’ll be able to watch all the action on May 14 and 15 on the Canal + Group TV channels. There’s also a plan to broadcast the actual MotoGP race live on Sunday, May 16, completely unencrypted on the C8 channel so that as many people in France as possible can watch the race safely.
The race organizers shared this information in an official statement dated April 30, 2021. They wish to thank fans and partners for their support and understanding of the unique circumstances we find ourselves in during these times.
Prior to the most recent French COVID surge, five French circuits had planned to create what they referred to as French GP “Fan Zones” at five different circuits around the country. The idea was that smaller groups of fans would be able to safely attend these outdoor events and view the race together, but at a safe distance from one another. Different exhibitors would be there as well, so while it still wouldn’t be the same as being live at Le Mans, it would be closer than sitting in front of your TV at home.
Unfortunately, the Fan Zone plan has been scrapped for 2021 due to the most recent viral surge within the country. However, organizers are currently optimistic that they will be able to successfully host Fan Zones during the French Grand Prix in 2022.