MOTEGI, JAPAN, OCT 1 - The long awaited 2011 MotoGP World Championship provisional calendar was released on the eve of the Japanese Grand Prix, with a number of changes beginning with an earlier start.The 18-round 2011 championship will kick off under the desert lights at the Losail circuit in Qatar on March 20, three weeks earlier than this year's curtain-raiser. Jerez moves to second, on April 3, with Motegi back in late April, providing the Icelandic volcano cooperates.Then follows the heart of the European swing a week later and without rest. Portugal moves to the fourth race of the season from this year's penultimate position, with Le Mans, France two weeks later. And Catalunya is three weeks earlier, now on the June 5 weekend.Silverstone follows immediately after Catalunya on June 12, with a weekend off before the traditional end of June Dutch TT at Assen on Saturday the 25th. Mugello is four weeks later than normal, now on July 3, with Germany next on the tour on July 17 in Sachsenring.The MotoGP class, the only one to run in the U.S., packs up and flies directly to Laguna Seca for the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix on July 24, while the support classes start their summer break.The break for all classes ends at Brno in the Czech Republic on August 14, then two weeks later the series returns to America for the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix.From there it's immediately back to Italy on Sept. 4 for Misano, followed with a week's break by Aragon in Spain.A new end of summer break, with three weekends off, comes next, with the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island ending the sabbatical on Oct. 16. A week later the series moves to Sepang, Malaysia, and finishes in Valencia on Nov. 6.March 20 - Qatar, Losail

April 3 - Spain, Jerez

April 24 - Japan, Motegi

May 1 - Portugal, Estoril

May 15 - France, Le Mans

June 5 - Catalunya, Catalunya

June 12 - Great Britain, Silverstone

June 25 - Netherlands, Assen

July 3 - Italy, Mugello

July 17 - Germany, Sachsenring

July 24 - United States, Laguna Seca

August 14 - Czech Republic, Brno

August 28 - Indianapolis, Indianapolis

September 4 - San Marino, Misano

September 18 - Aragon, MotorLand

October 16 - Australia, Phillip Island

October 23 - Malaysia, Sepang

November 6 - Valencia, Valencia

MotoGP Headlines

Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor

Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.

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