With only a month and a half to go before the start of the championship on 10 March in Qatar, Motorsport.com understands that the third stop of the calendar, scheduled for the weekend of 5-7 April in Argentina, is in serious danger of not being held.
From the very beginning of his presidency, which began on 10 December, Milei has implemented in Argentina a policy of spending cuts in all areas of the national state, visualised in the reduction by half of government ministries, which went from 18 to nine immediately with the arrival of the new mandate.
Within the framework of this programme of budget cuts, the inclusion of the direct expenses of the Argentina Grand Prix is practically unjustifiable, since the event receives a significant amount of money from the national government – a fundamental factor together with the provincial government of Santiago del Estero and the private promoter for the realisation of the race.
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
Alex Marquez, Gresini Racing
Most of the teams have not yet been informed by IRTA, the association that represents them, but several of them suspect that the event at Termas de Rio Hondo will not take place.
If the race is cancelled, the championship would have three weeks between the race in Portugal, on 24 March, and the Americas Grand Prix in Austin on 14 April.
Despite the fact that the Balaton Park circuit appears as a reserve on the calendar announced at the end of September, the limited margin between now and the scheduled date makes it difficult to imagine that the Hungarian venue could fill the gap left by Argentina.
In fact, the teams consulted by Motorsport.com would not be surprised if the Kazakhstan Grand Prix, scheduled for mid-June and already cancelled last season, does not make its debut again in 2024.
The 2024 calendar is currently set to be the longest in MotoGP history at 22 events.
The Argentina GP has endured a tough few years, with the 2020 and 2021 editions cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, while a massive fire ripped through the pit building complex in 2021.
In 2022, the event was placed into doubt due to freight delays as the paddock tried to get from Lombok in Indonesia to Termas de Rio Honda, with the weekend ultimately cut down to just two days when Friday practice was cancelled.
Barring the pandemic years, Argentina has been a staple of the MotoGP calendar since it returned to the schedule in 2014.