MotoGP has postponed its planned return to Argentina until 2014 due to a political dispute.
The event at the revamped Termas de Rio Hondo track had been scheduled as round two of the 2013 championship in April. But it had been in doubt due to the controversy over the Argentinian government nationalising the local arm of Repsol, title sponsor of the works Honda MotoGP team. The Spanish government had recommended that it would be unsafe for Repsol personnel to travel to Argentina for the race.
MotoGP organizer Dorna set a deadline of Nov. 18 for the situation to be resolved, but it came too late and the race had to be dropped from the calendar.
To close the calendar gap created by Argentina's absence, the season opener in Qatar will be moved back one week to 7 April. Round two takes place at the new Austin track on April 28. Dorna added that it was still committed to including an Argentinian race from 2014.
"Dorna Sports commits itself to including Gran Premio de la Republica Argentina on the 2014 calendar and onwards, to be approved by [the] FIM subject to the homologation of the track, which presumably shall take place within the first quarter of 2013," the group said. "Dorna Sports recognizes the Gran Premio de la Republica Argentina promoter's efforts regarding the satisfactorily completion of the construction works and the organizational and promotional preliminary activities."
The series last raced in Argentina when MotoGP's 500cc predecessor used the Buenos Aires circuit in 1998-'99.