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MotoGP explains how coronavirus forced postponement of 2020 season start

2020-03-03 17:51
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Image: Mohd RASFAN / AFP

MotoGP announced that its 2020 season will commence at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas from 3 -5 April. The news follows announcements that the season-opening race, in Qatar, will be cancelled for the MotoGP class, but Moto2 and Moto3 will continue.

Thailand also announced that it will not host the second round of the season, but that its race has been postponed until further notice.

CEO of MotoGP’s commercial rights holder Dorna, Carmelo Ezpeleta, said in a statement: "We have been in close contact with the authorities in Qatar to understand exactly what we could do. Then during the weekend, the situation changed a lot.

"On Saturday and Sunday it wasn’t a specific problem for anyone, but later on on Sunday we received indication from the authorities in Qatar that due to the situation in Italy and around the world, everyone of Italian nationality or residents of Italy arriving from there needs to be sure they haven’t been in Italy during the last 14 days."

Argentina still safe

Ezpeleta continues: "In those cases, it’s not that entrance to Qatar is forbidden, but anyone who has been in Italy in the last 14 days is advised that they will be quarantined for 14 days in Qatar. Obviously that’s not possible for our people, and this was what led us to cancel the MotoGP category at the Grand Prix of Qatar.

"Because Moto2 and Moto3 have been testing this week in Qatar, it’s possible to continue with the Championship but only with Moto2 and Moto3, as well as the Asia Talent Cup."

READ: Formula 2 driver quarantined in Spanish hotel following coronavirus outbreak

The United States of America has 88 recorded cases of the deadly coronavirus, but, as of today (3 March), Argentina has no recorded cases of the disease. Provided the US event does go ahead, the Argentinian GP will be the second race on the revised calendar.

Ezpeleta concludes: "There will absolutely be a 2020 MotoGP season. We will try to continue with everything and stay aware of the situation because it’s changing day by day, but our wish is to do all the races in the 2020 season."

Formula 1 has already postponed the Chinese GP, with the opening three races of the season, preceding the Chinese event, also under scrutiny. Formula E also postponed races.

Compiled by: Charlen Raymond

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