MotoGP, Claude Michy: "Le Mans will not be a closed-door event. A GP is a party."

The organizer of the French GP: "The future of the MotoGP is at stake. It's important that the championship takes place, even with only 10 races, if necessary. If we want to have a World Championship in 2021, it's vital we race this year."


The health emergency linked to Covid-19 is also jeopardizing the MotoGP season. Of course, the World Championship is nothing compared to more serious problems, but organizers and fans are eager to know Dorna's decisions regarding the calendar. One of the GPs at risk is the French one, scheduled in Le Mans from May 15th to 17th, two weeks after the weekend in Spain (which, at the moment, should be opening the World Championship), and two weeks before the Italian GP. Now France, and, with it, many other nations and fans from all over the world, are waiting to know when, and if, the MotoGP championship will begin.

"At the moment, it is very unlikely that the GP will take place in mid-May as scheduled ," said Claude Michy, organizer of the French Grand Prix, interview with L'Equipe. "I spoke with Carmelo Ezpeleta on the phone, and the conclusion of our conversation was that the virus is in command. We will decide what to do in the first week of April. There is no need to hurry."

Among the various hypotheses is the possibility of a cancellation or a closed-door event. The general financial situation in which Europe will "wake up" after this period of crisis should also not be underestimated.

“Motorcycling is an international sport and, in order to organize a GP, all participants and teams must be able to travel. Even the public must be able to access the circuit because a Grand Prix is a party. If several soccer matches were held behind closed doors, it's only because of the television rights. If they didn't have those, there would be no more professional soccer. But as far as motorcycles are concerned, I can say that there will not be a race without an audience. Another aspect to consider is the financial one, because if the world economy falters, we won't have a championship, since sponsors, clients, and partners will not be able to follow the world championship."

In addition to the cancellation, however, there are also possibilities for recuperating the French GP.

“Yes, in June, especially on the weekend of the 14th, given that the 24 Hours of Le Mans has been moved. Everything will depend on the health emergency situation, but I don't think it'll be impossible. If we fail to move the GP to a date in June, it'll be very complicated, given that most of the free weekends have already been assigned to the first GPs postponed. The most important thing is for the championship to take place, even with only ten or eleven races if necessary. The future of this competition and the teams are at stake and, if we want to have a championship in 2021, we have to have one in 2020."

What will be the future of the French GP if this year does not take place?

“More than the GP and me, I'm thinking of the other service providers and the small structures that, in part, live off of these events and will face huge problems in cash flow. We have the chance to stay on track if we're careful."


Translated by Leila Myftija

Related articles