Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna, was the great creator of the return of MotoGP to the track after the Covid-19 emergency, even if with a (for the moment) reduced and mutilated championship of his international GP's.
We are finally back on track! How does it feel?
"We're very happy to be here, especially as we know everyone is arriving well and the tests have been completed. We're happy to start the season again, we began in Qatar before the pandemic and now everyone is ready to start again. I take the opportunity to tell to everyone: please take care with all the measures we have in place, be strict as the virus is something dangerous and it's important to keep ourselves safe."
Hearing Grand Prix motorcycles around a race track once again is pretty special as well.
"Really, when I arrived this morning and heard the noise of the bikes... it's something I've missed all this time! We're in the situation we want to be in: making races happen."
After a lot of hard work over the last four months to make this a reality… here we are, starting at one of the ‘Cathedrals’ of the Championship, in Jerez!
“Normally the 'European season' starts in Jerez, and now we're starting a bit later! But I'm very happy. Jerez has been very helpful and collaborative, as have all the tracks – including the circuits who aren't on the calendar this year, they understood the problem and have been collaborating with us. And I'd like to say thank you to all the circuits on the calendar."
And the most important part of all this has been the collaboration between the FIM, IRTA, Dorna to make this happen… but via phone calls, Skype, Zoom?
"I think it's been helpful for everyone. We're very happy to have the opportunity to work with everyone, from the start we decided to work together and we've taken into consideration the 'least worst' for everyone, and of course the most important thing is making races happen. That's been everyone's aim all this time. And I'm so proud of the partners we have, the FIM, IRTA, manufacturers, riders, marshals, circuits, everybody has been very helpful. We're trying to adapt a very difficult situation into one that's getting better for everyone."
Finally we're bringing our sport back for people to enjoy, and it’s dedicated to the victims of Covid-19 and the key workers who have been tirelessly working to save lives around the world… what would you like to say about that?
"This is our main aim. We must continue, and we want to use these races this year as an homage to all those who have been affected by coronavirus and the people working to help us get through it. This is our contribution to all of them and this will be the aim for all of us all season.”
Finally, what’s your message to the fans watching from home this weekend?
“TV this year is crucial for us, as now that’s where everyone will see the races. So I just hope they'll be as good as last year! This is the most important thing, for us it's very important to make sure the sport and the show are as they were before the pandemic."