The start of the MotoGP season will be delayed by at least one month. The cancellation of the Qatar GP for the premier class and the postponement of the weekend in Thailand due to the Coronavirus, to a date to be decided, means that we will have to wait for until at least early April to see MotoGP on the track when, at the COTA circuit in Austin, the bikes should line up on the grid for the first time this season.
The decision was certainly painful but necessary given the indications and measures taken against Italy and Japan by the Qatari authorities.
“We have been in close contact with the authorities in Qatar to understand exactly what we could do” declared Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta in an interview with MotoGP.com. “Then, during the weekend, the situation changed a lot. On Sunday we received indication from the authorities in Qatar that 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.
Ezpeleta: "The season will take place even though the situation changes day by day"
“We have been speaking to the authorities in Thailand all weekend and they advised us that early on Monday, Thailand time, there would be a meeting to decide which events can happen in Thailand. In Thailand they have decided to cancel big events with large numbers of spectators. It’s different to the situation with Qatar, so we decided to postpone the Thailand Grand Prix and try to locate a date at the end of the year to make the GP possible.”
And on the possibility that the whole season will be cancelled, Carmelo Ezpeleta was quite clear:
“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.”