The cancellation of the MotoGP race in Qatar has upset everyone, from fans to insiders. This is undoubtedly an exceptional event, not only for motorcycling, but everything is going on more or less as usual in Doha. The first to reassure us of the situation are those at the Losail circuit, such as Milena Koerner, Forward Racing team manager who races with MV Agusta in the Moto2.
“Everything is normal here. There have only been 3 cases of people infected with the Coronavirus. You don't see people walking around in masks. We are honestly not worried at all," she tells us from Qatar.
What's the situation in the paddock?
"Yesterday there were very few people in the paddock, practically only the MotoGP guys who started to dismantle the garages, then the IRTA staff arrived, but not everyone, because one of the members arrived from Rome and was sent back to Italy despite every effort made to get him in.”
Besides the MotoGP not being there, is it a normal Grand Prix for you? Not even Uncini and Capirossi, two members of the Race Direction, will be able to arrive.
“I went to the IRTA personally to confirm this, because rumors were circulating that the Grand Prix could be canceled. They told me there's no problem and that they can manage the situation even without Capirossi and Uncini. There's still Mike Webb, who was also here during the tests."
Is everything also under control from a medical perspective?
"The staff of the Mobile Clinic was already on the circuit for the tests, so there are no problems even from this perspective."
How did the riders react to the news of the MotoGP being cancelled?
“Honestly, everything is okay for us. There is nothing destabilizing. The only problem is that we don't know which flight we're going to go home with ," she said laughing. From a sports aspect, the trouble is having performed the tests in times that will not be those of the race, because the Moto2 will be racing instead of the MotoGP at 6:00 p.m. Furthermore, this delay can put us in a bit of trouble because we'll have little time to arrange the bikes that will then go to Austin, but I think that we can find a solution.”
From a logistics viewpoint, what are the problems?
“The problem is that you don't know how the situation will evolve. You have to continually look for information. There is uncertainty that we won't be going to Thailand, but nobody knows what will happen with Austin. In the end, the shipments of the material in the Grand Prix outside Europe are managed by Dorna, who will know what to do. For everything else, the best thing to do at the moment is wait and understand how the situation will evolve. I think it's best if we focus on this first race."
Are all the teams ready for the GP?
“A shared problem is what many expected of the material that should have arrived these days brought by people who cannot depart. I'm talking about things like suits, clothing, fairings, the latest updates for the bikes. This has been a concern for me, and I know I wasn't the only one."