MotoGP, Dorna takes the bull by the horns: start in August, restrictions on Hospitality

There is talk of a maximum of 20 guests per team. First part in Europe. Mugello and Misano one after another, end of the championship in mid-December


F1 needs at least 8 Grands Prix, provided that they take place in three continents, to become a valid world championship, MotoGP 13. At least, that’s what the contracts stipulate, but faced with an exceptional situation, a rewrite of the clauses is not impossible, but both Liberty Media and Dorna are not considering the minimum number of Grands Prix to be held, but the maximum.

The reason is very simple: money. The two companies, in fact, receive a pile of money from the circuits that organize the world championships, often thanks to generous state interventions.

There is nothing scandalous about this, after all motor sport thrives on money in all its forms: circuits, spectators, sponsors, technical partners, all pour money in various forms into the coffers of organizers and teams and these, in turn, reinvest in development, retainers, staff.

This means that the money is for everyone and that hiding the truth is not needed. This is reality!

But where are we with regards to the organization? Because a Grand Prix can’t just be organized in a few hours.

Let's try and answer some questions by revealing to you that in these days Dorna has spoken several times with teams and manufacturers, proposing a number of different scenarios. They are the following:

 There’s a lot of talk, but is the world championship at risk?

 The championships are certainly at risk. After all, if it has been decided to postpone the Tokyo Olympics to 2021, with billion-dollar budgets, obviously it was not possible to do otherwise. The problem is the pandemic: the Olympic Games, like Grands Prix, bring together people from all over the world and this complicates the organization not only because for one nation that no longer has any infection risk there are others at their peak.

 Is it possible to hold Grands Prix behind closed doors?

 Actually, holding the races without spectators solves a problem, and decreases the organizer’s commitment regarding the planning of access routes, etc., but the problem of people from all over the world - and therefore the necessary opening of borders - remains. However, Dorna is planning to decrease the overall capacity of racetracks to avoid crowding. Honestly, this doesn’t seem to be a particularly viable idea and, in any case, not a solution. It is not that 50,000 spectators instead of 100,000 is a solution, but it would only be for the organizer who can repay part of the expenses with the cost of the ticket.

 To increase the number of races, the Superbike format could be cloned: one GP on Saturday and one on Sunday.

 It is an idea that has been proposed, but honestly, apart from the number of races, what would change? Only the risks of accidents would double.

 Is there a certain date for the start of the championship?

 The most recent rumours refer to a start of the championship in August: first race at Brno on 9 August or, even more likely, at the Red Bull Ring, in Austria on 16 August. Afterwards, the calendar would remain free on Sunday, August 23, during which one Grand Prix from the postponed list could be slotted in. Jerez would be a possibility. Subsequently, there would be a race in Silverstone on August 30 with space - obviously, by missing every weekend, on September 6 for another of the postponed GPs: Le Mans? Immediately after there would be Misano on the 13th. Maybe they could insert Mugello on the 20th? It seems the most probable idea. Currently on that date there is Superbike in Barcelona, ​​but to be honest there is no news about this at the moment. SBK, however, would have two consecutive races with Magny-Cours on the 27th in conjunction with the Aragon GP, ​​which however could be cancelled.

The championship could continue in this way, holding as many races as possible in Europe, before heading overseas for the last phase, ending on December 15th. A final round would take place (only for MotoGP) in Losail.

 Will there be any special arrangements for these Grands Prix in this Covid-19 period?

 It seems as if there will be. Dorna would like to decrease the number of people in the paddock as far as possible, so here they are talking about only having the MotoGP Hospitality units. The guest limit per team would be set at 20. This rule, limiting access to Hospitality, however, is not finding much favour amongst the teams, whose business is based precisely on the reception of guests, offered as a benefit for sponsors, so it is possible that it won’t come into force.

 From a health point of view, how would things be organized?

 The idea of everyone having to compulsorily wear a mask and protective gloves has been put forward. The 'media scrum' (the journalists gathered around the pilots) would be replaced with a traditional press conference or other means of communication.

 What about the development of engines and aerodynamics?

As is known, the development of these components is frozen, but in Japan the development of other components, chassis, etc., in the factories is continuing. It seems, however, that a lockdown will also arrive there very soon.

In the red box, the races that have been or would be postponed or cancelled


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