It’s almost time to ‘batten down the hatches’ and it was predictable given the situation generated by Covid-19 and the complexity of our sport when compared, for example, to football leagues.
MotoGP, in fact, involves people of at least 15 nationalities, coming from different countries, about 3,000 individuals called to move en masse from one nation to another. It is something unthinkable and enormously complex when compared, for example, to football, which is thinking of restarting the Italian championship in late May, obviously behind closed doors and moving the games to the south, where there have been fewer infections.
This week Carmelo Ezpeleta for Dorna, his right-hand organization IRTA, the MSMA and the various teams have often been in touch with each other via videoconference to lay the foundations for a common agreement.
Advance news: behind closed doors, fewer staff, no hospitality, media excluded
We gave you news in advance of Grands Prix behind closed doors (predictable), a reduction in the number of staff (just as predictable), the exclusion of Hospitality units and therefore what currently makes up the paddock (many teams do not agree), as well as the mass exclusion of PR and journalists (decidedly unexpected) because they are deemed to be "unnecessary".
The overriding aim is to restart the championship with TV only, so as not to lose revenue.
Of course, what is out of the control of the Supreme Being is the possibility of giving us a calendar (we talked about it here), and this is because the dates are in the hands of the various governments.
Ezpeleta: "10,000 tests ordered for daily checks"
For this reason, as we said above, Dorna will accept any compromise.
“We are preparing a protocol together with the competent authorities. For example, in Spain we are talking to the Higher Sports Council and in Italy with the Italian Olympic Committee, as well as several laboratories for medical matters, to prepare a protocol to check the entire GP paddock. We have already ordered, through a Bridgepoint company, the possibility of having 10,000 coronavirus tests, to test the whole MotoGP family before and after every day," Ezpeleta told AS.
Honey, I Shrunk the Paddock! 40 people for the factory teams, 25 for satellite teams
At the moment, the only necessary staff would be 40 people for the factory teams and 25 for the satellites. But we are always and only talking about MotoGP. However, the world championship is also made up of Moto2 and Moto3, 30 riders per category. So, someone fears it is going to be a restart only for MotoGP...
"I wasn’t thinking of that” said Jorge Viegas, President of the FIM responding to Niki Kovacs, “I think the World Championship will restart in its entirety, even if obviously behind closed doors and with all possible health precautions".
Reassuring words, but we cannot put our hand on the fire about this precisely because the decision of how many people to move around Europe and the world will depend exclusively on individual nations, not on the whims of federations or the contracted companies of the championships.
But the question is another: is it really necessary to restart sport? And above all, is it right to restart only a few sports at the expense of others?
The president of CONI (the Italian Olympic Committee), Giovanni Malagò has said that we can’t be seen playing favourites, but it is also true that each activity has its own particular situation and that while it is easy to move an entire football team around in a coach, it’s a bit more complicated to move a racing team.
Charter flights to move teams together and minimize contact
It’s precisely for this reason that the world championship is thinking of organizing charter flights, also because there is to consider that the crisis involves all the airlines, not all flights are available, but above all the organization of 'mass logistics' helps a lot when it comes down to prevention. That is an important fact when it comes to obtaining permits from the authorities.
Meanwhile, we are waiting for the cancellation of the Sachsenring round with the German GP scheduled for June 21 and that of the Netherlands, with the Assen GP set for June 28, while for Finland the problem does not even arise since the Kymiring circuit, scheduled on 12 July, as Franco Uncini confirmed, has not even been approved yet.
Time is running out quickly however, and nobody today has an answer to the many questions. All we have to do is take into account that at the moment when the green light is given, it will take at least a month and a half to organize everything, so let's say that the point of no return for a restart between the end of July and mid-August will be in late May.