As we mentioned yesterday, the government of Qatar offered Covid-19 vaccinations to the MotoGP paddock. Many riders in the end-of-test interviews stated that they have already taken advantage of this opportunity while others, such as Mir and Rins, will wait for a consultation with their doctor before getting vaccinated. In the face of this news, the MotoGP published an interview with Carmelo Ezpeleta.
“Qatar has been part of the MotoGP World Championship since 2004 and has been the first Grand Prix of the year since 2007,” said Dorna’s CEO. “It’s become a tradition, and everyone is very happy to start the championship there! This year, thanks to the fantastic relationship between the government and Dorna, and due to the situation and the difficulty of going to the American GPs, we’ve decided to propose to the Qatari authorities to organize two consecutive Grands Prix in Losail and do all the tests here. Seeing that their vaccination program is going well, the Qatari government offered us the possibility of vaccinating the paddock, and this is something incredible for us. The entire MotoGP family appreciates this a lot, and I want to take this opportunity to say thank you very much to the Qatari government.”
How important is this program to increase the safety of everyone in the paddock?
“This is very important to us. During 2020, we followed very important protocols to maintain a bubble among the people in the MotoGP paddock, which are fewer in number than in 2019. This allowed us to have a safe season last year. Now, the Qatari government is offering us the chance to be vaccinated, but each individual will decide whether to accept or not. The vast majority have accepted and are delighted to do so. Some for different reasons cannot. But we are extremely happy because these vaccinations allow us to increase safety and decrease contagion. It is very important for safety in Qatar iof course but, above all, in the other Grand Prixs. The MotoGP family, the vast majority, will be vaccinated.”
Are the MotoGP riders good role models for encouraging people to get vaccinated?
“Our riders are very popular, especially for the younger generation. They’re very careful about their health and make their own decisions to be as strong as possible and avoid infections. We demonstrated last year, with our bubble, that it’s possible to work worldwide with a few cases. And I hope that, with the vaccinations, even those we have had can be reduced. I think they’re an important role model for society and, thanks to Qatar, we have the opportunity to show the world how important it is for all our heroes to be vaccinated.”