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Jorge Viegas: "Weapons are not cleaned in wartime"

The FIM President asks for at least 13 Grands Prix with great flexibility on dates and circuits, but little is said about the Superbike World Championship which suffers from the same problems as MotoGP. The possible solutions…

Jorge Viegas:

The intention is to hold at least 13 races to give validity to the world championship. Carmelo Ezpeleta said this in the past few days and the president of the FIM, Jorge Viegas reiterated it yesterday.

However, it is not an easy solution because one round, in Qatar, both for MotoGP and Superbike, has already been cancelled and the situation is changing rapidly.

What is currently unpredictable is the reaction of other countries: regardless of the possibility of racing behind closed doors, some countries are closing their borders to Italians. But it is possible that soon, when the other European countries have started to carry out checks seriously, the situation will get worse and there could be a total closure of borders which would quickly lead to a declaration of pandemic by the relevant authorities.

“Now that the coronavirus has a foothold in so many countries, the threat of a pandemic has become very real. But it would be the first pandemic in history to be controllable," said the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. That was how he described the global situation linked to Covid-19, while the number of people infected in the world has now exceeded 108,000 and the number of deaths 3,800.

Surrendering would be wrong: huge investments and jobs would be at risk

It is obvious and clear that in the face of this drama, sport takes second place, but not the economic consequences that would result from just giving up. Surrendering means burning millions and millions of euros of investments, but also jobs. Something that, after this bad period, it would be much more difficult to recover.

Dorna and FIM are therefore doing the right thing in trying to salvage what can be salvaged. Of course, not at any price: so, it may be necessary to sacrifice a few events in order not to attempt the Herculean task of trying to make a world championship out of 20 rounds against a lack of time and overwhelming circumstances.

Jorge Viegas: 'Weapons are not cleaned in wartime'.

Viegas, perhaps less rigid than Ezpeleta, seems willing to look at any solution. We have already talked about getting the world championship back to Estoril or moving an event to Portimao. But the former racer has gone even further than that.

“We could extend a weekend and run two races. I don't know if you know the saying, which goes something like this: 'In wartime you don't clean your weapons'. This means that we must be flexible and if we need to do two Grands Prix on the same track, why not do them? We could race without spectators."

MotoGP and Superbike together? The space in the paddock is not unlimited

As Carlo Pernat also suggested, one could also start to think about combining the two championships, including a Superbike round, since the production-based championship has already missed one round in Qatar.

The problem is that the circuits, and their paddocks, have a limited capacity, but this could be increased by doing without the Hospitality units, or by reducing their number and also blocking the entrance of the massive top rider motorhomes. After all, sleeping in a hotel does not seem such a bad thing.

The impression, however, is that they want to keep the two championship separate, also due to the fact that maybe Dorna does not want too much contact between the two, but there are undoubtedly overcrowding problems. And that's exactly what we want to avoid right now.

In any case, as our expert Carlo Pernat suggested, the problems must be addressed immediately, and the decisions taken now.

Time wasted is lost and thinking about a championship that could end in December or beyond is sincerely utopian.

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