When even the Tokyo Olympics are at risk of being postponed - from the expected 24 July-9 August dates to 21 August-6 September or even 9-25 October - it is clear that the two calendars published for MotoGP and Superbike are more than provisional: they are impossible.
If Covid-19 is in fact in remission in China, it is still expanding in Europe, at different rates, as well as in America while growth in other parts of the world is expected. It is to all intents and purposes a pandemic.
Even though Carmelo Ezpeleta made a shocking but correct decision by cancelling the MotoGP Grand Prix in Qatar because Italian and Japanese competitors would have been missing from the grid, he will have to do exactly the same thing for any other nationality.
And it's not just a question of riders: the paddock is a melting pot of people from all over the world.
The problem, therefore, is clearly economic, because it is clear that if the Olympics are at risk, so is the world championship, as well as F1. It is calculated, but there is no official confirmation, that Dorna, and the fund that participates in it, would be ready to fork out 80 million euro. Will that be enough?
Major risk for Assen and Imola SBK and Jerez and Le Mans MotoGP, but also Mugello
The economic losses, in fact, will certainly be greater. Some of the dates of the current calendars more at risk, even though it hasn’t yet been made official, will now be missed: in particular, the events on 19 April and 10 May in Assen and Imola for Superbike, but also those on 3 May and 17 May in Jerez and Le Mans for MotoGP.
From a certain point of view, motor sport competitors are much better placed than their cousins who must instead rely on ... human propulsion.
Now that the development window has been shut, the riders are better off than other athletes
Athletes of all disciplines, in fact, not only in this period are unable to train, because it is not possible to attend sports facilities or simply run outdoors, but their performance 'window', optimized with computer-designed workloads today , is inevitably destined to close.
For the Olympics it is better to postpone everything to 2021 instead of to the end of the year, at a cost of 10 billion
For this reason, it would probably be better to postpone the Olympic Games to 2021 instead of a date to be decided. But it is a problem of costs: doing that could cost Tokyo about 10 billion, 1.8% of Japan’s GDP. That’s a hell of a cost, seeing as 24 billion were spent to organize them.
Shinzo Abe: We are not contemplating cancelling the games in Tokyo. And what about motorsport?
Shinzo Abe, the Japanese prime minister, said that cancellation is not an option, but postponing them will also have a significant cost because, for example, the apartments built for the Olympic village have already been sold and will be delivered by the end of the year.
Dorna, of course, also has its problems, but they are minor and almost exclusively economic. The freeze on engines and aerodynamics has in fact put the manufacturers on the same level, while on the other hand the riders need to train less, and even if it is true that they also have performance ‘windows’, it is also true that in a couple of races they could recover, but above all they don't risk everything in one single event.
A drastic decision is expected: SBK and MotoGP world championships held almost in the autumn
At this point, therefore, a drastic decision should be made and in the worst-case scenario (if you exclude the cancellation of the world championships), the best thing to do would be to draw up a calendar for the end of summer, for autumn or almost winter, taking advantage of the diversity of seasons in other continents, but above all by drastically reducing the number of races.
Only in this way can we clarify the situation, also regarding the commitments of the sport’s indispensable sponsors and logistics.