The opening round of the 2020 MotoGP World Championship has now been pushed to April 17-19 at the Argentinian GP as the originally planned opening at the Grand Prix of The Americas in Austin has been officially postponed to November due to the coronavirus. The city of Austin, Texas declared a ‘state of disaster’ over the spread of COVID-19, giving authorities the right to ban any gatherings of more than 2,500 people.
The spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) throughout the world has prompted Dorna to cancel its opening weekend in Qatar, as well as reschedule its second round in Thailand to another date.
The most recent postponement is that of the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas, which was set to take place from the April 3 - 5, 2020. Due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, the event has been rescheduled for later in the season and will now take place from November 13-15.
Due to these cancellations, the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) the governing body for motorcycle motorsports, under the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIA) which governs global motorsports, has published a revised calendar.
Despite the setbacks, Dorna has committed to organizing 19 rounds of MotoGP races for 2020. Dorna CEO, Ezpeleta, revealed that there are other measures that could be adopted to ensure the remaining 19 events will take place as now planned. These include extending the schedule to stretch to December with some of the races in tropical countries scheduled for the winter season. If all else fails, there are discussions on the possibility of conducting a MotoGP race behind closed doors with no spectators, as a last resort.
“Contractually with the FIM, there are 13 races but our aim is to do 19 remaining races,” Ezpeleta said at the Losail International Circuit. “There are possibilities that even in the worst case, even with more cancellations that we will have time. Maybe we will race in hot countries at Christmas! Our duty is to make races and we will do races.”
“Everything is possible,” Ezpeleta said. “The most important thing for us is to have any solution all together with everything. We say always that Dorna, in agreement with IRTA and FIM, is a company that makes races and this is our obligation despite any other things… I assure you, with the collaboration with IRTA, the MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3 team managers, we will try to do as many races as we can.”
Dorna is hoping the coronavirus subsides in the next few weeks, or it may have to face cancelling more events.