MotoGP’s 2020 Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi has been cancelled. The cancellation was due to the coronavirus pandemic, putting a hold on all overseas races until mid-November. This is the first time the Japanese GP will not push through since 1986.
“The MotoGP family is working very hard to be able to restart the racing season and hold as many events as possible, and in the safest way possible,” said Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta.
“For this reason, the FIM and Dorna, in consultation with IRTA (Teams’ association) and MSMA (Manufacturers’ association), have decided that, until mid-November, MotoGP will remain in Europe to do as many European MotoGP events as we are able to. Therefore, overseas events, if at all possible, should be scheduled after mid-November – which would be too late in the year for the Motul Grand Prix of Japan to be held. For this reason it has been decided, in consultation with Mobilityland, that the Motul Grand Prix of Japan cannot be held in 2020.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced MotoGP to go on hiatus since the beginning of March. MotoGP class races were postponed while only Moto2 and Moto3 races pushed through in Qatar. Since then, the British, Australian, Dutch, German and Finnish GPs have been canceled with Japan bringing the total number of cancellations to six.
MotoGP rounds in the US, Malaysia, America, Argentina, and Thailand have yet to be cancelled. However, doubts are already lingering over the feasibility of the MotoGP round in Texas, this year.
“I very much thank Mobilityland for the support given to MotoGP,” said Ezpeleta. “On behalf of Dorna, I would also like to thank all the fans for their understanding and patience as we wait for the situation to improve.”
MotoGP promoters, Dorna Sports, have vowed to run as many races as possible this year. The group has put plans in place to hold back-to-back races at Jerez on July 19 and 26 pending Spanish government approval. It has decided to hold European-based races until mid-November, with any other races abroad taking place after.