Opening round of MotoGP cancelled due to coronavirus
Monday 2nd March, 2020 - 7:02am
Round 1 of the 2020 MotoGP season in Qatar has been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The cancellation applies to the MotoGP class itself only, with Moto2 and Moto3 to still go ahead this coming weekend having already been testing at the Losail International Circuit in recent days.
According to promoters Dorna, the premier class has been called off due to the prevalence of personnel based in Italy, one of the countries worst hit by coronavirus, in the championship.
The statement announcing the decision cited the difficulties arising due to quarantine restrictions on arrivals from Italy in Qatar as a key consideration. See below for full statement
Practice in Qatar is still set to begin on March 6 (local time), although the schedule will be revised following the cancellation of MotoGP.
Statement from Dorna
MotoGP Class cancelled at the Grand Prix of Qatar
- Due to Qatar travel restrictions brought into force affecting passengers from Italy (amongst other countries), the premier class will not race at Losail
FIM, IRTA and Dorna regret to announce the cancellation of all MotoGP class sessions at the Grand Prix of Qatar, including the race.
The ongoing coronavirus outbreak has resulted in Qatar travel restrictions being brought into force that affect passengers from Italy, amongst other countries. As of today, all passengers arriving at Doha on direct flights from Italy, or having been in Italy in the past 2 weeks, will be taken straight to quarantine for a minimum of 14 days. Italy clearly plays a vital role in the Championship and in the MotoGP class – both on track and off – and therefore the decision has been taken to cancel premier class competition.
As the teams and riders of the Moto2 and Moto3 classes were already in Qatar for the three-day official test at Losail International Circuit earlier this week, the races of both categories will be possible. The lightweight and intermediate classes will therefore compete in their season opener from the 6th to 8th March. The same will apply to the Idemitsu Asia Talent Cup, which will have two races during the Qatar Grand Prix as originally planned. Stay tuned for a revised schedule.