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MotoGP to decide on non-European races in September

Daniel Herrero

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Wednesday 20th May, 2020 - 3:21pm

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The 2019 Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix pic: MotoGP.com

Dorna Sports will be in a position to announce if any of this year’s MotoGP rounds will be held outside of Europe in September, CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta has estimated.

Dorna is planning to restart its season, and thus hold the first premier class races of 2020, in July with back-to-back rounds at Jerez under a proposal put to Spain’s national government.

As at late-April, it was still to determine “if the non-European races will be possible after November”, according to Ezpeleta, which would mean at least the postponement of the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix which was scheduled for October 23-25.

He has now all but reiterated that stance, although with the possibility of a slightly earlier start for a flyaway phase of the season.

“We are now in ‘scenario one’ for the calendar and think it will be possible to start in the middle of July in Europe, in Spain. We are waiting for the final approval of the government,” Ezpeleta told Fox Sports Asia.

“Our idea is to make around 12 to 13 grands prix in Europe between July and the beginning of November.

“If grands prix outside of Europe are possible then we will move to Asia and America during November until the middle of December.

“Maybe from the beginning of September we will be able to announce finally if the non-European grands prix will happen or not.”

While the European rounds would not have crowds, at least initially, Asian rounds would not go ahead unless paying spectators were allowed.

“We will go to Asia if it possible to hold races with spectators present and we are talking with the different promoters to know if this is possible or not,” explained Ezpelata.

Phillip Island’s round typically falls in a back-to-back-to-back Asia-Pacific sequence, between Japan’s Motegi and Malaysia’s Sepang.

Thailand’s Buriram has preceded those circuits by a fortnight since joining the championship in 2018, a position which it was restored to in March under an early calendar revision.

Counting against Phillip Island is the possibility that foreigners will not be allowed to enter Australia for the remainder of the year, with no tentative timeline as to when external borders may reopen.

Australian Grand Prix Corporation CEO Andrew Westacott told Speedcafe.com earlier this month that, “AGPC is in regular dialogue with Dorna Sports and the Victorian Government in relation to the 2020 Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix.

“We continue to take guidance from subject matter experts, including the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, in assessing all options for the Grand Prix and are closely monitoring matters at a state, federal and global level.

“We will update MotoGP fans and all stakeholders further over the coming weeks.”

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