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MotoGP flyaways dependent on crowds

Daniel Herrero

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Friday 12th June, 2020 - 9:39am

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The 2019 Thailand MotoGP pic: MotoGP.com

MotoGP boss Carmelo Ezpeleta has reaffirmed that the four tentative flyaway rounds on the new calendar are dependent on permission for spectators.

Dorna Sports has released a revised calendar featuring 13 grands prix in Europe, including five pairs of repeated circuits, and the as yet uncancelled flyaways in the United States, Argentina, Thailand, and Malaysia.

Having previously stated that Asian events would only go ahead if crowds were allowed, Ezpeleta reiterated that stance and explained that it applied also to those in the Americas.

Regarding the four flyaways, which would take place after the European rounds, he said, “We need to wait because as we’ve commented before, to do the races outside Europe it’s necessary to do it with spectators.

“We are waiting to see the development of health measures in other countries, in the States, Argentina, Malaysia and Thailand, and then we will see what is possible to include in the calendar.”

At least one of the flyaways would be dropped if all of the European races do go ahead as per the new calendar, given that Dorna has stipulated a maximum of 17 events including March’s Qatar Grand Prix, when Moto2 and Moto3 raced.

Counting against the Grand Prix of The Americas, and therefore against the Argentina event it is normally paired with, is comments from local health authorities last month about bans on mass gatherings potentially lasting until the end of the year.

There is now new concern about a second wave of COVID-19 in Austin, where the Circuit of The Americas is located, according to a report overnight in the Austin American-Statesman.

Decisions on the four non-European grands prix will be made by the end of July.

“It has been hard work from our side and from the side of the promoters, finally we obtained these possibilities,” said Ezpeleta of the calendar considerations broadly.

“Once we had the protocol approved then we are able to propose this calendar.

“In principle we have some circuits where we will repeat races one week after another, because this is easy for movement and to maintain the protocol, although there are others where we will have just one race.

“We thought when we ran into the problem of the pandemic, we realised we can do 13 races and then if it’s possible to go outside Europe it will be interesting.

“The races outside Europe need to be confirmed before the end of July, then also our agreement with the manufacturers and with the teams is to finish the Championship no later than the 13th of December, that means we need to decide which of the races to do, if all of them are possible, and we will decide which races we will have outside Europe.

“This is something we will put in the calendar as a proposal and we will decide on it no later than the end of July.”

A new MotoE calendar has also been released, with seven races taking place over five weekends across three different circuits.

Its season will begin with that of the premier class at Jerez, where the all-electric bikes will race on July 19 and July 26.

The first Misano round will feature one race, while the second will see a double-header.

Le Mans will close out MotoE’s second season with another double-header in October.

MotoE 2020 calendar Revised

Race(s) Circuit Race day(s)
1 Jerez Jul 19
2 Jerez Jul 26
3 Misano Sep 13
4 5 Misano Sep 19-20
6 7 Le Mans Oct 10-11

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