Motorcycle Grands Prix canceled: no emergency circuit according to the FIM
The cancellation of the MotoGP race in Qatar and the postponement of the Thai Motorcycle Grand Prix because of the coronavirus raise questions about the 2020 season, the kickoff of which is for the moment postponed by one month at the GP of the Americas… MNC takes stock with the International Motorcycling Federation (FIM).
Hard blow for fans of MotoGP MotoGP: the kick-off of the MotoGP season which was to take place this weekend in Qatar following the decision to quarantine anyone from or coming from Italy and the main countries affected by the coronavirus. This morning, the organizers of the GP of Thailand in turn announced the scheduled for March 22 for the same reasons…
- MNC of March 2, 2020 :
- MNC of March 1, 2020 :
Frustrating decisions, of course, but essential in view of the risks associated with this virus: already more than 3,000 deaths and 86,000 cases of infection in some sixty countries have been attributed to it to date. No organizer can take the risk of fueling the spread of Covid-19 via events that bring together thousands of spectators, some of whom are potentially infected, in one place..
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"This is really bad news: what a pity," comments Valentino Rossi. "After a winter spent training in the sea we were ready to start the season, both physically and psychologically. I was really looking forward to starting the first race after (which he finished 12th, editor’s note)".
"The cancellation of the MotoGP race in Qatar (Moto3 and Moto3 are maintained in Losail, editor’s note) is difficult for the fans too, because we do not know how long we will have to wait before we can start racing", underlines the Italian veteran. "It will certainly be long as the next GP in Thailand has been postponed for all categories".
Towards a Thai GP in October 2020 ?
"The FIM, IRTA and Dorna are currently evaluating whether another date is possible to organize the event later this season", specifies the International Motorcycling Federation (FIM) about this postponement of the Grand Prix of Thailand.
The first solution for the Thai round would consist of a postponement to the same dates as last year, that is to say during the tour of the Pacific in October. For the record, the Thai event was in 2019 the first of four races contested on the other side of the globe with the Japanese GP, the Australian GP and the Malaysian GP..
"We have no more information, the situation is changing day by day," reveals the communication service of the International Motorcycling Federation questioned by Site. The FIM is also not in a position to enlighten us as to the future of the WSBK races scheduled in Qatar on March 15….
Maverick Viñales – favorite in Qatar because the fastest pendant – regrets for his part the missed opportunity at Losail, but measures the importance of the precautionary principle in this "critical situation". The Spaniard hopes that the situation will return "to normal as soon as possible so that we can start the world championship soon".
"The FIM has no emergency circuit"
This start of the championship, in fact, has for the moment been postponed to the third race of the 2020 calendar, the Grand Prix of the Americas on the Austin circuit below: MotoGP riders will therefore only start their season from Texas meeting on April 5 … a month later than planned !
But it is still necessary that the American race is indeed maintained: the United States is admittedly for the moment less exposed to the coronavirus, but is not spared for all that. The first death linked to Covid-19 was even announced there this weekend, while access to the country has just been closed to non-American travelers who have passed through China in the last fortnight..
Vice President Mike Pence also announced Monday morning that similar measures would be taken for people from Iran, Italy and Korea, the countries currently most affected by the epidemic. There is no guarantee that the season will finally start with the Grand Prix of the Americas…
Le Journal Moto du Net therefore asked the FIM if any back-up solutions were planned to deal with this exceptional scenario, such as hastily organizing races to other destinations likely to host MotoGP to replace them. the – or even "the" – Grand Prize (s) canceled…
"The FIM does not have a back-up circuit in the event of a cancellation of this type", informs us the communication service of the federation. "As the measures taken by governments change from hour to hour, it is also impossible to consider one place as being safer than another".
The most important is "the safety of all"
If by chance the holding of the GP of the Americas was also called into question because of transit restrictions, the premier category of motorcycle sport would miss three races out of the 20 initially planned. In this hypothetical scenario, the first test would be postponed – at best – to the Argentinian GP scheduled for April 19, i.e. in a month and a half !
This worrying scenario would be a great first in the history of the championship: "our archivist being absent, I cannot confirm that this case of cancellation has not already taken place since 1949 (the year of creation of the motorcycle GPs). , Editor’s note), however it is certain that we have not encountered such a situation for the last 20 years ", assures the FIM to MNC.
But as Davide Brivio, team manager of the Suzuki MotoGP team wisely recalls: "the most important thing is the safety of everyone, and we must respect the decision taken by the local authorities and those in charge of MotoGP".
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