Monday, Mar 2 08:50am
AUTHOR: Josh Revell

*MotoGP opener cancelled due to coronavirus threat


The Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) and MotoGP have announced that the 2020 MotoGP season opener in Qatar has been cancelled due to the travel restrictions brought about by the coronavirus outbreak.

The first cases of the disease have been confirmed in Qatar in recent days, whilst neighbouring Iran has been one of the worst-hit countries outside of China. With confirmed cases of coronavirus spiking in both Italy and Japan – where most of the teams are based – procedures were implemented from Dorna to grant permission to MotoGP personnel from those countries to access the country.

However, owing to the situation surrounding the disease, the FIM and Dorna have reached the decision to cancel the event. The Moto2 and Moto3 races will go ahead, as both series’ were already in the country for their pre-season testing.

The FIM released a statement reading…

"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."